Professor Peter McHugh appointed Interim President of University of Galway


University of Galway’s Governing Authority – Údarás na hOllscoile has confirmed the appointment of Professor Peter McHugh as Interim President.

The confirmation follows the announcement on June 26th that Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh had taken the decision to step down as President.

Professor McHugh is currently serving as Deputy President and Registrar and will take up the role of Interim President in September 2024.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Chair of the University’s Governing Authority, said, “On behalf of the University of Galway Governing Authority, I would like to welcome Professor Peter McHugh’s appointment as Interim President and wish him every success in the role.”

“Professor McHugh will be leading the University at a time which is not without sectoral challenges, but while we are positioned strongly for the future.”

Professor McHugh said, “I am very honoured to be appointed Interim President of University of Galway and I wish to thank members of Údarás na hOllscoile for their support.”

“I also want to thank the outgoing President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, for his outstanding work, his commitment to the University’s values of respect, openness, excellence and sustainability over the past six years, and for helping to make University of Galway the world-class institution it is today.”

“I am very much looking forward to building on the University’s many achievements. My focus will be on strengthening and building upon our international reputation for excellence in teaching, learning, research and innovation, on striving for the very best student experience, and on empowering our staff to achieve.”

Professor McHugh joined the University in 1991 and was appointed as the first Established Professor of Biomedical Engineering in 2007.

He has previously served as Dean of College of Engineering and Informatics, Head of School of Engineering and Informatics, and Head of School of Engineering.

Under his leadership as Head of School, the School of Engineering developed its gender equality action plan, and building on this groundwork, the school went on to achieve the Athena SWAN Silver Award in 2022, the first School of Engineering in Ireland to achieve the recognition.

Professor McHugh took up the role of Deputy President and Registrar in May 2024.

He is an internationally recognised research leader in biomedical engineering and his research is focused on fundamental developments and applications of computational and experimental methods in biomechanics, tissue mechanics and medical implants and devices.

He has been a pioneer in the development of biomedical engineering in Ireland and internationally, and he was the founding Director of the Biomechanics Research Centre (BioMEC) at University of Galway.