Dan, Edaordo, Louise

Introducing the Irish Research Council Early Career Researcher of the Year winners’ for 2022

Posted: 6 December, 2022

Dr. Edoardo Celeste, Dublin City University (DCU), is the Irish Research Council 2022 Early Career Researcher of the Year. Dr. Celeste is Assistant Professor of Law, Technology and Innovation at DCU. He is also Programme Chair of the new Erasmus Mundus Master in Law, Data and Artificial Intelligence programme at DCU and he has been the Deputy-Director of the DCU Law Research Centre since 2022.

The award is given to an outstanding current or former IRC awardee who is at an early stage in their research career. Dr Celeste was selected from a number of excellent entries, all of whom demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in their field at this career stage. This is a great reflection on the current state of emerging research talent in Ireland.

Edoardo’s research expertise is in the burgeoning field of data law, with a special focus on the impact of the digital revolution on legal systems. He studies how fundamental rights are impacted by the digital revolution, and more specifically, how such rights are evolving to face the challenges of the digital age. He specialises in the analysis of the rights to privacy and to data protection. In particular, he looks at the legitimate boundaries that the law should set in relation to the ability of state actors to intrude on these rights. In this field, his research is focused on the regulation of mass surveillance and data retention in Europe. He further specialises in the law and governance of social media platforms, including investigating the constitutional rules that can bind the action of private multinational organisations, such as social media companies.

Edoardo graduated in law from the University of Rome La Sapienza in 2015, winning the Prize for Excellent Student. Having undertaken further studies in Paris and King’s College London, he was awarded an IRC Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship in 2017. His PhD  thesis was on the role of soft law in the constitutionalisation of the internet.

To learn more about Edoardo’s research, watch the video below.

Highly Commended

Due to the high standard of entries this year, the independent judging panel made two commendations in this category. They were to: Dr. Madhusanka Liyanage of University College Dublin, and Dr. Giovanni Di Liberto of Trinity College Dublin.

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Dr. Madhusanka Liyanage is currently an Assistant Professor-Ad Astra Fellow and Director of Graduate Research at the School of Computer Science, UCD. He is also a Docent-Adjunct Professor at the Center for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, Finland. He studies network security and privacy related to future 5G and 6G telecommunication networks. His specific focus is in exploring the application of novel technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and blockchain technologies to improve the security and privacy of the future mobile network. At present, Dr. Liyanage is consulting on the 5G Open-RAN security project at the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA). He is also the coordinator on a project with the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), South Korea. He is the author of a number of publications on 5G networks, 5G network security, and Internet of Things security domains. These books are utilised as course material in a number of universities across the world.

Commenting on what drives him to do work in this area of research, Dr. Liyanage said: “I always like challenging and dynamic career options. It is enjoyable and motivating to work in the network security domain; not just the importance of the work but also the fast pace of change, the challenge of solving problems, and the need for innovation to design solutions for future needs. 6G network is going to especially pave the way toward the needs of the 2030’s hyperconnected society, and we need to ensure that it is safe and secure for every person and every device to use.”

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Also commended in this category was Dr. Giovanni Di Liberto. Dr. Di Liberto is Assistant Professor in Intelligent Systems in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin. In his research, he applies engineering methods to brain recordings to investigate the neural basis of speech and music perception. He develops new methodologies to measure how the brain processes and rapidly transforms sounds into their corresponding meaning, especially by means of neurophysiology measurements. He uses these methods to devise and test theories about how the human brain works.  His methods have contributed to the development of a working prototype of a next-generation hearing-aid device. He has recently provided a new view of how melodic regularities shape the way people perceive music, making one piece more interesting than others.  An innovative aspect of his approach is that it involves real-life tasks, such as watching cartoons, which allows for the assessment of cognitive functions in groups that would be difficult to study, for example infants, older people, and people with dementia, with the ultimate goal of identifying metrics for early-diagnosis.


When asked what attracted him to his area of study, Dr. Di Liberto said: “Speech and music are the bedrock of human communication and expression. Uncovering the brain processes of those functions is a fascinating and stimulating journey, and the myriad of applications in brain health is a constant motivation.”

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