University College Dublin (UCD) is the largest university in Ireland with over 30 000students and 1600 academic staff across a wide range of disciplines. Over 1600 PhD students and 3400 Masters students graduate from UCD each year (28% of Ireland’s PhD graduates). UCD is home to over 5000 international students from over 120 countries.
The UCD Earth Institute, of which Prof O'Brien is on the Executive, is a multidisciplinary research and education centre that develops sustainable solutions for many of the pressing Earth-related problems. The Institute currently manages Ireland’s largest structured doctoral programme, with almost 60 PhD students across 5 universities. The Institute has approximately 30 dedicated laboratories and a range of equipment in associated laboratories throughout the university. The School of CivilEngineering has a large test hall with 10-tonne crane, internal reaction frame, pavement materials, water/wastewater chemistry and geotechnical testing equipment.
UCD has won €454 million in research contracts over the past 5 years.
Prof O'Brien has published over 90 journal papers and 175 conference papers. His book, "Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete", is now in its 2nd edition with Taylor & Francis and has sold over 5000 copies. His 2nd book, "Bridge Deck Analysis", is also published by T&F and the 2nd edition was published in 2014. Examples of frequently referenced papers are as follows: O’Connor A.J., O'Brien, E.J., “Traffic load modelling and factors influencing the accuracy of predicted extremes”. Caprani, C. C., O'Brien, E.J., McLachlan, G., “Characteristic traffic load effects from a mixture of loading events on short to medium span bridges”. O'Brien, E.J., Caprani, C.C., “Headway Modelling for Traffic Load Assessment of Short to Medium Span Bridges”.