Edward M Walsh is the founding president of the University of Limerick, the first new university established by the Republic of Ireland: a post from which he retired in l998, after a 28-year term. Dr Walsh has served as founding chairman of the Irish Council for Science Technology and Innovation, the National Technological Park, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Citywest’s Growcorp and the National Self–Portrait Collection of Ireland. He has also served as chairman of the Conference of Heads of Irish Universities and of Shannon Development. Dr Walsh serves on the boards of a number of organisations, is chairman of the steering committee establishing the new Adare Hospital and Clinic, chairman of the National Allocation Advisory Group that advises on Kyoto emissions allocations, Chairman of Stokes Bio Ltd and a member of the Governing Board of the European Humanities University now exiled in Vilnius. Dr Walsh is a Freeman of the City of Limerick, a Member of the New York Academy of Science and the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and an honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts. He holds honorary doctorates from four universities. Born in Cork in 1939, Dr Walsh is a graduate of the National University of Ireland and holds Masters and Doctorate qualifications in nuclear and electrical engineering from Iowa State University, where he was an Associate of the US Atomic Energy Commission Laboratory. He is a chartered engineer, a registered silversmith, an enthusiastic yachtsman and plays the violin and piano badly. He is married with four children.