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Francis Butler

School of Biosystems and Food Engineering
01 716 7473
University College Dublin, School of Biosystems and Food Engineering, Agriculture and Food Science Belfield Dublin 4

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Professor Francis Butler, an engineer by training, joined UCD as an academic in Biosystems Engineering in 1990 having previously worked in production management in the Irish dairy Industry. He was appointed a Professor in 2007 and was the Head of School, UCD School of Biosystems Engineering from 2011 - 2014. Currently he is Head of Subject, Biosystems and Food Engineering. His teaching responsibilities at undergraduate and graduate level include modules in food chain integrity, global cold chain safety, bioprocess engineering principles and contaminants in the food chain. He is the programme coordinator for the UCD MSC Food Safety and Risk Analysis. He is also the UCD coordinator for the International Master in Food Management and Safety, a joint initiative between UCD, The University of Lorraine, France, and the Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain. Professor Butler is a Principal Investigator in the UCD Institute for Food and Health and the UCD Centre for Food Safety. Professor Butler main research interests are in food safety with a particular focus on food chain integrity and quantitative risk assessment of microbiological and chemical hazards in foods. Increasingly he is using next generation sequencing techniques to identify the sources and routes of transmission of pathogens through the food chain to control their occurrence in foods. Recently, he was awarded a European Food Risk Assessment Fellowship by the European Food Safety Authority as well as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie co-funded Career-FIT Career Development Fellowship for work in using next generation sequencing as a tool in microbial risk assessment. Professor Butler is an active partner in EU funded research projects in the area of food chain integrity. Projects include EU-CHINA SAFE, FOODINTEGRITY, PROSAFEBEEF, QPORKCHAINS. He also coordinated the SIGMACHAIN Project that identified and managed vulnerabilities in the food chain.


  • Senior lecturer
    University College Dublin, Biosystems Engineering department.30 Dec 1999 - 30 Dec 1999
  • College Lecturer
    University College Dublin, Agricultural and Food Engineering Department.30 Dec 1999 - 30 Dec 1999
  • Research Officer
    Teagasc, Meat Research department30 Dec 1999 - 30 Dec 1999


  • Production Manager
    Premier Dairies, Rathfarnham30 Dec 1999 - 30 Dec 1999
  • Volunteer Equipment Officer
    Ministry of Agriculture, Zambia, Integrated Rural Development Programme30 Dec 1999 - 30 Dec 1999
  • Development Officer
    Electricity Supply Board30 Dec 1999 - 30 Dec 1999


  • BE
    University College Dublin
  • MBA
    University College Dublin
  • PhD
    University College Dublin