Professor Byrne is a graduate in mechanical engineering from the Dublin Institute of Technology, Trinity College Dublin and the Technical University Berlin. He served as College Principal of Engineering and Architecture and Dean of Engineering in University College Dublin (2011-2014) and has been the Professor of Mechanical Engineering in UCD since 1993. Professor Byrne has been an Advisor to the President of Fraunhofer and a Director of Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd. since 2013.
He is Past-President of the Collége International pour L’Étude des Techniques de Production Méchanique, C.I.R.P (2009/10). He is also a Past-President of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland (2000/01) and a Past-President of the Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE, 2002/03). He represented Ireland as a Member of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) and is currently a member of the Conference of Rectors and Presidents of Technical Universities (CRE) in the EU.
Professor Byrne is a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering UK and of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, acatech. He holds an honorary doctorate in recognition of his outstanding international contribution as an innovator in engineering. He was awarded the Gold Ring of the German Society of Engineering (VDI). He is also the recipient of the prestigious Taylor Research Medal of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, USA in recognition of his outstanding research contributions. He holds an Honorary Professorship from Tianjin University, China (2013).