St. Aidans Community College & Cork Institute of Technology
PhD in Electronic Engineering
Worked in many different places but most of time spent in academia
I am a technology researcher which basically means I get paid to explore and develop new technology that can help solve complex problems... or in other words I get to play with really cool gadgets!
I was born and bread in Cork City (i.e. the centre of the universe)! I have 3 kids, two girls and a boy and I am obsessed with anything to do with technology and computers. Besides technology I really love sport and music and I coach my daughters U12 Camogie team. After school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but computers was interesting to me so I did a degree in Computer Applications (Software Engineering), when I finished there wasn’t many jobs so I continued in college and did my PhD in Electronic Engineering. Since then I have been working as a researcher in Cork Institute of Technology.
My favorite project I have worked on is developing solution that helps the visually impaired and blind move easily and safely through our cities and buildings.
One aspect of this was to allow them to receive feedback from the environment they walk through. If you close your eyes now where you are you can build a virtual map of where you are in your mind. The project objective was to provide information through audio (voice in headphones) to the person that describes the space around them, highlights and risks or dangers in the space and helps them to build that mental map of the environment. We used different sensors (like the ones you find in car that beeps before you hit a wall) and Bluetooth (how your mobile phone connects to headphones).
My Typical Day
My day normally involved up at 7am, gym for a quick workout, get kids ready off to school and off to the office.. but these days its up early try and get some exercise in still get the kids to school and then back home which is my new office. I work a lot on projects with partners from many different countries in Europe, so a large portion of my working day involves having meetings with them to discuss project progress. I also meet with my colleagues and PhD students that I supervise to see how they are progressing and provide help were needed.
What I'd do with the prize money
I would use part of the money to buy some kit that I would use for introducing students to technology and organize online event to allow our research students share their experience with primary and secondary school children.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
creative, curious and resourceful
What did you want to be after you left school?
I didn't have a clue but I liked computers
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes was a bit of a messer in school, but always did my work
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Love all kinds of music, recent on my playlist, Denise Chaila, Foy Vance, Ren
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Went sledding down a mountain in Grenoble at night time.. was great fun
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. Covid-19 to disappear, 2. My kids to always be happy 3. A holiday home in the sun somewhere
Tell us a joke.
Why are fish so smart? Because they live in schools