St Benildus College, University College Dublin
BE (Electronic), PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UCD
Favourite thing to do in science: Make cool sensors and algorithms
About Me: I'm from Dublin. I live in Sydney for ten years before coming back home to Ireland. I love maths, engineering, swimming, and music.
I’m from Dublin, Ireland. I enjoyed maths, physics and technical drawing at school. I studied electronic engineering at University College Dublin, and then did my PhD there in biomedical signal processing. In 2007, I went to Sydney in Australia for ten years where I worked as a lecturer in a big university called The University of New South Wales. I came back to Ireland in 2018 with my wife and two kids and got a job at UCD as a lecturer and started a research laboratory that is exploring ways to make touch sensors for robotic and prosthetic hands. I like long distance swimming in the sea, and to play the guitar and drums. I used to play a lot of soccer, but my body is getting a bit old for that now! I think engineering is a great job if you like to combine a talent for mathematics with a creative mind.
My Work: I'm a Biomedical Engineer working at UCD. I like to make new sensors or to use existing sensors in clever ways that might help improve people's health. I'm also interested in making smarter robots with dexterous hands.
I like to design and build new types of sensors. I also like developing clever algorithms to make sense of sensor signals. For example, we started a company in Australia to develop touch sensors for robot grippers. You can see some videos of these sensors here:
What does a human sense of touch really do for robotic gripping?
— Contactile (@ContactileInc) October 9, 2020
My Typical Day: At the moment, try to swim in the morning - getting into the Irish Sea in the dark is a bit scary. Then breakfast and bring my kids to school. Lots of meetings on Zoom. Meet with staff and students in my research group. Meet with other academic staff to make sure the school is running smoothly. Answer lots of emails, read lots of documents, drink a little bit too much coffee!
What I'd do with the money: Is there money!?
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, tencious, perfectionist
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Body surfing down a big wave
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Sometimes. It's hard to behave all the time.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Work with lots of really smart and hard-working students
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
Science history. Learning about Euler, Faraday, Newton,...
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
What a crazy question! :-D
Tell us a joke.
A pessimist looks at a glass of water and states it is half empty, an optimist looks at the same glass and states it is half full, but an engineer sees it and states the glass is twice as tall as it should be.