A huge congratulations to our SMARTlab/IDRC director Prof Lizbeth Goodman who has been honoured by being named in a prestigious G100 role, as G100 Global Chair for STEM Education. This honour reflects Prof Goodman’s unrelenting advocation for equality of academic empowerment in STEM spaces. We wish her every success as she continues to lead by breaking through barriers to progression in academia, promoting equality for all.


Read More

The prestigious Canadian Governor General’s Award for Artistic Achievement Award in Media Arts was this year granted to recent IRC Enterprise Partnership Scheme Postgraduate Dr Cheryl L’Hirondelle. Honoured in recognition of her exceptional career both as a musician and scholar and her remarkable contribution to the media arts, L’Hirondelle is a self-described ‘swift -flying songbird, interdisciplinary artist, PhD candidate and so much more’, originally from the land now known as Canada. She holds an IRC EPS award for her PhD, with Irish world-band Kíla as her enterprise partner and the SMARTlab/IDRC of UCD as her research base.

In her own words, Cheryl L’Hirondelle is an award-winning and community-engaged Indigenous (Cree/Halfbreed; German/Polish) multi- and interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter, curator and critical writer whose creative practice investigates the dynamism of nêhiyawak cosmology in a contemporary time-place continuum. Her Masters of Inclusive Design (IDRC/OCAD University, Toronto) introduced and expounded on Indigenous concepts of radical inclusivity and sonic survivance and is further expanding these theories in inclusive practice at SMARTlab as part of her PhD, which is in its final year. She holds a prestigious IRC EPS Postgraduate Award for this work.

Since the early 1980’s, L’Hirondelle has created, performed and presented work in a variety of artistic disciplines, including: music, performance art, theatre, spoken word, storytelling and redundant & new media. In the early 90’s, she began a parallel career as an arts consultant / advisor and programmer, cultural strategist / activist, and director / producer. Cheryl’s various activities have also found her working in the Canadian independent music industry, national artist-run centres, educational institutions, the Canadian prison system, First Nations bands, tribal councils and governmental funding agencies, at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

L’Hirondelle’s art and musical practice is regularly discussed in a variety of exhibition publications, periodicals, peer-reviewed journals and doctoral theses. In 2004, she was the first Indigenous artist invited to present work at DAK’ART Lab, at the 6th Edition of the Dakar Biennale for Contemporary African Art, Senegal. In both 2005 and 2006, Cheryl was the recipient of the imagineNATIVE New Media Award for her online net.art projects: treatycard.ca, 17:TELL and wêpinâsowina.net. Her 2008/9 Songlines project nikamon ohci askiy (songs because of the land) was recognised as an Official Honouree of the 13th Annual Webby Awards in the Net Art category. She has been awarded several music related honours: Prairie Music Award (nomination for Nikamok, 2001), Canadian Aboriginal Music Award (for M’Girl, 2006 & 2007), KM Hunter Music Award (nomination for solo songwriting, 2011), Canadian Juno Award (as part of Buffy Sainte Marie’s Power in the Blood, 2015). In January 2019 she brought her inspirational Light Tipi installation/experience to Davos. 

In October 2020 she was honoured by WEF Women, with her award announced at the UNDP.

In February 2021 L’Hirondelle was awarded a Canadian Governor General’s Award for her work as an interdisciplinary artist. For this last major achievement, she will receive a $25,000 prize and a special-edition bronze medallion.

Created in 1999 by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Governor General of Canada, the awards commend the lifetime achievement of up to eight individuals nominated by their peers and selected by and expert panel. Nominators for L’Hirondelle noted that; “In current times of political, cultural and environmental upheaval, the world is in desperate need of artists like Cheryl L’Hirondelle, who can help us to create new social formations and to bridge knowledges, communities and histories.”

L’Hirondelle’s PhD, based in the Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland in partnership with SMARTlab in the College of Engineering and Architecture at UCD, focuses on the relationship between Indigenous and other land-based languages and cultural forms of communication. In particular the narrative memory-soaked singing and song writing of indigenous minority groups in Ireland, Canada, Scandinavia, and Australia. Exploring the ways various singer/songwriters, musicians and recording artists communicate and document their culture through music and song. 

Welcoming the award, Suzanne Drisdelle, Chargé d’Affaires of the Canadian Embassy in Ireland said; “I offer my congratulations to Cheryl L’Hirondelle on this wonderful achievement. I am delighted to see that the lifetime of knowledge and creativity that L’Hirondelle has attained through the study and immersion in native language and culture in Canada has helped to inform similar practices here in Ireland and around the globe.”

Speaking of the lifelong achievements and impact of this remarkable action researcher/media artist, her PhD supervisor Professor Lizbeth Goodman of UCD stated: “It has been my great honour over the years to know and advise, and in turn be informed and inspired by, the remarkable Cheryl L’Hirondelle. Her wisdom surpasses the kinds of ‘knowledge’ which can be ‘taught’ in any formal institutional setting; in nature, she sings out to the furthest mountain and shows how our relationships to land and to one another require a delicate balance of strength with integrity, connectedness and ethical engagement, all combining to inspire and enlighten us all, in honour of our ancestors and for the sake of this generation and generations still to come.”

Colm Ó Snodaigh of Kila, gives this Irish shout-out: “Maith thú Cheryl! Maith thú!”



GGArts Awards

The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts awards were created in 1999 by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Governor General of Canada. Since then, the awards have celebrated Canada’s vibrant arts community and recognized remarkable careers in the visual and media arts.

Up to eight awards are distributed every year: six awards recognize artistic achievements, one award recognizes excellence in the fine crafts (Saidye Bronfman Award) and one award recognizes an outstanding contribution to contemporary visual arts, media arts or fine crafts. The winners receive a medallion and a cash prize of $25,000 each.

The GGArts awards are part of the Canada Council’s suite of prizes recognizing excellence in the arts.

Read More
Meet the 2021 Winners of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts

Throughout their exceptional careers, these eight artists have contributed to the vitality of contemporary visual and media arts as well as the fine crafts. Watch the short video portraits created by Canadian filmmakers and get to know this year’s GGArts winners.



Germaine Arnaktauyok                            Lori Blondeau

Visual Artist                                                         Visual Artist

Dempsey Bob                                              Luc Courchesne

Artist/Sculptor                                                  Media Artist

Bonnie Devine                                              Bryce Kanbara

Visual Artist                                                         Visual Artist and Curator (Outstanding Contribution Award)

Cheryl L’Hirondelle                                  Lou Lynn

Interdisciplinary Artist                                    Visual Artist (Saidye Bronfman Award)


Congratulate the winners on social media using #GGArts2021!

Read More

The Irish Research Council (IRC) has today announced the winners of the annual Researcher of the Year Awards, which recognise the very best of the Council’s awardees and alumni working in academia, industry, civic society and the public sector.

Dr Colin Keogh, who completed his PhD earlier this year under the supervision of Professor Lizbeth Goodman, Chair of Creative Technology Innovation in the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, has been Award this year’s IRC Impact Award.

Dr Tara Dirilgen, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, was awarded this year’s IRC ‘Thomas Mitchell Medal of Excellence’ for being the top-ranked postdoctoral researcher in the STEM category.

In addition to Dr Keogh and Dr Dirilgen, Dr Brynne Gilmore, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, was highly commended in the Early Career Researcher of the Year Award category.

The IRC Impact Award is given to a current or former IRC awardee who is making a highly significant impact outside of academia. Dr Keogh is an engineer, working in the innovation space and his research and work focuses on applying technology and innovation to solve problems in sectors such as healthcare, climate and business.

This year alone, he built out a team to design and develop open-source ventilators to assist with the fight against COVID-19.

He is also the co-founder of Sapien Innovation, an innovation consultancy specialising in applied innovation, creativity and design thinking services and co-founder of The Rapid Foundation, a social enterprise which aims to disperse 3D printing technology His work has included the design of 3D printed prosthetics for children with missing or ‘non-standard’ limbs.

Dr Keogh has also previously been named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “Colin is a great researcher, always with an eye on impact. He is always looking for areas of need where his research can make a difference be it in the developing world, through his work with 3D printing, or his work in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dr Colin Keogh said, “I am honoured to receive this award from the IRC. I hadn’t expected to be able to apply my Doctoral work towards real-world issues, at such scale, so soon. My work and support from the IRC left me uniquely placed to apply new innovative approaches and techniques to the global Covid-19 response. I hope to be able to continue this research, and associated impact, at UCD.”

Professor Lizbeth Goodman, UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, said, “Colin is that very rare phenomenon, a truly excellent researcher who is also committed to creating pro-social change in society with real community impact. His work does not fit easily into the standard boxes for metric evaluation within a single discipline or methodology, it reaches well beyond in a post-disciplinary model of ‘impact’ enacted on a local, national and global scale.”

“He does not need to be guided to ‘think out of the box’ because he does not see a box to begin with, he sees potential and possibility, and he conducts ethical research with a determination to transform the academy from within.”

Every year, in addition to the Researcher of the Year Awards, the IRC presents ‘Medals of Excellence’ to four early-career researchers.

Each of the ‘Medals of Excellence’ have been named after previous Chairs of the Irish Research Council and recognise excellence in the 2020 postgraduate and postdoctoral funding calls run by the Council in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS).

The research carried out by Dr Tara Dirilgen, who won the ‘Thomas Mitchell Medal of Excellence’ for being the top-ranked postdoctoral researcher in the STEM category, sets out to explore how biodiversity below ground influences plants and pollinators above ground.

Her research investigates how below ground interactions, soil biodiversity and plant roots, effect plant-pollinator interactions and how the use of pesticides in crop protection might alter this. The findings will inform management of agricultural systems to promote both biodiversity conservation and food production.

Dr Dirilgen said, “I am delighted to be awarded this medal of excellence. The diversity of life that surrounds us, be it plants, insects, birds and so on, fascinates me to no end. With this comes the desire to understand biodiversity, the threats causing its loss and the subsequent impact on services the environment provides, such as pollination.”

“In particular I am keen to explore biodiversity in soil and how this may have effects above ground. I am driven by curiosity and wanting to add to the existing pool of knowledge that feeds into developing solutions to current threats to biodiversity.”

She added, “My proposal would not have been what it is only for the support and encouragement I received from a number of people, especially the enthusiasm I received from my research mentors, Dr Dara Stanley and Dr Saoirse Tracy.”

Dr Brynne Gilmore, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, who was highly commended in the Early Career Researcher of the Year category, is an applied global health researcher, focusing on strengthening and advancing the understanding of health systems and programmes primarily in low- and middle-income countries.

Within her work she partners with communities, non-governmental organisations, UN agencies such as the World Health Organization and academic institutions around the world to understand and improve community health and community engagement approaches, using theory driven evaluation.

Dr Gilmore said, “Global health is a multi-disciplinary field that aims to improve health equity worldwide by focusing on populations and health systems that are underserved. I am driven to this field to support the strengthening of health systems and interventions by bridging the gap between theory and practice, in order to reach health equity for all populations worldwide.”

Dr Jane Suiter, Dublin City University, has awarded the IRC Researcher of the Year Award and Dr Kathryn Schoenrock, NUI Galway was awarded the IRC Early Career Researcher of the Year Award.

Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown said, “Our annual Researcher of the Year awards are about recognising the very best and brightest of the Council’s current and former awardees. The standard this year was exceedingly high, and the judging panel found it difficult in many cases to choose a winner, which is a testament to the high calibre of researchers we have here in Ireland.”

“We launched our five-year strategic plan this year and supporting excellent ideas and talent across all disciplines is at the heart of the Council’s mandate. Having a vibrant research community, and fostering public support for research is vital, as we continue to see the positive impact it has on society, the environment, and the economy. This is particularly true in the case of our three winners this year, who have all individually made an impact on society through their research. We are very proud of all of our awardees and I look forward to seeing what comes next for them.”

Edmond Gubbins, Mary Immaculate College, was awarded the ‘Eda Sagarra Medal of Excellence’ for being the top-ranked postgraduate researcher in the AHSS category.

Shane Somers, University College Cork, was awarded the ‘Jane Grimson Medal of Excellence’ for being the top-ranked postgraduate researcher in the STEM category.

Dr Edward Molloy, University College Cork, was awarded the ‘Maurice J Bric Medal of Excellence’ for being the top-ranked postdoctoral researcher in the AHSS category.

Read More

AWE, IEEE and VR First Partner to Honor Industry-Academia Collaboration in Augmented and Virtual Reality at AWE EU 2018

The original press release can be read here.

VR First announced that 20 finalists have been selected for the Breakthrough Auggie Awards. Organized and presented by AWE, IEEE and VR First at AWE EU 2018, the Breakthrough Auggie Awards honor academic-industry collaborations using AR, VR and MR (XR) that showcase innovation with the greatest potential to spark mass adoption and industrial use of these immersive technologies.

NEW: Breakthrough Auggie Awards

VR First, IEEE and AWE added the new Breakthrough Auggie Awards to AWE’s long-established “Best of Show” Auggie Awards program

  • Most Innovative Breakthrough: Honouring a collaborative project which has introduced a new, novel and unique approach not seen before
  • Most Impactful Breakthrough: Honouring a collaborative project which demonstrates a use case which has the potential to dramatically impact the industry
  • Women XR Laureate: Honouring a female researcher or project manager leading an industry-academia collaborative project

These three fresh award categories spotlight the most promising XR projects at the intersection of academia and industry. In its first year, the new Breakthrough Auggies program has seen more than 100 top-ranking brands, by the world’s universities, research institutes and individuals spanning 32 countries submit projects for consideration.

The list of finalists and their projects considered for a Breakthrough Auggie Award can be viewed below (in no particular order):

1.Virtual Reality Vision Therapy VERVE (Virtual Eye Rotation Vision Exercises) by OculoMotor Technologies, New Jersey Institute of Technologies, IEEE EPICS, Salus University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, New Jersey Health Foundation, John Vito d’Antonio-BertagnolliNational Science Fdn
2. Noland by Vancouver Film School, Iris Creative Lab
3. ABC: As-Built Capture by Transition Technologies PSC, NCBiR, Poyry Polska, Inwego, Projekt “M”, Microsoft
4. VitiVR: Viticulture VR Training Simulation by Vinistanbul, VR First BAU, BUG Game LAB, Bahçeşehir University
5. eHERITAGE by University of Transilvania of Brasov (UTBv), Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI), Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) — Expanding the Research and Innovation Capacity in Cultural Heritage Virtual Reality Applications
6. Virtual Forest by Tieto, Metsä Group, University of Helsinki, CTRL Reality, Simosol
7. Virtual Reality Training by HOWEST, DAEresearch, Dana, Picanol, Barco, Cronos at the Leie — Dana & Picanol case, cnh industrialcapital
8. Empowering Young Job Seekers by Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), SalMar ASA, Måsøval Fiskeoppdrett AS, Aqualine AS, NTNU
9. Be Curious Avatar Project by CreamVR, The Sheridan College Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT), National Research Council of Canada (NRC-CRNC)
10. Hololens External Fixation by Digital Surgery, University College Hospital, Microsoft — Interactive Surgical Guide, Touch Surgery
11. ADHD Augmented (AHA) by University College Dublin School of Computer Science, HADD Ireland, WordsWorthLearning, CNR ITD, WordsWorth Learning
12. Data Visualization and Analytics in VR by Caltech, NASA JPL, Virtualitics
13. Virtual Reality Flight Simulator for Surgery by Kings College London, University College Hospital London, UCLA, Figment Productions, FundamentalVRMayo ClinicImperial College London3D Systems Corporation
14. Make Time — Harrisons Fund & HoloPortal Ravensbourne by Harrisons Fund, DoubleMe, Ravensbourne University, Orbital Media, Squire Studio
15. In Teach AR by CreatiXR, BAUSTEM, BAU VR First Lab
16. The Stanford Virtual Heart by Stanford University Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Lighthaus IncStanford Health CareStanford Magazine
17. Virtual Brain Segmenter by RareFaction Interactive, USC
18. Shared Sphere by University of South Australia, SA Power Networks, Nova Systems, PTC, CSIRO
19. Virtual und Augmented Reality in the Hamburg Port by Hamburg Port Authority, Absolute Software, Human-Computer Interaction at University of Hamburg
20. BRAVEMIND 2.0 by USC Institute for Creative Technologies, Dell, Intel – A VR PTSD Exposure Therapy System, USC

The winners of the Breakthrough Auggie Awards will be selected with the help of the Award Jury Board made up of industry and academic leaders including:

Find out more information about the Breakthrough Auggie Awards here: https://www.auggieaward.com/en/challenge/breakthrough-auggie-awards

Best in Show Auggie Awards

The Breakthrough Auggie Awards join AWE EU’s traditional Best in Show Auggie Awards, which will be selected by popular vote during the AWE EU 2018 conference and expo. No submission is necessary to be considered for a Best in Show Auggie Award, as all exhibiting and sponsoring companies are automatically entered, and voted on during AWE EU by attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and speakers. Past AWE EU Auggie Award winners include Ubimax, EYEJACK by Sutu, HoloCap, Innovation Rocks, PuttView, realities.ioSeabery, Table Tennis Trainer, TWNKLS, and more. The annual AWE EU Auggie Award categories are:

  • Best in Show — Augmented Reality
  • Best in Show — Virtual Reality presented by Bosch
  • Best in Show — Overall presented by PTC

“Breakthrough” and “Best Of” Auggies Award winners will be announced at AWE EU 2018 on October 19, 2018 in the Closing Remarks and Auggie Award Ceremony hosted on the Main Stage at 4:00 pm CEST.

“AWE’s longstanding tradition of Auggie Award recognition demonstrates our commitment to keeping our finger on the pulse of new technologies and ideas, and to elevating awareness of innovations from all corners of the industry,” said Ori Inbar, founder and executive producer of AWE. “This year, as AWE is co-located with ISMAR’s academic conference, we felt it imperative to pay special tribute to excellence in immersive projects that are being built in collaboration between the academic community and industry — to highlight early stage academic projects that are bound to have economic impact on the industry and help drive adoption of XR among enterprises. We invite everyone to view and applaud the submissions of all Breakthrough Auggie Award nominees.”

“As the network of XR labs, VR First is always committed to the mission of fostering XR innovation around the world,” said Ferhan Ozkan, CEO of VR First. “The Breakthrough Auggie Awards give the AWE audience the chance to recognize the innovation and collaboration of many passionate teams in our extended network. They also herald our commitment to ultimately launch the XR First Innovation Platform — a future series of hackathons, competitions and open, crowd-based innovation projects to further challenge and incentivize the entire XR community for years to come.”

More about VR First

VR First is a global program designed to enable creators, companies, and governments interested in exploring the power and potential of immersive technologies. VR First Labs and facilities are key locations for nurturing new talent in VR/AR development and converting ideas into business opportunities. Under the XR First brand, VR First offers competition services and innovation platform to prepare companies for the challenges of tomorrow. For more information, visit: https://www.vrfirst.com.


Read More

SMARTlab-IDRC is pleased to announce the award of Regional Development Funding to partner IMR in collaboration with SMARTab-IDRC and collaborators VR First, Microsoft, An Saol, Social Justice Repair Kit, Perrenial, Strive, VR Therapeutics et al.

Enterprise Ireland match funds will support the development of a cutting-edge VR/AR training lab at the IMR facility in Mullingar, and will fund crucial research into the uses of assistive tech and VR/AR and robotics to support digital skills training and jobs creation for People with Disabilities and ALL members of our rural communities.

Pictured at the launch event on Monday 11 December are: Barry Kennedy, CEO IMR; Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, Minister Heather Humphreys, Business, Enterprise and Innovation; Prof Lizbeth Goodman, Director SMARTlab-IDRC at UCD; Talha Kiraz, Public Relations Manager, VR First.

Pictured at the INCLUDE Project Stakeholder meeting at UCD Research on Wednesday 13 December are: Barry Kennedy, CEO IMR; Talha Kiiraz, Public Relations Manager Vr First, Prof Lizbeth Goodman, Director SMARTlab-IDRC at UCD; Mr John Barry, UCD DIrector of Strategic Partnerships, Rahel Demant, COO VR First, Dr Kevin Marshall, Education Lead Microsoft, Prof Denis Dowling, I-FORM PI, UCD MME.

Read More

bo-award1) Bo was nominated to the Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition in Pudong, Shanghai in November, 2014. Working with other team members: Professor Lizbeth Goodman, Nicola Herbertson (Virtual Worlds Manager) and the CEO of the Irish Zhida International company, Mr Yu Xuan Liu, her nomination was based on her current PhD research into virtual worlds and collaborative learning games and tools for cross-cultural exchange. Out of the long-list of 2500 nominations, she was selected for the second round, and finally named in the top 45 (out of 615 shortlisted projects) projects globally, winning a travel award to return to her native China to compete in the final round.

2) Bo has also been selected as one of 12 players to represent UCD in the International Ladies Gaelic Football Team 2015 in Shanghai, China, 19-26th October!

More info here.

Read More
Skip to toolbar