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.


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Thursday 28 January, 2021 

2pm GMT!– Join Zoom  

Meeting https://ucd 


Meeting ID: 847 919 6470 

Passcode: 353968 

Michael is a career independent working with academia, corporations, and non profits in the areas of immersive and emerging media, often around “place  representation” and its consequences. He is also interested in the dynamics  between art and invention. 

He enjoys (and has somehow survived) making stuff early, so far including in the  areas of projection mapping, Street View, realworld VR, and camera zapping. He’s a  long-time advisor to ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax’s Global Jukebox Project and he  geeks out on cameras. Currently he is visiting faculty at NYU Shanghai where he  teaches VR/AR Fundamentals, and where for the past three years he has run a  project called Telewindow, investigating better teleconferencing both large and small. 

Naimark has been awarded 16 patents relating to cameras, display, haptics, and live,  and his work has been seen in over 300 art exhibitions, film festivals, and  presentations around the world. He was the 2002 recipient of the World Technology  Award for the Arts.[1]

Since 2009, Naimark has served as faculty at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications  Program, USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and the MIT Media Lab. 

In 2015, Naimark was appointed Google’s first-ever “resident artist” in their new VR  division.. 

Michael Naimark helped found a number of prominent research labs including  the MIT Media Laboratory (1980), the Atari Research Lab (1982),[4] the Apple  Multimedia Lab (1987), Lucasfilm Interactive (1989), and Interval Research  Corporation (1992).[5][6] At MIT, Naimark helped put together the Aspen Movie  Map,[7] a hypermedia project. 

Michael’s artwork is included in the permanent collections of the American Museum  of the Moving Image in New York, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and the ZKM |  Center for Arts and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. His large-scale installations  include projected living rooms spray painted white and stereo-panoramic rooms with  rotating floors.[8]

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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.

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SAMRTlab’s Vinny Hyland will be on RTE 1 television at 4 o’clock Wednesday 13th of February

He will be meeting Maura and Dáithí on the RTÉ Today show Wednesday 13th Feb. Tune in around 4 pm. He will be talking wildlife and Derrynane amongst other things.

Vinny Hyland is founder eTrek Natural History in Derrynane, Caherdaniel, Co. Kerry.
which performs field research in marine coastal environments culminating in production and delivery of learning tools for outdoor environmental interpretation. In his role he physical delivers outdoor education to members of the public, children, students and teachers.
He has previously provided professional underwater Imaging creating the largest digital film archive of marine topside and underwater life in Ireland. Filming marine life above and below water.

He founded Ireland’s first online digital wildlife zine and full colour printed magazine published bi-monthly. He was the 2000 winner Best SME Website of the Year (Sunday Business Post – Irish Internet Awards), Winner Prix d’Europa Marketplace (Wild Ireland/RTE) and Winner PPA Best Consumer Specialist Magazine of the Year Award.
He previously held various positions at Microsoft.com worldwide for over a decade.

He works on augmented reality for interpreting the natural world. His Kenmare Bay Underwater project was the 1st High Definition film of Ireland’s underwater biodiversity. Concentrating on the Kenmare Bay special area of conservation it charts all marine life from Mega Fauna (whales, sharks, dolphins) to Plankton.
He is a graduate of the National University of Ireland, Galway – BSc (Geology) programme.

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Tara O’Neil
designer    l    strategist    l    futurist

Education: BAA, MDes, SMARTlab PhD Candidate

Tara O’Neil is a designer, a strategist and a futurist, with more than twenty-five years of professional experience advising major industry on the impact of human behavior and the consumer experience. Developing innovative business models and environments Tara endeavoured to disrupt existing mental models and develop new ways of thinking, seeing and understanding. In addition to her professional practice, she took her Master’s in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. By combining futures studies and innovation, Tara found a new set of tools available for exploration.

As a SMARTlab-IDRC PhD candidate, Tara is continuing her work in the domain of Disruptive Technologies applying this thinking to the area of rural reinvention by creating meaningful solutions for people at the elusive intersection between creativity and business.


Current Research

Science and art are both required to solve complex problems. This isn’t the right-brain and the left-brain meeting in the middle it’s the right-brain and the left-brain combining to create something new. We need to be all “all brained”.

Futures studies is a method of inquiry that utilizes both sides of the brain. Wicked problems are complex problems exacerbated by exponential growth.

Tara is researching how experiential futures can be used to help solve these problems by creating a place where creativity can be unleashed. By looking out 20, 30 50 or even 100 years we can see hidden opportunities and threats. We can imagine the possibilities of driving forces present today and we can prepare. To understand the future, we need to go there. Virtual reality provides an opportunity to travel to unexplored worlds delivering opportunities for people to immersive themselves, make choices and experience life. It is here that emerging knowledge surfaces.

Tara is researching how this knowledge can be released, captured and used to create radical innovation. This type of thinking pushes well beyond typical brainstorming where groups capture low hanging fruit but are unable to stretch their thinking and imaginations beyond what’s immediately visible. The need for “all brained” thinking is upon us. Tara hopes to contribute theory and methodologies to help more people tap into their ability to harness the “all brain” thinking we all possess.

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Smartlab researchers Colin Keogh and Ross Lawless, in partnership with Science Gallery International, visit AirAsia in Kuala Lumpur to deliver innovation training along with 3D Printing/VR/AR demonstrations to the staff in AirAsia’s innovation lab in their new RedQ headquarters.

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Settling Virtual Reality

The experimenting space is now in full effect. The latest visualisation technology has been implemented in a form of an HTC Vive running on a scalable thunderbolt 3 eGPU sporting the latest GTX 1080 Ti. The first experimentations were conducted using the ubiquitous Unity engine. April and May were dedicated to learn and explore the transversal possibilities of the technologies. The plural is used because of the potential for sensing, network connectivity and sound interoperability. Processing as a visual art oriented language was the first port of call with the output been ported, as a texture, live to Unity via Spout. Next, sensing was added through Muse for EEG and Raspberry Pi 3 with environmental sensors (see example below of sensors generated procedural art in Unity under fly-through mode). The data was sent from the sensors to the LAN using OSC as a Python script encapsulated under UDP from the TCP/IP protocol. Of course, the Internet will have worked equally well and represented a great potential for an information system and big data for AR (Augmented Reality) or more extensively MR (Mixed Reality).

Sounding Abstraction

The research is predominantly based on the sensorial aspect of sound art and it’s parallel to VR development process experiments with applied EEG biofeedback interaction and immersive intermedia environments. The Muse headband can be worn alongside the Vive’s HMD and a smartphone can be used as a host for OSC broadcast, making all very portable with the future availability of wireless VR option (TPCast). Sound in VR can be dealt with in two different situations; as binaural with headphones in sound sensitive milieu or multi-channels into private (or not) room-scale setting. The later being currently selected with the studio permitting up to eight channels in a secluded network enabled space. The first attempts are promising with the physical impact of sound creating a deeper three-dimensional depth than headset reproduction as sound is intrinsically auditive and physical. Naturally, some careful implementation has to be considered concerning multi-systems communication and latency, especially in the context of using the Internet instead of the local area network.

Routing Dissemination

VR binaries under Unity could provide the following builds enabling a wide range of compiled assets: PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, tvOS, PS4, WebGL and Samsung TV amongst others less well known. Raspberry Pi 3 were fitted with Sense HAT, Enviro pHAT and the made to order Harmony-E1 all running OSC under Python. The audio is provided by Ableton Live + Max for Live devices and Reaktor for explorative sound generation. Active near-field monitors were chosen for the neutrality, power and directionality of the equipment.


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