SMARTlab PhD Candidates

Çağrı Çubukçu

Çağrı is a Java and Web Developer. He has worked on many different projects from simple websites to mission critical enterprise applications. He has an MSc in Advanced Software Engineering from University College Dublin with a dissertation about applying gamification to education. He is currently pursuing a PhD degree developing educational technology in conjunction with his freelance and consultancy work.

In the past 6 years, he has assumed many roles. He has developed and delivered websites, consultancy work and has also worked as a full-stack developer where he has worked from a projects conception to its delivery. He still assumes these roles as a freelancer and has worked with both private and public sector organizations that are operating in various areas such as finance, education and technology.

Samuel Frei

Samuel Frei works as Researcher, Lecturer and Coordinator of Continuing Education at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. He graduated with a MSc in Biology at the University of Zurich in 1997. He worked for several years as a project manager and team leader for HR learning services in the financial industries. In 2011, shortly after completion of his MA in Design, he joined the Lucerne School of Art and Design as a researcher and later was appointed coordinator for Continuing Education. At the same time Samuel started his PhD program at SMARTlab UCD, in which he investigates the broader field of knowledge media and experience design with a focus on emerging new technologies as tools for learning in museum contexts. Throughout his academic education and later professional career, Samuel worked as a freelance exhibition designer and scientific illustrator in the
conservation and education sector.

Frank Gleeson

Frank Gleeson is an experienced Lean Six Sigma practitioner researching methods to improve knowledge work efficiency. He is interested in combining cognitive engineering, systems thinking and industrial engineering methods to deliver measurable improvement solutions. He is currently a student in the SMARTlab multidisciplinary PhD program.

Matt Glowatz

Matt Glowatz is Assistant Professor at University College Dublin (UCD)’s College of Business delivering both undergraduate and postgraduate modules covering Social Media Strategy, MIS, Project Management, Electronic Business, Digital Marketing and Innovation.

His main research interests cover electronic learning (eLearning), Innovation and Social Media related themes currently completing a PhD at UCD’s SMARTLab.

Matt is the College of Business’ academic coordinator for international and subject area coordinator for overseas MIS modules offered in Singapore, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.

The European Commission awarded Matt with two research scholarships advising both the University of Nizwa (Oman) and Mahidol University (Thailand) on eLearning-related issues.

Matt received twice the Excellence in Teaching Awards in the Higher Diploma of Business Studies (IT) programme and won the Educational Contribution Award at the Irish Internet Association’s Net Visionary Awards 2006 recognizing his significant contribution to the Irish Internet Industry through education.

In March 2015, Matt was invited to deliver the closing keynote address at the inaugural EdTECx event in Ireland discussing the future of educational technologies in the context of the higher education sector.

In July 2015, Matt has been appointed co-chair of the Bled e-Conference special interest group focusing on Education in the Digital Economy.

In June 2017, he was awarded with the Bled eConference Fellow Award 2017 in appreciation of outstanding contributions to the Bled eConference

Furthermore, he has also published numerous research articles and conference contributions.



Stephen Howell

Stephen Howell is a PhD Candidate in SMARTlab, School of Engineering, University College Dublin.

His research focuses on Inclusive Design and Intelligent Cloud – including AR/VR/MR applications for users with physical and intellectual challenges.

His software and research on Computational Thinking education with kinaesthetic learning is used by thousands of researchers and educators worldwide to build gestural user interfaces for therapeutic games and interactive art.

He is a graduate of DCU and the Institute of Technology Tallaght and has a worked as a software engineer, Computing lecturer (Games Development) and AR technology consultant.



Lucy Hunt

Lucy Hunt grew up in a small coastal village; Waterville, Co. Kerry where she developed her love and fascination of the sea from a young age. Starting to scuba dive when she was 12 years old she discovered the beauty and biodiversity of the underwater world and wanted to learn more about its many inhabitants.

As an undergraduate Lucy studied a Joint Honours Degree in marine biology/zoology in the University of Wales Bangor. After she was awarded her Masters in Marine Environmental Protection by the University of Wales Bangor she worked with An Taisce as the Irish Blue Flag manager.

Whilst working on marine research projects in warmer climes such as Fiji, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and the Maldives she knew she wanted to return home to research and raise awareness of the marine biodiversity in Ireland. Returning home from work abroad in 2009 she became one of the founding members of the Irish Basking Shark Study Group where she has been active in fieldwork, research and awareness. Lucy has an interest in all marine environmental issues and is an active member of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Irish Elasmobranch Group, Waterville Irish Regional Development Board, An Choiréan Coastcare and Waterville Tidy Towns.

Lucy has been proactive in marine awareness throughout her career, organising awareness days and workshops for the government and private groups. Her research has taken her many different parts of the world on a diverse range of projects. She also works in environmental consultancy as a marine mammal observer and passive acoustic monitoring technician on offshore survey vessels all over the world (e.g. Greenland, Norway, Romania, Croatia, Africa, Uk & Ireland).

She was appointed education officer and local area officer for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, working on raising awareness of Ireland’s marine mammals and creating a network of local groups around Ireland to build awareness and conservation efforts nationwide.

Lucy owns and runs a marine interpretive centre in Waterville, called Sea Synergy Marine Awareness and Activity Centre which is open in the summer time and has a great interactive exhibition and activities for all ages to discover what lies beneath the Wild Atlantic Way!

Vinny Hyland

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 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.

Elysa Kelly

A passionate PhD researcher at SMARTlab UCD, Elysa is investigating alternative methods of learning for STEM and STEAM. Using her experience as a science and technology communicator, self-educator and teacher, musician, and linguist, she is developing new ways for people around the world to engage with education (formal and informal). Her motivation is to make education fun again and get students and people truly engaged in learning.

Elysa’s enthusiasm for learning originates from her home-schooling background, which has propelled her to complete a BA in music and linguistics, and a BMus at University College Dublin, both with first class honours. Her BMus dissertation was selected as the best undergraduate dissertation in Music, 2015, to represent UCD at the Council of Heads of Music in Higher Education’s Musicology Competition. Elysa has always been involved with music, performing solo and with numerous groups and choirs, including the Irish Youth Choir, Anuna, and the UCD Gamelan ensemble. She has completed grade 8 exams from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, in classical voice and musical theatre voice, achieving honours in both.

Throughout her unorthodox early education she developed a deep understanding of how she learned and the importance of self-guided learning environments. During this time she experimented with technology as a tool for learning, including a number of online learning methods. Elysa works with the Rapid Foundation to create engaging content and activities for workshops and outreach, and previously worked as a science and technology communicator for robotics, electronics, and computing workshops. Using her knowledge across STEM, education, and the arts, Elysa is using her insight to design new systems of learning and hence increase the options for individual and group learning.

Interests: self-guided learning, informal education, STEM & STEAM, learning, creative technologies.

Jamie Kelly

Jamie Kelly has worked within the Tech Business sector for over 15 years during which time he
also founded and managed a Business Consultancy practice which progressively lead
him increasingly into the working across and between Business and Academia Worlds
where he taught, mentored and advised on postgraduate programs in areas such as
Transmedia Communications, Marketing and Business Transfer Skill to “budding”
Entrepreneurs and Startups.

He is currently an active Researcher as part of a PhD in Inclusive Design & Creative Technology Innovation (UCD) where he researches in the area of Technology and Space and how the intersection impacts Productivity in the Workplace Environment.

Colin Keogh

Colin is an award-winning highly driven & innovative Engineer, with qualifications & experience in innovative technologies in the Mechanical and Energy engineering sector. He is currently leading new research in the Energy, Environment, 3D Printing and Innovation fields at UCD, with a focus on policy & technology forecasting, advancing additive manufacturing, 3rd world social entrepreneurial applications of additive manufacturing and integrating advanced technologies social, environmental, philanthropic and entrepreneurial activities. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Energy Systems Engineering from UCD. He is currently undertaking a PhD in engineering in UCD focusing on improving innovation methodologies using disruptive technologies.

He co-founded a social enterprise in 2014, The Rapid Foundation, which aims to disperse 3d printing technology to 3rd world locations and conduct printing workshops with schools in the UK and Ireland. Its goal is to change the way developmental aid is distributed, and improve the innovation potential of all people, regardless of their circumstances. This work won the IMechE 2016 Fritz Schumacher award and was a noted project in the 2016 UN Global Sustainable Development Report. This work resulted in him being named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 for Europe in Science and Healthcare, as one of JCI’s Ten Outstanding Young People for 2017 and as a 2017 Nissan Generation Next Ambassador. His latest social action project is the Printastic project, run in collaboration with the Irish government, tackling the recycling and repurposing of waste plastic materials from the oceans utilising low cost, low tech solutions supported by 3D printing technologies. This work is growing rapidly, and will soon be integrated into the activities of the European Commission.

Colin is also an active technology consultant and developer, advising a number of companies and bodies, from small start-ups to government departments, in areas such as disruptive technologies, engineering practice, innovation, design and early-stage growth & prototyping. He has a number of next-generation 3d printers in development, to be launched mid-2018, and runs innovation training workshops and talks for large multinationals down to classes disabled students.

  • View my latest TEDx talk here:
  • @ColinJ_Keogh

Julie LeMoine

Julie LeMoine is a global technovation leader with over 14-years experience in areas of applied immersive reality, including virtual reality, augmented reality and virtual worlds for applied serious gaming used across global markets in healthcare, financial, energy, government, retail and education and 25-years in engagement and collaboration technology and models. She is a serial entrepreneur, co-founding 6 software companies. Currently, Ms. LeMoine is the Chief Innovation Offers and founder of HorizonIRs consulting which helps global companies with their understanding of impact and strategy and use of VR, AR and Mixed Reality and has worked with over 30 organizations in these areas. Formerly, she was the CEO of 3D IIC ltd, the creators of the virtual world platform created as Teleplace and evolved to Terf. She was a technology Fellow/Vice President at Fidelity Investments where she founded and ran their Center for Applied Collaboration. Her early days were spent in technology research and development where she was a co-creator of the early Internet security protocols, supported NASA space shuttle missions in computer security. She was the first Entrepreneur in Residence at Simmons University Post-Graduate. Julie was named a Top 10 Woman in Technology and Science in 2004 in the New England area of the United States and keynoted/presented and written for conferences as well as for the press on innovation topics.

Ms. LeMoine has been a mentor for adults with autism for many years and has created the 3D technology and virtual worlds used in multiple projects for assisting in the training of adults with Autism in the area of digital careers. Ms. LeMoine has moved into the academic research sector in order to apply her technovation background to brain health and to better support people with Autism, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive difficulties, using applied 3D gaming, Avatars, AR and VR to promote quality of life, memory and community well being for this important and growing population. In 2017 she was a selected Delphi speaker, presenting concepts on applied 3D for transitioning teens and adults with ASD.


Cheryl L’Hirondelle

Cheryl L’ Hirondelle is a community engaged Indigenous (Cree/Metis/German) multi and interdisciplinary artist and singer/songwriter originally from the land now known as Canada, whose creative practice is an investigation of the junction of a Cree worldview (nêhiyawin) in contemporary time space. Since the early 80’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 performance work is featured in Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women (2001) and Making a Noise: Aboriginal Perspectives on Art, Art History, Critical Writing and Community (2006) and in addition is discussed in a variety of exhibition publications, periodicals and doctorate theses. In 2004, L’Hirondelle was invited to present her work at DAK’ART Lab, at the 6th Edition of the Dakar Biennale for Contemporary African Art, Senegal. In both 2005 and 2006, L’Hirondelle was the recipient of the imagineNATIVE New Media Award for her online projects: treatycard, 17:TELL and wêpinâsowina. Her 2008/9 Song Lines project nikamon ohci askiy (songs because of the land) was recognised as an Official Honouree of the 13th Annual Webby Awards in the NetArt category. Cheryl’s previous musical efforts have also garnered her critical acclaim with a Prairie Music Award nomination (2001), two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2006, 2007) and was also nominated for a KM Hunter Music Award in 2011. She is currently co-writing/recording a new canon of prison songs with incarcerated women called Why The Caged Bird Sings and is in research and development phase for a mobile app as part of an ongoing international Song Lines project that sonically remaps colonized lands. She has also recently begun research around using mobile swipe technology in assisted Indigenous language cognition and is helping to facilitate on-reserve workshops to encourage Indigenous youth to become interested in programming/coding.

Rick Nassar

Rick is a PhD candidate at SMARTlab under the School of Engineering in UCD. His PhD is based on Decentralised Economy utilising Blockchain and IoT technology.

It all started with the Cahersiveen IoT initiative is a pilot programme that was founded by Rick over two years ago. It is a non-profit initiative that was fully backed and funded by the Local Enterprise Office, who allocated a first phase fund of €20,000. The project became part of Rick’s PhD that is focusing on researching the future of decentralised economies using Blockchain and IoT.

Tara O’Neil

 Tara O’Neil is a designer, a strategist and a futurist, with decades of professional experience as a Future Foresight advising major industry on the impact of human behaviour on future scenarios, markets and environments.  In addition to her professional practice, she took her Masters in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from the OCAD University, Toronto, in her native  Canada. She is of  Irish descent.

As a SMARTlab-IDRC PhD candidate, Tara is continuing her work in the domain of Disruptive Technologies for rural re-development and future skills training, creating meaningful solutions for people at the elusive intersection between creativity and business.

Using virtual reality “time machines,” Tara is exploring how immersive virtual experiences provide opportunities for the discovery of tacit knowledge. Using this new knowledge in co-creation workshops she is hoping to create radical innovation for wicked problems.

Marie O’Mahony

Marie O’Mahony is an academic, consultant, author, practitioner and curator. Her teaching, research and practice spans advanced textiles and fashion, wearable technology, sustainability and future trends. Marie is Professor of Digital Futures at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) and has been a Visiting Professor at The University of the Arts, London, for eight years. Marie was previously Professor of Advanced Textiles for Fashion Design at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Academic work has included setting up new courses at graduate level, teaching and mentoring at undergraduate, graduate thesis and doctorate levels, and preparing individual study programmes with exchange students. She has evaluated courses for the Swiss government and advised several academic institutions on curriculum development. Marie has collaborated with international academic institutions and industry, forging links and raising the standard and profile of teaching and research. Marie has published six books since 1994, five of these with Thames and Hudson. Her book sales are in excess of 20,000 copies worldwide with some titles appearing in translated editions and receiving in excess of 250 citations. Published books are: Advanced Textiles for Health and Wellbeing, TechnoTextiles 2, Sportstech, Cyborg: The Man Machine, TechnoTextiles and 2010: Textiles + New Technology. Marie has consulted to Microsoft, the Mayo Clinic, Adidas, VF Corporation, Stylus Fashion, Zaha M. Hadid, UNStudio, Hussein Chalayan, Messe Frankfurt and NIKE. She has also served on the Australian Government’s Textile, Clothing and Footwear Innovation Council (TCFIIC).

Muireann O’Sullivan

Muireann has experience in teaching all age groups from 4-17 and lecturing these age groups at DCU.

Summary of Achievements:
Recipient of 2013 Trinity Teaching Award for Postgraduate Students
Education Editor for Alumni School of English e-zine
Nominated For Provosts Teaching Award in first year of Academic Practice
Accepted for PhD in Trinity College, selected for supervision by Sir Terry Pratchett
M.Phil in Popular Literature from Trinity College
B.Ed degree (Hons) from St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra
CAPSL qualification in Teaching and Supporting learning at 3rd Level
Presented at International Conferences on Education and Literature (See below)
Designed and Edited Sutton Park Yearbook for Primary and Secondary School
Designed, Edited and Printed for Distribution CAT and Sutton Park Annual Literary Publications
Published in Limerick and Clare Education Centre International Research Conference Journal
Published in InTouch Magazine “Virtual Reality Media and Gifted Education” (See below for further publications)
Published (article) in TCD Alumni E-zine

Research Specialties:
Post-War British Fiction
Special Needs Education (Especially Gifted Education)
Gothic Horror
Fantasy and Science Fiction

Phil J. Ryan

Phil manages a consultancy business providing information and assistance in all matters related to Irish immigration and is a General factotum.

He is a researcher specialising in several areas of migration and the mapping of bureaucracy. At the moment he is focusing on sociologically informed technological solutions to problems of population movement.


Rafael M. Silva

Rafael is a Renaissance Man of technology. He is consistently trying new things with radical success and amplitude.

His independent curiosity-driven experiments with augmented reality for the University of Georgia Veterinary College, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), quickly became the not only the focus of the project, but the driving excitement behind the entire direction of the UGA Vetschool Educational Resources (ERC) Department.

Graham Smith

Chief Science Officer, Webchair & Webmoti, Media Artist, Ryerson University Toronto. For over 35 years, Graham Smith has been creating scientific discoveries and media artworks using robotic, virtual reality, and telepresence technologies. He has deployed his products around the world. He is the former director of the VRAAP program at the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, where, in the late 1980’s, he worked with Virtual Reality pioneer Jaron Lanier to incorporate the first use of panoramic imaging into a VR environment.

Webchair – BV is his third company; it has developed and deployed over 300 telepresence units into 7 countries to help link ill children to peers so they can stay connected to their social environments
from home to school. As one of the world’s leading experts in the growing field of telepresence, he has been granted 6 patents. His current area of research is a study of the potentially positive effects of telepresence technology on People with Autism Spectrum Disorders: the subject of his PhD in process with SMARTlab and the UCD Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland.

Eleanor Turner

Eleanor Jayne Turner BSc. Marine Biology Gortnakilla, Caherdaniel, County Kerry. Born and raised in Caheraniel, on a farm overlooking the Kenmare Bay Eleanor is a Marine Biologist whose main interests lie in the areas of community engagement in environmental management and invasive species management.

After graduating with Bsc. Marine Biology from Bangor University, she travelled for several years before returning to her hometown. She has worked with several Marine Awareness businesses in Ireland, first Marine Dimensions in Bray, County Wicklow and at present with Seasynergy, Marine Awareness and Education Centre in Waterville, County Kerry.

Locally Eleanor is involved with community groups focusing on various environmental issues, including Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust and Caherdaniel Japanese Knotweed Group. Her work with these inspiring communities has directed her area of research towards community engagement in coastal biodiversity management.

HongSuk Yoon

HongSuk Yoon joined SMARTlab, IDRC, University College Dublin as a full-time PhD student from October 2017. His research areas are assistive technologies from eye gaze control to Brain Computer Interface for the people with severe neuron diseases to improve their independence and quality of life. Now, he is preparing to participate in the projects with special alpha users like Ansaol in order to unlock their states by using non-invasive BCI, EEG devices under the inclusive design ethos.

He holds his MSc in Human Computer Interaction from Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea and B.A degrees in Philosophy and Sociology from ChungAng University, Seoul. His studies prior to start PhD was in the area of computer mediated communication in terms of social science. He has explored on mobile and wearable health media using information tailoring via smartwatches to improve users’ accessibility and motivation.

HongSuk received full academic scholarships supported by SAMSUNG for 2 years and Brain Korea 21+ scholarships for global convergence by Ministry of Education, Korea. He also participated in funded projects of developing open ICT health platform and discussing telecommunication regulation as a research assistant. He published some international journals including the Information processing & management and Journal of digital contents society. His works have also been presented international HCI conferences such as CHI, ICA, HCII, HCIK, and ITS.

Conor Brennan

Conor Brennan MA is a lecturer in Technology at IADT. His areas of expertise include Music Technology, Internet of Things, Computing and Assistive Technology.

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