Researchers at UCD


Donal Holland

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Mechanical & Materials Eng
Engineering Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353-1-7161910


Dónal Holland is an Assistant Professor at the UCD School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering and an Associate at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. His research interests include soft robotics, wearable robotics, and engineering design education. He led the development of the Soft Robotics Toolkit (, an online design resource for students and researchers. Dr. Holland obtained his BAI (Mechanical and Manufacturing) and PhD from Trinity College Dublin.




Year 2015 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 2010 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: BAI Subject:



Peer Reviewed Journals

Holland,D; Walsh, C; Bennett, G (2018) 'A qualitative investigation of design knowledge reuse in project-based mechanical design courses'. European Journal of Engineering Education, . [DOI] [Details]
Moyne, M; Herman, M; Gajos, K; Walsh, C; Holland,D (2018) 'The development and evaluation of DEFT, a web-based tool for engineering design education'. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, . [DOI] [Details]
Holland, D; Abah, C; Velasco Enriquez, M; Herman, M; Bennett, GJ; Vela, E; Walsh, CJ (2017) 'The Soft Robotics Toolkit: Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles to the Wide Dissemination of Soft-Robotic Hardware'. IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 24 (1):57-64. [DOI] [Details]
Holland, D; Bennett, GJ; Whitesides, GM; Wood, R; Walsh, CJ (2016) 'The 2015 Soft Robotics Competition'. IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 23 (3):25-27. [DOI] [Details]
Gafford, J; Ding, Y; Harris, A; McKenna, T; Polygerinos, P; Holland, D; Moser, A; Walsh, C; (2015) 'Shape Deposition Manufacturing of a Soft, Atraumatic, Deployable Surgical Grasper'. Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 7 (2). Available Online [Details]
Aitamurto, T; Holland, D; Hussain, S; (2015) 'Three layers of openness in design: the open paradigm in design research'. Design Issues, 31 (4). Available Online [Details]
Holland, D; Park, E; Polygerinos, P; Bennett, G; Walsh, C (2014) 'The Soft Robotics Toolkit: Shared resources for soft robotics research and design'. Soft Robotics, 1 (3). Available Online [Details]
Isakov, A; Murdaugh, K; Burke, W; Zimmerman, S; Roche, E; Holland, D; Einarsson, J; Walsh, C (2014) 'A new laparoscopic morcellator using an actuated wire mesh and bag'. Journal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME, 8 (1). Available Online [Details]

Other Journals

Gilmartin, B; Rankin, I; Lennon, O; Severini, G; Holland, D (2017) 'A Robotic Hand Exoskeleton for Rehabilitation Following Stroke' Irish Journal of Medical Science . [Details]

Conference Publications

Byrne, O; Coulter F; Jones J; O¿Cearbhaill E; Holland D. (2017) 3D Printed Soft Pneumatic Actuators for Biomedical Soft Robotics Applications Bioengineering in Ireland 2017 [Details]
Rogers, E; Polygerinos, P; Allen, S; Panizzolo, FA; Walsh, CJ; Holland, D (2016) A Quasi-Passive Knee Exoskeleton to Assist During Descent International Symposium on Wearable Robotics (WeRob) [Details]
Malka, R., Rosen, M., Ku, S., Thornycroft, P., Gafford, J., Holland, D., Vasilyev, N., del Nido, P., Walsh, C. (2015) An Access-closure Device for Percutaneous Beating Heart Surgery Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
Rogers, E., Subramanyam, K., Kulesza, M., Holland, D., Gafford, D., Goldfield, E., Walsh, C. (2015) Soft Wearable Orthotic Device for Assisting Kicking Motion in Developmentally Delayed Infants Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
Bae, J., Lee, J., Malley, M., Gafford, J., Holland, D., Vogt, D., Mengüç, Y., Bean, J., Walsh, C. (2015) A Soft, Wearable, Quantitative Ankle Diagnostic Device Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
Bartlett, N., Lyau, V., Raiford, W. Holland, D., Gafford, J., Ellis, T., Walsh, C. (2015) A Soft Robotic Orthosis for Wrist Rehabilitation Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
Holland, D., Park, E., Walsh, C., Bennett, G. (2015) The Development and Testing of the Soft Robotics Toolkit: An Educational Resource for Mechanical Engineering Design Research in Engineering Education Symposium [Details]
Park, E. J., Mehandru, N., Beltran, T. L., Kraus, E., Holland, D., Polygerinos, P., Vasilyev, N. V., Walsh, C. (2014) An intraventricular soft robotic pulsatile assist device for right ventricular heart failure Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
McGinn, C., Cullinan, M., Holland, D., Kelly, K. (2014) Towards the Design of a New Humanoid Robot for Domestic Applications IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications Available Online [Details]
Park, E. J., Holland, D., Polygerinos, P., Walsh, C. (2014) Shared Design Tools to Support Research and Development in Soft Robotics RSS 2014 Workshop on Advances on Soft Robotics [Details]
Holland, D., Park, E. J., Polygerinos, P., Walsh, C. (2014) Shared Online Resources to Support On-Demand Design and Fabrication of Soft Robotic Devices RSS 2014 Workshop on Robot Makers: The future of digital rapid design and fabrication of robots [Details]
Maeder-York, P., Clites, T., Boggs, E. M., Neff, R., Polygerinos, P., Holland, D., Stirling, L., Galloway, K. C., Wee, C., Walsh, C. (2014) Biologically inspired soft robot for thumb rehabilitation Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
Gafford, J., Ding, Y., Harris, A., McKenna, T., Polygerinos, P., Holland, D., Moser, A., Walsh, C. (2014) Shape deposition manufacturing of a soft, atraumatic, deployable surgical grasper Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
Degirmenci, A., Goldberg, B., Bielskis, L., Wiggins, S. Polygerinos, P., Holland, D., Dyer, S., Walsh, C. (2014) Cervical spine immobilization device for emergency response Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
Orozco, D., Davoudi, K., Ding, C., Field, R., Yasin, R., Roche, E., Holland, D., Frech, A., Walsh, C. (2013) Laparoscopic Device for Direct and Indirect Suction Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
Wan, Q., Schoppe, O., Gunasekaran, S. (2013) Multifunctional laparoscopic trocar with built-in fascial closure and stabilization Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
Pardo-Martin, C., Duffy, M., Hoffman, K., Poddar, R., Roche, E., Holland, D., Loughlin, K., Walsh, C. (2013) Minimally invasive device for rapid urethrovesical anastomosis Design of Medical Devices Conference Available Online [Details]
Holland, D., Walsh, C., Bennett, G.J. (2013) Tools for assessing student learning in mechanical design courses International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education [Details]
Aitamurto, T., Holland, D., Hussain, S. (2013) Three layers of openness in design: Examining the open paradigm In design research International Conference on Engineering Design [Details]
Polygerinos, P., Holland, D., Bennett, G. J., Walsh, C. (2013) Towards educational kits for soft robotics applied to medical device design International Workshop on Soft Robotics and Morphological Computation [Details]
Holland, D., Walsh, C., Bennett, G.J. (2013) An assessment of student needs in project-based mechanical design courses ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition [Details]
Holland, D., Walsh, C., Bennett, G.J. (2012) Troublesome knowledge in engineering design courses 6th Annual Conference of the National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, and the 4th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference [Details]


Holland, D; Berndt, S; Herman, M; Walsh C (2018) Growing the Soft Robotics Community Through Knowledge-Sharing Initiatives. Editorial [DOI] [Details]


Research Interests

Research interests:
  • Soft robotics
  • Active orthoses and exoskeletons for assistance and rehabilitation
  • Passive orthoses to assist human motion and prevent injury
  • Medical device design
  • Engineering education
  • Software tools to support engineering design

Current Postgraduate Students

Ian Rankin, Engineering Science (MEngSc)   -   Thesis Supervisor