UCD Policies: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

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Professor Madeleine Lowery
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects parts of the brain that control the movement of muscles, and can result in the person having ‘shakes’ or tremors and experience difficulty walking and speaking. One treatment for these symptoms is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), which implants an electrode into the brain to calm muscle tremors and other motor symptoms.
Professor Madeleine Lowery is using computer models to build a better understanding of how DBS affects brain tissue, how it stimulates the nerves that carry signals to muscles and how it impacts the muscles themselves.
Ultimately the aim is to develop a ‘smart’ Deep Brain Stimulation system that can figure out what the person needs and can automatically deliver the correct level of timely stimulation, thereby reducing symptoms effectively and with longer battery life.

You can read the full case study here:
Engineering a smarter treatment for Parkinson’s disease

Dr Ellen Rowley

Ellen Rowley is an architectural and cultural historian based in the School of Architecture, APEP, UCD. She is a writer and teacher, currently curating Belfield 50, a celebration of UCD’s 1960s and 1970s campus. Ellen mostly writes about twentieth-century Irish architecture, as a type of social history. Her books include 'Housing, Architecture + the Edge Condition' (2019) and 'More Than Concrete Blocks' (edited, 2016 + 2019), as well as (as co-editor) 'Architecture 1600–2000, Art + Architecture of Ireland, Volume IV' (2014). This history is pioneering and so, she admits, there are mistakes. In 2017, Ellen was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, for services to Irish architecture.

You can find the Davis Now lecture series here:
UCD Davis Now Lectures

Dr. Elizabeth Shotton
The built environment stretches across time. In that time, its materials store ‘embodied’ energy and carbon, some of which help to reduce emissions of carbon to the environment, such as the use of timber. In that time too, materials get broken down by the environment, and in the face of that damage our approaches to remodeling and rebuilding change. Dr Elizabeth Shotton at UCD School of Architecture is looking forward in time at how we can make more environmentally sustainable use of timber in the built environment, and she is looking back at the construction of small harbours in Ireland to both preserve and learn from their history.

Read the full case study here:
Timber and Harbours: Insights into Sustainability in Design & Construction

Professor Aoife Gowen
Water is the most abundant molecule in the known Universe and it is vital for life, yet we understand precious little about it.  Professor Aoife Gowen is changing that thanks to her expertise in a branch of science called hyperspectral imaging, which looks at minute changes within molecules as they interact.
Her current project, which secured prestigious European Research Council fund-ing, is examining how water interacts with surfaces and how that can affect import-ant processes such as the breakdown over time of materials grafted into the body to repair bone. She is also applying her expertise to help improve the diagnosis of prostate cancer in patient samples and to monitor the growth of bacteria on surfaces.

You can read the full case study here:
Getting up close with chemistry – new perspectives on life’s interactions

Dr. Fionnuala Murphy
When you figure out the environmental cost of making something, do you take everything into account? Dr Fionnuala Murphy at UCD School of Biosystems & Food Engineering takes a close look at various processes that use bio-based materials - from generating biofuels to making products from algae and agricultural and plastic wastes - and finds the true environmental cost across the life-cycle of those processes.
Dr Murphy’s work has already helped to move towards more sustainable sources for bio-fuel generation and, through major European projects, she is contributing to the development of a more sustainable bioeconomy that reduces levels of agri-food waste by using it for higher value products.

You can read the full case study here:
Accounting for Environmental Impact in the Bioeconomy

Dr Sarah Cotterill
Two-thirds of Ireland’s drinking water originates from upland peat dominated catchments. These vital ecosystems have been extensively modified by humans with detrimental impact on water quality. Dr Sarah Cotterill is working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to develop water treatment techniques to replace chlorination, which can lead to the production of potentially carcinogenic disinfection by-products (DBPs). Instead, they're hoping to use the process of electrocoagulation to remove Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC), nutrients and solids from raw waters. Removing DOC from raw waters has become increasingly difficult, and is one of the largest costs of drinking water treatment. The aim is to develop a low-cost, low-voltage treatment process which can be used in remote, rural locations alongside catchment management practices to restore and rewet peatlands. 

Assoc Prof Susan McDonnell

The Biopharmaceutical sector has become an important source of high-level, value added employment in Ireland and the number of biologic manufacturing sites across Ireland has increased from two in 2003 to 22 in 2019.  Biopharmaceutical Bioprocess Engineering is one of the School’s major research priority areas.  Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells have become the standard cells for the large-scale production of biopharmaceuticals and biologics.  Assoc Prof Susan McDonnell of the School of Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering is developing strategies to establish optimal conditions for the continuous growth and productivity of cells within the bioreactor.  A current specific project is to extend the lifetime of CHO cells in culture by preventing a form of cell death known as autophagy.

You can find details of her Master's programme here:
MEngSc Biopharmaceutical Engineering

 

Dr. Elena Blokhina
One of the driving trends of the 21st century is technology’s ability to connect. Dr Elena Blokhina at UCD School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering is working on fundamental approaches to enabling even more efficient connection into the future. She is developing new architecture for signal generation to facilitate 5G, the latest standard in wireless infrastructure, and she is designing energy-harvesting technology to enable small devices such as sensors to use nearby movement as a power source. The impact will be a more connected and sustainable web of devices.

You can read the full case study here:
A Boost for Wireless and Energy-Harvesting Technologies

Dr. Aisling Ní Annaidh
Head injury is the leading cause of death within a range of sports including cycling, horse riding and skiing. However, helmet testing standards for these activities lag behind the science, which shows that testing should include rotational accelerations. Dr. Ni Annaidh, the Tissue Biomechanics Group and the pan-European HEADS project seek to improve the understanding of head impact injury and to design new helmet standard test methods that recognise the influence of rotational kinematics. Using a combination of computational simulations of real-life accidents, experimental and computational investigation of injury thresholds, and the design of new helmet certification tests, this research seeks to improve the safety of future helmet designs.

You can read more about Aisling's work here.

Professor Lizbeth Goodman
How can we make sure that technology is designed to suit all the people who might use it? And how can we build technology that helps users with specific needs, such as People With Disabilities, People With Autism Spectrum Disorder, people with medical conditions such as Obesity, or Alzheimer’s Disease and, more generally, marginalised groups in society? These are some of the questions that keep Professor Lizbeth Goodman at SMARTlab in the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture energised. She and the team in the Inclusive Design Research Centre focus on developing technology tools and innovation methods for real social change. Her work across numerous projects and programmes develops new approaches to designing inclusive technologies that suit the individual user. The research has helped people with severe physical disabilities to communicate and create in new way;  it has supported local communities; and it is developing new ways to enable all people to show their strengths.

You can read the full case study here:
Technology for all: towards truly inclusive design