Trinity Researchers Recognised for Innovative Projects at Globe Forum Competition

21 April 2011

Three Trinity College researchers were recognised for their innovative projects that focused on the efficient management of road traffic, the development of systems to ensure sustainable consumption in Ireland, and the advancement of sustainable city planning after being shortlisted for the Early Career Researchers Competition at a Globe Forum conference which took place in Dublin recently.  The Globe Forum recognises innovation that has the potential to develop a sustainable society.

Six early stage innovators were shortlisted to present their research at the conference to an audience made up of international and national innovators, investors, corporate leaders, journalists, policy-makers and other research collaborators.  As a key sponsor of the event, the Innovation Alliance recognised the top three ranking researchers from each university who were shortlisted in the Early Career Researchers Competition and awarded each of them with an iPad2.  In total only 15 students across the Irish higher education sector were shortlisted for this award.

Associate Director of Trinity Research and Innovation, James Callaghan (L) and associate Dean of Research, Dr Patrick Geoghegan (R), pictured with the winners Aimee Byrne, Ivana Dusparic and Ruth Doyle.

The Trinity College researchers included Ivana Dusparic of the School of Computer Science and Statistics, Ruth Doyle of the School of Natural Sciences, and Aimee Byrne of the School of Engineering.  The competition was open to individual or team-based research that has implication for science, sustainability and society.

Ivana Dusparic, PhD Student at TCD's School of Computer Science and Statistics:Multi-policy optimisation in decentralised autonomic systems.

Road traffic congestion is a significant contributor to energy-related CO2 emissions and has been estimated to cost the EU up to 1% of its GDP.  As one of the ways to reduce the congestion, Ivana is developing a novel artificial intelligence-based approach to more efficient traffic control.  This can use a variety of sensors to observe traffic conditions in real-time, and based on experience, learn how to best adapt signal settings to the observed traffic conditions.  Each junction is controlled by an intelligent software agent, which learns not only the best traffic signal settings for the junction itself, but also communicates and collaborates with upstream and downstream junctions to enable system-wide optimisation.

Ruth Doyle, PhD Student in Geography at TCD's School of Natural Science: CONSENSUS: A cross-border analysis of consumption, environment and sustainability in Ireland.

As part of an all-Ireland, Environmental Protection Agency sponsored project, Ruth's research is concerned with sustainable consumption on an all-Ireland basis (www.consensus.ie).  It focuses on participatory visioning techniques to design social, technological and regulatory innovations that might promote a shift to more sustainable home energy and water use in Irish homes in the future. The research integrates a broad spectrum of energy and water stakeholders from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the collaborative design of imaginative visions that break from current unsustainable consumption trends.  User-perspectives are obtained through a variety of workshops around Ireland to refine the visions further before using them as a basis to inform policy making and research and the development of agendas.

Aimee Byrne, PhD Student at TCD's School of Engineering:  Policy, Regulations and Incentives for Sustainable Cities:  A case study of energy efficiency retrofit regimes for Dublin housing.

Aimee's research looks at the area of policy, regulation and incentives for sustainable cities and focuses on developing a case study of energy efficiency retrofit regimes for Dublin housing.  Using a variety of methods the research assesses the current retrofit schemes from perspectives such as policy, user satisfaction and technically (by monitoring the houses before and after retrofit as well as some laboratory testing).  The results will be used to make recommendations for future schemes. Key aims of the research are to identify the best combination of energy efficient improvements and to analyse and recommend an energy efficiency scheme for the residential sector in Dublin.

The Innovation Alliance is a partnership working with the education sector, the State and its agencies alongside the business and venture capital communities to develop a world-class ecosystem for innovation that will drive enterprise development in Ireland.

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