Brian Foley
Adjunct Associate Professor, Electronic & Elect. Engineering


A graduate of University College Dublin (BE 1972), the Technical University of Eindhoven (MEE 1974) and the University of Dublin (PhD 1988), my early teaching career was spent at DIT (1974-1981) and subsequently at Trinity College. While my teaching activities have been mainly in the area of digital and analogue electronics, my research interests include adaptive filtering for echo control and CMOS digital integrated circuits, especially low-power aspects. From 1999 to 2006 I served as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Systems Sciences, a period characterised by deep restructuring both within College and the faculty. I have been active in driving engineering curriculum reform and innovation, and was involved in the design and implementation of new professional accreditation procedures with Engineers Ireland. In addition I have served, mostly in the role of chair, of many EI Accreditation Panels at other institutions. In the period 2006-2011, I served as Academic Director of the Centre for Academic Practice and Student Learning and developed a keen research interest in the area of threshold concepts in higher education. Head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (2012-2013), I then served a term as Head of the School of Engineering (2013-2016).

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Trinity Inclusive Curriculum: a case study on the development of an inclusive curriculum strategy in, editor(s)J. Hughes and E. Tan , The Dynamic Curriculum: shared experiences of ongoing curricular change in higher education, Dublin, Dublin City University, 2012, pp108 - 122, [Garvey, M. and Foley, B. ] Book Chapter, 2012

Foley, B. , Engineering problem solving: triggering a metalearning response to a threshold experience, Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference: from personal practice to communities of practice, Trinity College, Dublin, 28-29 June, 2012 Conference Paper, 2012

Foley, B. , Threshold concepts and disciplinary ways of thinking and practicing: modelling in electronic engineering, Third Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium: exploring transformative dimensions of threshold concepts, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, 1-2 July, 2010 Conference Paper, 2010

The threshold concept paradigm and student use of textbooks in, editor(s)J. Murphy and B. Higgs , Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the National Academy for the Integration of Research, and Teaching and Learning: challenging assumptions, Cork, NAIRTL, 2009, pp135 - 142, [Foley, B.] Book Chapter, 2009

A. Grennan, C. Downing and B. Foley, MIMO capacity enhancement by adjusting element positions using the Metropolis algorithm in a deterministic model, Irish Signals and Systems Conference, Dublin Institute of Technology, June, 2006 Conference Paper, 2006

A. Grennan, C. Downing and B. Foley, Capacity variation of indoor radio MIMO systems using a deterministic model, Irish Signals and Systems Conference, University of Limerick, 1-2 July, 2003 Conference Paper, 2003

M. in het Panhuis, R.W. Munn, P.L.A. Popelier, J.N. Coleman, B. Foley, and W.J. Blau, Distributed response analysis of conductive behavior in single molecules, Proc. National Academy of Science, 99, (9), 2002, p6514 - 6517 Journal Article, 2002

R. Czerw, M. Terrones, J-C. Charlier, X. Blasé, B. Foley, R. Kamalakaran, N. Grobert, H. Terrones, D. Tekleab, P.M. Ajayan, W. Blau, M. Rühle, and D.L. Carroll, Identification of electron donor states in N-doped carbon nanotubes, Nano Letters, vol. 1, 2001, p457 - 460 Journal Article, 2001

Advances on the growth and properties of N- and B-doped carbon nanotubes in, editor(s)H. Kuzmany, J. Fink, M. Mehring and S. Roth , Electronic Properties of Molecular Nanostructures, New York, American institute of Physics Conference Proceedings, vol. 591, 2001, pp212 - 216, [M. Terrones, P.M. Ajayan, X. Blasé, W.J. Blau, D.J. Carroll, J-C. Charlier, R. Czerw, B. Foley, N. Grobert, and R. Kamalakaran] Book Chapter, 2001

J. Timoney and B. Foley, Speech quality evaluation based on AM-FM time-frequency representations, ICSLP 2000, Beijing, October 2000, IV, 2000, pp472 - 475 Conference Paper, 2000

P. A. Comiskey, A. Th. Schwarzbacher, and J. B. Foley, The effect of input lattice structure in image processing algorithms, UK Low Power Forum, Sheffield, September 1998, 1998, pp11.1 - 6 Conference Paper, 1998

A. Th. Schwarzbacher, P. A. Comiskey, and J. B. Foley, Improving the power consumption in image processing algorithms, UK Low Power Forum, Sheffield, September 1998, 1998, pp4.1 - 5 Conference Paper, 1998

Research Expertise


Adaptive signal processing for acoustic echo control and cancellation; developments to and enhancement of the LMS algorithm. Low-Power Digital CMOS; generation of transition sequences for the characterisation of activity factors in a digital system; the study of complete transition sequences; low-power logic design. Threshold Concepts in higher education; identification and characterisation of threshold concepts and functions; engineering problem solving as a threshold function; the role of metalearning.



DRHEA Management Board 2010-11

DRHEA Enhancement of Learning Strand Committee 2008-11

NAIRTL Management Board 2007-12

Engineers Ireland Accreditation Board 2006-12

Awards and Honours

Dept of Education Scholarship to UCD 1968

Netherlands Govt Scholarship for an Irish Postgraduate Student 1972

Provost's Teaching Award 2004


IEEE 1999

ASEE 2006