Welcome to IT Sligo Podcast

A podcast and features series on Thought Leaders in IT Sligo. In this space, we explore trends and discuss current ideas and topics surrounding higher education with leading teaching and learning experts and special guest speakers.




Season 2, Episode 1

How to overcome challenges associated with online teaching and learning while also enhancing student satisfaction?  

GUEST: Áine Doherty

Listen to Valerie McTaggart, a Lecturer in Global Business Services at IT Sligo, and Áine Doherty, a Lecturer in Marketing & Sales at IT Sligo, as they discuss the role of reflective online diaries in the context of an apprenticeship programme delivered online. 


Season 2, Episode 2

Was Covid-19 inevitable or avoidable?

GUEST: Dr Paul Hynds

Is Coronavirus here to stay? Is the vaccine doing its job?

Dr Paul Hynds, a Senior Research Fellow in the Environmental Sustainability and Health Institute (ESHI) at TU Dublin and mathematical epidemiologist, joins Valerie McTaggart in this week’s podcast to discuss Covid-19 infection.


Season 2, Episode 3

Are jobs that hadn't existed five to ten years ago in the sphere of business, digital marketing, and analytics more popular than ever?

GUEST: Colm Bourke

How beneficial are internships in developing a professional aptitude?

From Grange in Sligo, Colm Bourke, a Career Coach currently working at the University of Louisiana Monroe in the USA, and Valerie McTaggart (IT Sligo) met virtually to talk about career opportunities for graduates.

Colm actively competes as a Long Jumper and currently sits as the 9th ranked jumper in Irish history.

He is also the host of The Track and Field Performance Podcast, dedicated to giving coaches and athletes expert knowledge and insights from practitioners across the various domains of human performance.



If you are working on a Research Project or have any interesting story to share, please get in touch with your ideas.

Horizon 2020 Project to increase Climate Resilience

The new project, SCORE (Smart Control of the Climate Resilience in European Coastal Cities), outlines a comprehensive strategy, developed via a network of 10 coastal city ‘living labs’, to rapidly, equitably and sustainably enhance coastal city climate resilience. Led by IT Sligo academic Dr Salem Gharbia.

Horizon 2020 Project

Raising a Flag for Green Campus

Tune into this celebratory episode and hear views on the sustainability challenges, the latest thinking on what's working and what needs to be changed - and get inspired to think about the future of sustainability.

After the successful Green Campus campaign and the prestigious Green Flag award, we handed over the microphone to Fiona Britton, the IT Sligo Sustainability Officer and Declan Feeney, the Lecturer in Environmental Science at IT Sligo. Their united effort culminated in positive environmental management across the IT Sligo.

“We did it!” they said, admitting that none of it would have been possible without the support from students, staff, and the wider community.

Aristotle and the Mission of a Technological University

Dr Gabriel J Costello from GMIT presented his research at the CUA Research Symposium 2020 titled; Aristotle and the Mission of a Technological University. This podcast outlines how Aristotle’s writing on excellence in the practice can provide a useful underpinning for the CUA mission.

The proposed mission of the CUA Technological University emphasises excellence in practical teaching and research,  engagement with regional stakeholders, and a focus on knowledge production and dissemination.

In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle describes three approaches to knowledge:
episteme (theoretical), techne (technical) and the lesser-known phronesis (practical judgement).

His focus on the importance of the pursuit of excellence is captured in his aphorism: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

Aristotle and the Mission of a Technological University

The Emotographic Iceberg: Modelling Deep Emotional Affect Utilizing Intelligent Assistants and the IoT

Personal data has never been more valuable. More large DATA companies know about us, the more they can try to sell us, says Dr Eoghan Furey, a lecturer in Computing at Letterkenny Institute of Technology and a member of the Institute's Academic Council and the Chairman of the Research Committee.

The Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon has cultivated a societal shift where sensors and applications gather data relating to daily life. This data is centralized by devices such as Voice Command Devices and accessible via Intelligent Assistants such as the Amazon Echo and Alexa.
For Furey, personal data has the potential to be useful in clinical diagnosis, customer segmentation and targeted marketing. At the same time, it can also potentially contribute to developing empathy in AI (Artificial Intelligence).

The Emotographic Iceberg

The Science of Motivation: Stroke Rehabilitation at Home

Our fourth episode is with Dr Kenneth Monaghan, an established Stroke Research Group within the Clinical Health and Nutrition Centre (CHANCE) at IT Sligo.

More than 30,000 people in Ireland live with a disability due to stroke.

Ireland’s stroke rate could increase by 59% by 2035. One-third of stroke sufferers are left with a reduced quality of life which is reflected in mobility and emotional difficulties, the need for help with personal care and the impact on household finances.

Mirror therapy could change that.

Rapid Analysis of Cocaine on Bank Notes and Levels of Heavy Metals in Hair

In this special Thought Leaders , we interview our colleague in GMIT, Dr Phillip White, as part of the 2020 CUA Conference in Sligo.

In this interview, Dr White explores two areas of research with some startling findings:

It’s not yet known what causes autism and if genetics are responsible for the condition.
The research led by Dr Phillip White, chemistry and forensic science lecturer at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and his fellow environmental scientists, focused on the link between heavy metal levels and autism risk.
To determine how much heavy metals the children’s bodies contained, they used hair as a sample. Six different metals were tested.
The study revealed that children with ASD* had higher levels of lead, cadmium and cobalt, but the lower level of iron in their hair.
The study suggests that exposure to heavy metals may increase risk of autism.

*Autism spectrum disorder

Take out your wallet. Take out a bank note. You have a good chance of finding some level of cocaine on it.
In a study that Dr Phillip White, chemistry and forensic science lecturer at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology conducted with his students, traces of cocaine were found on 100% of the notes tested.
Students were sent to a number of clubs and pubs in Galway to break the €50 banknotes that were then placed in a sample bag and tested in the GMIT laboratory in Galway using a rapid, non-destructive process.
The results showed that all tested notes had a low “background” level of cocaine.
Some notes had a “medium” level of cocaine on it, suggesting the notes may have been in contact with the notes used during the ingestion process at some stage in the recent past. A very few notes had high levels of cocaine, suggesting they were used during the ingestion process itself.

Rapid Analysis of cocaine on Bank notes

Exploring Early Polar Huts

Our second episode is “Saving the Historic Huts of Early Polar Explorers” with IT Sligo PhD research student Stefanie White Stott.

White Stott is currently researching how we can protect historical monuments along the Wild Atlantic Way.

She has extensive experience around the world in conservation work.

Listen to her fascinating story of surviving temperatures of -49c in a research lab situated in the most isolated place on earth.

Saving the Historic Huts of Early Polar Explorers

The Accidental Scientist

The series starts with “The Accidental Scientist”, an interview with IT Sligo’s Prof Suresh Pillai.

Prof. Pillai is the lead inventor in two granted US patents and one UK patent. He is an editor for the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research and editorial board member Applied Catalysis B and the Chemical Engineering Journal.

He is also a recipient of the “2019 Boyle-Higgins Award” and the “Industrial Technologies Award 2011” for his accomplishments. He is currently working on several projects, including the delivery of a clean water solution in rural India, tackling MRSA through nano-technology and finding solutions to make batteries last longer.