Research Projects

Project title: Efficacy, Stability & Quality Control of Essential Oils & Herbal Medicine
The burgeoning market in essential oils and herbal medicines, coupled with the WHOs concerns over the lack research on quality, stability and efficacy of these products and their guidelines on the need for consumer information as well as the recently introduced EU legislation on herbal medicines, highlight the necessity for research into the efficacy, stability and quality control of these products.

Researchers: Mr. Julien Thibault and Dr. Fiona McArdle, Department of Applied Science, School of Sciences, IT Sligo.

Project Title: MULTIELEMENT ANALYSIS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL HUMAN BONE
This research project involves the trace element analysis of archaeological human bone excavated from the Ballyhanna medieval cemetery (Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal) by archaeologists employed by the National Roads Authority (NRA).
Researchers: Róisín McCarthy, Researcher Osteoarchaeologist, IT Sligo and Catriona McKenzie, PhD student, Queens University Belfast

Project Title: Research Programme for IT Sligo Rapid Development Model for Online Distance Learning.
The aim of this research programme is to investigate the longer term viability of a model of online distance learning that has been developed in the Institute of Technology Sligo since 2000.
Researchers:Heidi Stemp/Brain Mulligan

Project Title: Establishment of the Health Needs of People who are seeking asylum in Ireland
The aim of this study was to identify the health related behaviours and the health needs of people who are seeking asylum in the Health Service Executive West and North West area of Ireland.
Researchers:Gail Cummins

Project Title: “The changing nature of Industrial Relations in the Basque Country since the 1980’s”

I am currently conducting a Research Masters, through the Sligo Institute of Technology, entitled “The changing nature of Industrial Relations in the Basque Country since the 1980’s”. The research team is comprised of myself, Barbara Beglane with the supervision of Jimmy Treacy.
Researchers:Barbara Beglane

Project Title: RENEW stands for Renewable Energy Network for Environmental Welfare.
The main aims of the RENEW project are:
• Establishment and production of short rotation coppice (SRC) willow to provide a renewable energy fuel.
• For heat conversion in a range of boiler systems in NI and RoI
• To co-ordinate production and consumption on a managed supply chain
• To integrate public and private sector partners
• To disseminate the outcomes to as broad an audience as possible
• To evaluate SRC as a bioremediation system
Researchers:Conor Lawor

Project Title: ‘Lifelong Learning, the Reality: the Unheard Voices’
The purpose of the research is to create an understanding of the experiences of mature students in higher and further education in the Northwest of Ireland. The population in this region is largely rural with high levels of unemployment and isolation. Therefore, there is a very real need for further education and retraining in this region.
Researchers:Marie McGloin, and Supervisors, Declan Drohan (Primary), and John Pender.

Project Title: Does the provision of ‘full day’ childcare improve the quality of life for children and their families?
The author aims to research the effects of ‘full day’ childcare on children and how it impacts on the quality of life for them and their families. In doing so this study aims to facilitate a deeper understanding of the discourse around ‘full day’ childcare in-group settings. The study will focus on societal changes affecting the provision of ‘full day’ childcare and determine if it improves the quality of life for children and their families. The study will identify present childcare policy and seek to suggest how new policies could be introduced and implemented in the future. The study will include exploring the attitudes and experiences of childcare from parents working in the public and private sectors.
Researchers:Maureen OHara

Project Title: Research excavations at Glencurran Cave, the Burren, Co. Clare
The discovery of archaeological material on the floor of Glencurran Cave in 2002 led to three seasons of rescue excavations at the site in 2004 and 2005 to ascertain the nature and extent of archaeological deposits in the cave and to assess the impact of animal and human activities on the archaeological strata. All aspects of the project have been fully funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG). As a result of the significance of the discoveries, what began as a rescue excavation has developed into a research project.
Researchers:Dr. Marion Dowd

Project Title: The Ecology of twite Carduelis flavirostris in Ireland
The twite Carduelis flavirostris is a seed-eating member of the finch family that breeds and winters in Ireland. Twite populations in Ireland are thought to be in decline since the beginning of the last century. However, serious declines have taken place over the past thirty years with populations declining by over 50%. Despite being a resident species here, remarkably little is known about the ecology, movements or even population status of twite Carduelis flavirostris in Ireland.
Researchers:Dr. Don Cotton

Project Title: Explore quality of life issues amongst a sample of people with epilepsy within the West and North West of Ireland.
• to ascertain the implications of having epilepsy, and what affect this has on the person’s quality of life
• to highlight epilepsy as a public health priority among local and national government boards and agencies
• to promote the exchange of knowledge between all disciplines
• to make recommendations within the areas (which is to be devised by the author) concerning quality of life issues
• to highlight the need for a database regarding the number of people with epilepsy in Ireland
• to explore the social impact and life experience of living with epilepsy
Researchers:Tracy Mc Govern

Project Title: An investigation of the arching mechanism in piled embankments
Constructing road and rail embankments over soft clay and peat foundations can result in large, often differential, settlements occurring at the surface of the embankment. This leads to expensive ongoing maintenance of the embankment surface therefore other, more innovative solutions such as piled embankments are required.
Researchers:Emma Britton

Project Title: An investigation of reinforced steep slopes constructed from excavated soil waste and incorporating a novel multi-functional geosynthetic.
Increased cost of waste disposal and quarrying has lead to a greater awareness to reuse materials that were previously considered unsuitable. In 2001, the EPA estimated that 1.5 million tonnes of excavated soil was accepted as waste at landfills. This material could be reused in reinforced slopes, thus promoting recycling of soil. The use of excavated soil waste, usually a poorly draining material, as backfill in reinforced slopes generates excess pore water pressures during construction, resulting in reduced strength of the soil and long-term settlements and deformations of the structure. This study will examine the use of poorly draining, fine grained soils in conjunction with a novel multi-functional drainage-reinforcement geosynthetic for the construction of reinforced slopes. The function of the novel geosynthetic is to dissipate excess pore water pressures during the construction phase thus increasing the strength of the poorly draining backfill and reducing long-term settlement and deformations of the structure. Valuable design information for reusing poorly draining backfills in reinforced soil slopes will be obtained. The optimum characteristics of a novel multi-functional geosynthetic, for commercial development, will also be obtained.
Researchers:Jude Clancy

Project Title: Identify and quantify viable enteric pathogens at each stage (activated sludge, final effluent and final sludge) of the treatment process in four Sligo treatment plants of varying population equivalent (PE 500-1,500).
Human sewage is a reservoir for protozoan, bacterial and viral enteric pathogens. Secondary sewage treatment plants are mainly designed to reduce biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, and suspended solids by microbial breakdown, resulting in the production of treated effluent and settled solids. Microbial pathogens are not routinely processed during the treatment process; this highlights a gap in understanding the fate of these pathogens in the environment. My project is to identify and quantify viable enteric pathogens at each stage (activated sludge, final effluent and final sludge) of the treatment process in four Sligo treatment plants of varying population equivalent (PE 500-1,500). These plants are representative of national agglomerations for urban waste water discharges.
Researchers:Hui-Wen Cheng

2017/18 Prospectus

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