Thought Leaders; A closer look for the curious

Welcome to Thought Leaders; A closer look for the curious.  A new podcast and features series on thought leaders in IT Sligo, special guest speakers and leaders of industry. 

Podcast Episodes:

Episode 1: The Accidental Scientist 

Episode 2: Saving the Historic Huts of Early Polar Explorers

Episode 3: Dr Philip White – CUA Conference 2020 

Episode 4: The Science of Motivation

Episode 5: The Emotographic Iceberg: Modelling Deep Emotional Affect

Thought Leaders

Episode 1: The Accidental Scientist 

The series starts with “The Accidental Scientist”, an interview with IT Sligo’s Prof Suresh Pillai. Suresh 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 of the journals Applied Catalysis B and the Chemical Engineering Journal.

Suresh is also a recipient of the “2019 Boyle-Higgins Award” and the “Industrial Technologies Award 2011” for his accomplishments.  At present he is 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.

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode 2: Saving the Historic Huts of Early Polar Explorers

Our second episode is “Saving the Historic Huts of Early Polar Explorers” with IT Sligo PhD research student, Stefanie White.  Stefanie is currently researching how we can protect historical monuments along the Wild Atlantic Way.  Stefanie has extensive experience around the world in conservation work and spent two winters at Scott base, the New Zealand research base in Antarctica, and one year in New Zealand, working for The Antarctic Heritage Trust[1], a New Zealand based-charity, responsible for the conservation of the historic huts as used by such historic explorers as Robert Falcon Scott.

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

Listen to podcast here.

Stefanie carried out her conservation work with the  The Antarctic Heritage Trust.  For further information on their incredible work please visit the website below.

[1] https://nzaht.org/

Episode 3: Dr Philip White – CUA Conference 2020 

Listen to the podcast here.

In this special Thought Leaders Podcast 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:

1. Levels of Heavy Metals in Hair associated with Autism Symptoms among Juveniles
2. Rapid Analysis of cocaine on Bank notes using Mass Spectrometry

CUA Research Symposium 2020 16-17 2020

1. Levels of Heavy Metals in Hair associated with Autism Symptoms among Juveniles

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

2. Rapid Analysis of cocaine on Bank notes using Mass Spectrometry

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.

Listen to the podcast here.

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Episode 4: The Science of Motivation: Stroke Rehabilitation at Home

Listen to the podcast here

Can we “trick” the billions of cells that carry all important information around the brain into doing what we want them to do?
And if so, can we use that discovery for post stroke rehabilitation?
Dr Kenneth Monaghan is the director of an established Stroke Research Group within the Clinical Health and Nutrition Centre (CHANCE) at Institute of Technology, Sligo. He is also a lecturer in Health Science, and the head of Neuroplasticity Research Groups at IT Sligo. He has dedicated his career helping to transform lives of people who have survived a stroke and are left with long-term problems caused by an injury to the brain.
His Stroke Research Group is working on the rehabilitation treatments that use mirrors to “trick” or “influence” the brain of stroke patients into believing that a weak limb is functioning properly.

More than 30,000 people in Ireland live with a disability due to stroke.
Ireland’s stroke rate could increase 59% by 2035, the Irish Heart Foundation warned after The Burden of Stroke in Europe report was launched in the European Parliament in Brussels (2017).
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 (Source: Experiences and long-term needs reported by stroke survivors living in the community in Ireland, RCSI, April 2014).
Mirror therapy could change that.

Listen to the Podcast here.

Episode 5: The Emotographic Iceberg: Modelling Deep Emotional Affect

Dr. Eoghan Furey
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
The Emotographic Iceberg: Modelling Deep Emotional Affect Utilizing Intelligent Assistants and the IoT
CUA Research Symposium 2020

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 the member of the Institute’s Academic Council and the Chairman of the Research Committee.
The phenomenon of the Internet of Things (IoT) 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, while it can also potentially contribute to the development of empathy in AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Listen to the podcast here

2019/20 Fulltime Prospectus IT Sligo

 

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