Spring Bulletin 2014
Introduction to the
SmartBay present their
plans for 2014
Dr Jenny Ronan on her
Researchers present at
Sensor deployed in
Commissioner of Irish
Kick-off in Limassol,
Cyprus, March 2014
Top: MESTECH Group March 2014
Left: Watch this space – Collaboration with
Limerick School of Art and Design on „Manipulate
Highlights This Issue
Welcome from Director
In the first quarter of 2014 there has been a significant
drive to build on what has been achieved in the past year
- in terms of EU funding successes, through the new
Horizon 2020 programme; building the partnerships with
SmartBay Ireland and Newfoundland; engaging with new
opportunities in Ireland through SFI to establish Centres of
Excellence and continue to develop in-situ monitoring capacity to
provide agencies with support to develop decision support tools.
The plans to establish a SmartBay Innovation Hub at the DCU
Innovation Campus will lead to mechanism whereby cleantech
companies can scope out new opportunities into the marine
environment. The planned roll-out of the SmartBay cable in
Galway Bay this year is an exciting development in the overall
plan to exploit our marine resource.
We continue to welcome visiting students from Portugal, France
and Brazil on an annual basis – and congratulate Lizandra
Paludetti on successfully defending her research project carried
as part of her
degree in the
Spring Bulletin 2014
COMMON SENSE Project
The COMMON SENSE project aims to provide easily usable,
cost-effective, multi-functional innovative sensors to perform
in-situ measurements on key parameters. This project focuses
on eutrophication, contaminants, marine litter and underwater
noise descriptors of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive
The primary role of the DCU project team (John Cleary,
Margaret McCaul and Eoghan McNamara) is the development
of microfluidics-based sensors for nutrients in the marine
environment, in addition to providing a platform for integrating
electrochemical sensors for heavy metals which are being
developed by project partners.
Dr Caroline Murphy and Prof Fiona Regan attended
from the MariaBox kick-off on the 6-7th of March
hosted by the project coordinator Dr Panayiotis
Philimis in Cyprus.
Marine environmental in situ assessment and
monitoring tool box or 'MariaBox' is funded under the
European FP7 Ocean.2013 program to address the
topic of innovative multifunctional sensors for in-situ
monitoring of the marine environment.
Prof Regan (pictured right) presented work on
MariaBox kick-off in Cyprus
system which includes a web platform to bring a more
sophisticated view of the environment.
Once validated under laboratory conditions, the sensors will be
deployed on marine platforms such as buoys, submerged
moorings and a range of marine vessels.
The project‟s initial objective is to provide an understanding and basis for cost effective development and
integration of sensors. It will then focus on design and development of new sensors for the detection of
nutrient analytes, low concentrations of heavy metals, surface concentration of micro-plastics, and
underwater noise. The sensors will be integrated with transversal sensors into a multifunctional, modular
Top right: Microfluidic phosphate detector
Left: Syringe pump array for mixing reagents
maritime biofouling, algal-toxin immunosensor development and marine sensing systems. The group will
be working with researchers from the National Research Council, Italy, The Norwegian Institute for
Water Research as well as the Spanish National Research Council.
Spring Bulletin 2014
SmartBay Newfoundland Collaborations
IBM Agri Food Symposium, January 2014
Invent 2013 award for MESTECH
Prof Regan and MESTECH members Dr Aoife
Power and Alan Barrett, were awarded an Invent
DCU, 2013 Award for engagement with
business/industry on the 24th
February. The award
was in recognition for the team‟s engagement in an
Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership, regarding
the development of advanced optical coating
technologies, with Valeo Vision Systems.
The IBM event was designed to highlight key
technologies that are driving efficiencies, cost
reduction and growth in the agri food sector. Some
IBM Business Partners demonstrated their solutions in
terms of forecasting and providing decision support for
the sector using a range of scenarios.
The Symposium illustrated how technology underpins
and enables growth in the Irish Agri/Food sector
selling into demanding global markets. Simon
Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the
Marine attended and addressing the event he
emphasized the need to implement ICT, including
monitoring technologies and data management
systems, in the sector to support the projected growth
targets over the coming years.
There is growing interest in building on the Galway
Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation and taking
advantage of the partnerships and relationships between
SmartBay Newfoundland and SmartBay Ireland.
The opportunities for industry exchanges and joint research
initiatives have been the focus of engagements over a
number of years. This year, we will see the bridging of the
collaboration between the two Atlantic regions and
infrastructures. Initial projects will look at supporting the
fishing industry through the use of data management
systems to store and analyse their vessel-captured data as
well as industry deployments of technologies at both
locations in Canada and Ireland.
Left: Hydrophobic surface developed in DCU
Right: Photo courtesy of Martin Pettitt
Spring Bulletin 2014
Oceanology International 2014
Oceanology International is a biennial international
tradeshow and conference in London recognised as
the leading marine science and ocean technology
event. It hosts over 525 suppliers and is attended by
international leaders in the marine technology sector,
including companies, technical specialists, scientists
exhibition are interested in deploying technology
in SmartBay for testing and validation because of
the significant capacity in the team to support a
deployment and also add value to the work
through data management and system integration.
SmartBay had the opportunity to present at the
Ocean Technology symposium at Excel during
Oceanology where the Wendy Schmidt Ocean
Health xPrize initiative expressed interest in using
SmartBay as a potential test site for the innovative
pH sensor technologies being developed as part of
SEAS-ERA Strategic Forum 2014
Prof Fiona Regan, Director of MESTECH, attended SEAS-ERA on 25th February in Brussels. The
Forum will address SEAS-ERA key outputs, SEAS-ERA legacy and future cooperation mechanisms
and next steps.
The Marine Institute was represented by Geoffrey O'Sullivan
who gave a presentation on “The EU Atlantic Action Plan
(2014-2020): The contribution of the SEAS-ERA Atlantic
SEAS-ERA is a partnership of the leading Marine RTD
Funding Organizations in 18 countries aimed at coordinating
the national and regional efforts.
The SmartBay team presented their plans for the expansion of the Galway Bay infrastructure in 2014.
The cable is due to be in place in this year with the capacity to support ocean energy developers as well
as other industries and researchers that require additional bandwidth for data. Companies attending the
Left: SmartBay exhibition at Oceanology 2014
and policy makers
The Marine Institute organised an Irish Pavilion to
promote Irish marine ICT and related technologies.
Established in 1969, Oceanology International
features the world‟s largest exhibition for marine
science and technology.
Spring Bulletin 2014
Researchers Present at
MESTECH researchers presented their research at
ENVIRON 2014 in Trinity College Dublin, from
Wednesday to Friday 26th-28th February.
The theme of the conference was 'Environmental
Challenges and Solutions' which asks researchers to
consider how their research investigates contemporary
threats to the natural and human environment and/or
contributes towards finding solutions to those threats.
Beaufort Summer internships
Postdoctoral researcher Dr Tim Sullivan gave
an overview of the environmental sensing
projects at MESTECH and an insight into the
current state of autonomous high frequency
sensors for environmental monitoring.
PhD Student Gillian Duffy presented her work
on the adaptation of a phosphate sensor to
utilise the molybdenum blue method for
phosphate determination in order to improve
the limit of detection, making it suitable for
monitoring unpolluted freshwaters.
MESTECH offers internships for undergraduate science
and engineering students. These 3 month scholarships
provide students with direct experience of laboratory
research where they integrate with members of a multi-
disciplinary team. The programme aims to give students an
opportunity to extend themselves intellectually, beyond the
limits of degree course and gain valuable experience for
their future careers.
For information please contact email@example.com
Below: A Beaufort Marine Research Project
Postdoctoral researchers Drs Tim Sullivan, Kevin
Murphy, Lisa Jones and Jenny Ronan as well as PhD
students Brendan Heery, Gillian Duffy and Dian Zhang
gave talks on their work.
Above: Tim Sullivan presents at Environ
Below left: The exhibition space at Environ
Collaboration with USP in Brazil
As part of a collaboration between MESTECH and the University of
Sao Paulo (USP), Brazilian students from USP have visited
MESTECH to undertake research on sensors for environmental
The project aims to monitor pollutants in river waters used as sources
for potable water in disadvantaged areas. Pollutants are monitoring
using an optical colourimetric sensor developed in the NCSR. This
Erasmus Visiting Students
Ana Esmeralda Gonçalves and Mirandolina Correia are current
Erasmus students with MESTECH. Starting in February this year
the students have worked on projects with Drs Tim Sullivan, Aoife
Power and Kevin Murphy.
Both students are studying Environmental Health at Coimbra
Health School, Portugal and will finish in May this year. The
projects will allow the students to develop skills in material sciences
and gain valuable laboratory experience to further their education.
Ana has been working on LEDs as part of the optical colourimetric
system. The aim is to learn concepts and techniques in the area of
instrumentation as well as develop skills in engineering and in the
laboratory from the work carried out with the sensor.
Right: Visiting student Lizandra Paludetti defends her research.
Mirandolina is a working on materials development for antifouling
purposes with a focus on nanomaterials and testing of doped sol-gels
with both nanoparticles and natural compounds.
Above left: Ana Esmerelda Gonçalves
Below right: Mirandolina Correia
sensor measures turbidity and colour changes in water to
detect for pollution.
DCU hosted undergraduate student Lizandra Paludetti for five
months and will host Gustavo Voltani von Atzingen a PhD
in late March.
The collaboration will continue with the deployment of
the OCS in Brazilian rivers during the Summer. This
work is funded by FUNASA, the National Health
Foundation, and ISCA Brazil funding an SFI funding
collaboration between Ireland and Brazil.
Above left: The
Spring Bulletin 2014
Burrishoole INTRA Project
The purpose of the project is to analyse these data
sets with respect to the work previously carried out
by MESTECH in the National Marine Reserve L.
The data collected comprises real-time sensor data
related to environmental water quality parameters
including pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen and
temperature. The student working on this project will
work in DCU with Prof Fiona Regan and Dr Tim
Sullivan and with Dr Elvira de Eyto in Newport in
MESTECH postdoctoral researchers Drs Tim Sullivan and
Kevin Murphy visited the Commissioner of Irish Lights
(CIL) in Dublin this February to collaborate on their
activities in Dublin Bay.
A commercial sensor will be installed on the CIL Dublin
Bay Buoy. The sensor will make avail of the power and
telemetry systems on the buoy to monitor chlorophyll,
temperature, turbidity, conductivity (saline) and oxygen.
The aim is to integrate these analytes with the AIS radar
system to provide these additional measurements to the
Commissioner of Irish Lights &
CIL is a maritime organisation delivering safety services
around the coast of Ireland to protect the marine
environment and support the marine industry and coastal
SmartBay Ireland and Burrishoole in collaboration with
the Marine and Environmental Sensing Technology Hub
(MESTECH), DCU are seeking a student with expertise
in data analytics.
The 6 month project will analyse a historical data set of
the environmental monitoring in the Burrishoole
catchment. This catchment includes the freshwater L.
Feeagh and the coastal lagoon L. Furnace.
Below right: The lakes at Burrishoole
Photo courtesy of Daniel Brady, Burrishoole Fisheries
Right and below left: Sensor buoys from CIL
Spring Bulletin 2014
01 700 8898
Prof Fiona Regan
Horizon 2020 Opportunities
Researcher Profile – Jenny Ronan
Jenny Ronan graduated with a BSc Hons degree in Marine
Science from NUI Galway in 2003. She worked in the Marine
Institute in Galway analysing shellfish for marine biotoxins and
then worked in the institute‟s residues monitoring programme.
She completed her PhD entitled „An integrated assessment of
oestrogenic endocrine disruption in the Irish marine
environment, with particular focus on chemical measurements‟
with Trinity College in 2013.
She joined MESTECH in 2013 as a postdoctoral researcher on
an EPA funded project investigating the role of passive
sampling for screening and monitoring new and emerging
chemicals. The project uses polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)
samplers for organic contaminants and polar organic chemical
integrative samplers (POCIS) for polar contaminants in the
aquatic environment, along with water and biota sampling.
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Recently a number of compounds have been added to the
list of priority substances for chemical monitoring under
the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). The current
method of grab sampling has proven ineffective in
meeting the monitoring requirements of the WFD.
The project aims to provide a report on recommendations
for the use of passive sampling as a tool Ireland can use
to meet the WFD specs. Further sampling will take place
next year in Cork as well as Donegal, Mayo, Galway and
Left and top: Jenny Ronan deploying a passive