Category Archives: SFI

Water Zone Report – November 2019

Read the report: Water Zone Report – November 2019 [PDF]

The Water Zone was a themed zone supported by Science Foundation Ireland. It featured six scientists:

  • Philip Schuler investigates groundwater flow in ‘karst’ and uses this information to understand and simulate water flow dynamics.
  • Maxime Savatier investigates where water and nutrients flowing to the Irish sea comes from, and what happens when they mix with sea water.
  • Jake Cunningham, who won this zone, is a PhD student looking at using ocean waves to generate electricity.
  • Annette Wilson works with marine and environmental scientists from across Europe to communicate their research and results.
  • Ann Reen takes water samples from houses, rivers, lakes, and the sea, to test them for bugs that cause disease.
  • Amy Heather Fitzpatrick is finding new ways to detect the winter vomiting bug, norovirus, in water, sewage and shellfish.
Posted on January 15, 2020 modjen in 2019, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Sodium Zone Report – November 2019

Read the report: Sodium Zone Report – November 2019 [PDF]

The Sodium Zone was a themed zone supported by Science Foundation Ireland. It featured five scientists:

  • Souvik Kundu, the winner of this zone, is a research student working with VR and haptics to create robots with real-world applications in healthcare and cars.
  • Sabine Giron works with factory workers to develop robots that can help solve their problems in the work environment.
  • Maria McNamara is a paleobiologist studying preserved colours and biochemicals in fossils.
  • John Butler is a neuroscience researcher building mathematical models to help understand how our brains work when we walk.
  • Armin Shams is a research fellow trying to build smart and sustainable cities through digital transformation.
Posted on January 15, 2020 modjen in 2019, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Food Zone Report – November 2019

Read the report: Food Zone Report – November 2019 [PDF]

The Food Zone was a themed zone supported by Science Foundation Ireland. It featured six scientists:

  • Min Yap is researching how bacteria grows and interacts in the dairy production environment.
  • Marcello Valente is a PhD student developing a sensor to detect dangerous mutation in living organisms.
  • Katie Starsmore, the zone winner, is a technician researching how much methane gas cows burp, and how we can reduce this.
  • Dheeraj Rathore is working on improving crops to suit changing climates and fight disease.
  • Israel Ikoyi looks at microbes in the soil to understand how they can help plants grow better, and how farmers can create the conditions for them to do so.
  • Aoife McHugh is looking at microbes that can survive dairy processing, from milk collected on the farm through processing to dairy powder.
Posted on January 15, 2020 modjen in 2019, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Energy Zone Report – November 2019

Read the report: Energy Zone Report – November 2019 [PDF]

The Energy Zone was a themed zone supported by Science Foundation Ireland. It featured six scientists:

  • Jessica Franklin, the winner of this zone, a geologist looking for new ways of predicting the location of oil and gas reservoirs.
  • Jenny Andreasson is a technology analyst whose job is to look for new technologies and smarter ways to use energy.
  • Jason McGuire is a PhD student working with the government to change policies that will help Ireland reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Janis Aleksans models geological processes in the Earth’s crust and finds out what implications this could have for geothermal energy applications.
  • Mohamed Daoud is an electrical engineer who converts energy from one form into another.
  • Catriona Sheridan is a researcher who helps plan the electricity network for future generations, and investigates how to make it more sustainable.
Posted on January 15, 2020 modjen in 2019, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Smart Data Zone Report – November 2018

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The Smart Data Zone was a themed zone supported by Science Foundation Ireland and involved five scientists:

  • Sheila Castilho, the winner of the zone, is a postdoctoral researcher, teaching computers how to translate
  • Piyush Arora is also a postdoctoral researcher, trying to make learning and searching through the internet more convenient and easy
  • Natalia Resende is looking at translation systems such as Google translate and analysis data to discover ways in which they can be improved
  • Gary Munnelly teaches computers how to read books and other text-based resources to help historians study the past
  • Dimitar Shterionov is a postdoctoral researcher at ADAPT Centre working on machine translation between different languages

Students in this zone showed a general interest in the zone’s theme, asking questions about data but also discussing more widely computers, languages and coding. Nearly a third of the questions put to scientists in ASK concerned careers and education.

Posted on January 14, 2019 in 2018, SFI, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Smart Data Zone Report – November 2018

New Materials Zone Report – November 2018

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The New Materials Zone was a themed zone supported by Science Foundation Ireland and involved six scientists:

  • Triona Kennedy works for Stryker, a 3D-printing factory making hips, knees and parts of the spine
  • Simone Iadanza designs and build small structures that trap or reflect light so they can work as small lasers
  • Kieran Joyce is making new materials that can be used in spinal surgery for people with lower back pain
  • Julia Savioli is a computational chemist who uses simulations to understand the behaviour and chemistry of different materials
  • The zone winner, Hugh Manning, researches nanomaterials, particularly nanowires to conduct electricity for display screens and touch screens
  • Emily Growney Kalaf is a biomedical engineer working on nanowires that an act like neurons to understand neurogenic and neuropathic pain

Students in this zone were particularly interested in finding out what it was like being a scientist, and over 40% of the questions in ASK were on careers and/or education topics. Hugh, the zone winner, was very active in the live chats, with his chat lines making up nearly half of all those sent by the scientists over the activity.

Posted on January 14, 2019 in 2018, SFI, Zone Reports | Comments Off on New Materials Zone Report – November 2018

Environmental Care Zone Report – November 2018

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The Environmental Care Zone was a themed zone for primary schools, supported by Science Foundation Ireland.

  • William McCarthy is a PhD student researching how contamination gets into food and how we can stop that from happening
  • Roberto Ferrari studies how honeybees communicate with each other
  • Karen O’Neill works with freshwater pearl mussels aiming to understand the quality of the rivers they live in
  • Jasmine Headlam, this zone’s winner, studies jellyfish venom and uses computers to identify the different components
  • Chinna Devarapu builds circuits for light to find bugs in water

This was the busiest zone in November’s I’m a Scientist Ireland, with over 2,000 questions sent to the scientists in ASK. More students joined the Environmental Care Zone evening live chat than any other zone, across all I’m a Scientist zones this November.

Posted on January 14, 2019 in 2018, SFI, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Environmental Care Zone Report – November 2018

Energy Zone Report – November 2017

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The Energy Zone was a themed Zone funded by Science Foundation Ireland, with five scientists for students to meet. Yang is a PhD student studying combustion chemistry, Stephen is working with materials that can convert solar energy into fuel and Shane is researching ways to store more renewable energy from wind turbines and solar panels. Karla is a postdoctoral researcher trying to find ways to produce energy from organic wastes and biomass and Emma, who was the winner in the Energy Zone, uses computer simulations to find out what Ireland’s energy system will look like in the future.

The Zone was largely on topic, with students asking about ways to save energy at home, as well as interest in different energy sources and the scientists’ own research areas. This was the quietest Zone in November’s I’m a Scientist event, with a lower than average number of questions from students in ASK, and a lower than average number of students logging in.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, SFI, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Energy Zone Report – November 2017

Fluorine Zone Report – November 2017

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The Fluorine Zone was a general science zone, funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Sarah, the winner of this Zone, is a PhD student who is finding ways to generate energy from amino acids, Kieran is a PhD student working on ways to personalise our experience using different digital technologies and Kathryn is a Marine Botanist studying seaweeds such as kelp. Joanne is a microbiologist working with barnacle DNA and Chris is a computational scientist looking at climate change.

As this was a general zone, conversations were varied, and students were interested in the scientists’ individual research areas, as well as making the most of the opportunity to ask about a variety of different science topics. The scientists were all good at explaining their work in a way that students could understand and relate to, as well as answering lots of questions outside of their research areas.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, SFI, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Fluorine Zone Report – November 2017

Smart Data Zone Report – November 2016

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The Smart Data Zone is a themed zone funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Mike works for a plant science journal where he uses data to work out how to get new audiences, Julio works with data to understand how materials work and to design new materials and Jaine looks at big data to uncover patterns which tell us why some patients react well to treatment and others don’t. Dave, the winner of this zone, creates real-time data visualisations to help deliver HIV care in rural South Africa and Annette looks at data from devices used in a hospital to see what could be changed or improved. .
This was one of the busier zones of the event, with a higher than average number of questions asked by students and the highest number of comments. Almost 90% of comments from students were from students at S N Naomh Colmain. Annette and Jaine were the most active scientists, making up almost 75% of activity between them.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, SFI, Zone Reports | Comments Off on Smart Data Zone Report – November 2016