WIT teamed up with TUS Athlone and DkIT to co-host a fantastic opportunity for final year students to see the projects possible in their final year
Recently graduated science students from across nine institutes presented their undergraduate research projects at the Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Online conference co-hosted by WIT, TUS Athlone campus and DkIT on Friday, 1 October.
About the conference
The conference was supported by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and Dr Terry Maguire, Director of the Forum opened the event. There were approximately 300 online attendees at any one time on the day and nearly 500 conference registrations.
The attendees were final year undergraduate students, many of whom are at the start of their own final year projects, academic staff and postgraduates. There were 23 oral presentations and almost 50 poster presentations of an excellent standard covering a broad range of topical and interesting scientific endeavours.
Members of the School of Science and Computing at WIT were part of the National Organising and Local Organising Committees, working over the past nine months to organise the conference. The conference was also supported by the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning CTEL at WIT.
Day broken into 3 streams
The day was broken into 3 streams which were hosted by each respective Institute. WIT coordinated the Chemistry, (Bio)Pharma, Computing and Physics stream, TUS Athlone campus the Biology and the Environment stream and DkIT the Health, Sport and Nutrition stream.
Important opportunity for students
Speaking on the impact of the event, Prof Peter McLoughlin, Head of the School of Science and Computing at WIT said, “We are delighted to be co-hosting the 4th Annual SURE Conference in WIT. The event has become an important opportunity for final year project students to showcase the excellence of their research to a cross-disciplinary audience.
“This year’s virtual event is a testament not only to the innovation of our students but also demonstrates their remarkable resilience in creating such excellent research outputs while working under the challenges imposed by the pandemic.”
Very high standard
On congratulating the students who presented their research at the event, Dr Orla O’Donovan, Head of Department of Science at WIT said: “The variety and standard of the presentations and posters presented here today were of very high standard.
“I would like to especially congratulate the students and their academic supervisors for adapting the undergraduate research projects during the Covid pandemic. The dialogue and support of the SURE network nationally ensured that innovative ways to conduct projects safely during this pandemic were achieved across all institutions.”
Expert judging panels within each stream selected the best oral and poster presentations.
Dr Geraldine Canny, Head of Research at WIT who acted as one of the judges for the day said: “It was a pleasure to serve as a judge for the Chemistry, Bio(Pharma), Computing and Physics panel. The presentations were on diverse and topical research projects and of high quality.
“My final year research project sparked my interest in a subsequent PhD and hopefully this path will be chosen by several of the participants in this event”.
Prof Willie Donnelly, President of WIT along with Dr Michael Mulvey, President of DkIT and James Maloney, Senior Regional Development Executive for Enterprise Ireland presented the Awards to the winning presentations. The audience also had their voice heard and using an online app, the audience selected oral and poster winners within each stream.
The winning presentations in the Chemistry, Bio(Pharma), Computing and Physics stream included work on mutation profiling in colorectal cancer patients, development of an accessible patient medical record, computational prediction of the impact of SARS-CoV2 variants and spike mutations and investigation into the use of gelatin from marine by-products in cosmetic formulations.
An array of guest speakers
Throughout the day, the audience was inspired by several guest speakers discussing their research and careers including Dr Chris Edlin, Senior Director R&D, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Dr Bernard Drumm, Lecturer DkIT, Visiting Lecturer University of Nevada, Reno and Prof Sinéad Louise Farrell, University of Maryland, USA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Laboratory.
A Postgraduate Opportunities Workshop ended the day with keynote from Dr Eoin Cullina, Head of Research at GMIT and short presentations from 3 PhD students including Dan (Chau Thuy) Nguyen from the PMBRC at WIT about a day in the life of a PhD student.
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sport & Exercise Science
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sports Coaching & Performance
- Bachelor of Business in Recreation & Sport Management
- Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Recreation & Sport Management
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science (Common Entry)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Exercise Sciences (Common Entry)
- Bachelor of Science in Food Science & Innovation
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Health & Exercise Science
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Health Sciences (Common Entry)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Molecular Biology with Biopharmaceutical Science
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nutrition & Exercise Science
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Pharmaceutical Science
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Pharmaceutical Science
- Bachelor of Science in Food Science with Business
- Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology with Biopharmaceutical Science
- Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science
- Bachelor of Science in Science (General)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Public Health & Health Promotion
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Health Care
- Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Care