12 days of… Research 2019


As the year 2019 draws to a close, completing the second decade of the millennium, it affords time to reflect upon the past 12 months of research in WIT

A time to recount the successes, events, and highlights that inspired us throughout the year. The following list is chosen to illustrate the breadth of research in the Institute, from funding success to prestigious awards. By no means a comprehensive list of research happenings nor a Top-12 list in any order. The reflections below are just some of the many stories that represent research within the Institute for 2019.

  • WIT team lead €4m project to train researchers to improve sight-saving treatments. The ORBITAL project was underway in June and will contribute to research that could lead to more widespread use of less invasive drug delivery methods such as eye drops, contact lenses and microneedle technologies, instead of the more traditional injections. read more »
  • Launch of 3DWIT puts Waterford at heart of 21st century manufacturing. 3DWIT is a designated activity company that is instrumental in both training industry in new manufacturing techniques as well as providing prototype development services. The company was launched by Minister Heather Humphreys T.D. and Minister John Halligan T.D. in March of this year. read more »
  • Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) scoops top R&D prize at Pharma Industry Awards. The PMBRC won the Research and Development Achievement award at the 2019 Pharma Industry Awards, held in Dublin in October. This is the second time the PMBRC has won the R&D prize having previously won in 2017. read more »


Celebrating our PhD graduates at WIT

Our PhD graduates continue to impress with their research achievements

  • Technology experts in Waterford are bidding to tackle one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer using miniature, implantable devices. TSSG is Ireland’s only research hub involved in this €6 million brain cancer project. Brain cancer survival and recovery rates could be significantly improved as telecoms experts at the TSSG partner with universities world-wide on the potentially life-changing GLADIATOR project that was started in March. read more » 
  • In March, a two-year review by a team from the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI) in the School of Health Sciences at WIT was published. The review focused on the part played by nutrition in cognition and Alzheimer’s disease which is the most common form of dementia. This research underlines a key role of diet in cognition and Alzheimer’s Disease, possibly reducing the risk of the disease as we get older. read more » 
  • South East Research Sparks – The Sequel took place in WIT during October. Funded under the cross-institutional collaborative projects fund, South East Research Sparks - The Sequel, is the second such collaborative event to be held between WIT and IT Carlow. The day provided an opportunity for research-active staff across both institutes to present their research to colleagues, as well as outlining future directions they intend to pursue in line with their Institute’s research strategy. The first South East Research Sparks was held in IT Carlow in March 2019 and proved very successful, with some researchers forging new alliances, not only across both institutes but also within the institutes. The sequel event creates more momentum to stimulate further research and collaboration between both institutes. read more »


South East Research Sparks: The Sequel

South East Research Sparks – The Sequel, helping to forge stronger links with our colleagues

  • Three research centres at Waterford Institute of Technology, which are also Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Centres – SEAM, TSSG, and PMBRC – were awarded a share of the €6m Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland through the Technology Gateway Network Programme. There were 43 successful applicants from the Institutes of Technology (IoT) and TU Dublin and all three of WIT’s technology gateways were approved for funding in August. read more »
  • A visit by delegates from WIT’s research and innovation office to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and St John Fisher College (SJFC), Rochester in October served to build and connect the many education and research initiatives that have been growing in recent years. Waterford became Rochester’s seventh sister city in 1983 with Bausch & Lomb pioneering how business and development could prosper in a twinned city arrangement. There were some new enterprise developments and business exchanges in the early 2000s and WIT has continued to ‘reach out’ through the sister cities initiative to grow its connections in Rochester. read more »
  • During October, Dr John Organ, PhD graduate at the INSYTE research group in WIT’s School of Science and Computing, won the Best Young Author Award at the 19th International Federation of Automation and Control TECIS Conference in Bulgaria for his paper on the Irish banking crisis. read more »

WIT R&I team visits RIT, New York

Making new connections in RIT (Rochester, New York), Waterford's twin city

  • The Institute celebrated the opening of Open Research Week in October by officially launching the WIT Open Research Policy. Following the official launch, guest speaker, Prof Luke Drury from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, gave a talk on the subject of Open Research. The event also marked the 12th Anniversary of the WIT Research Repository, developed to enable WIT-affiliated authors to make their research data open in accordance with the FAIR principles and is now in line with the new WIT Open Research Policy. read more »
  • Prestigious international award for Dr Felicity Kelliher, Irish Academy of Management Chair and Senior Lecturer in Management at the School of Business. Dr Kelliher received the prestigious British Academy of Management (BAM) Companion Award 2019 at the 33rd annual BAM conference, hosted by Aston University Birmingham in early September. read more »
  • In April, WIT started a research project to develop enhanced gene therapy treatments for the rare human disorder Canavan disease. WIT will collaborate with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMASS) in leading this exciting new PhD project and is led by Dr Lee Coffey in WIT. Canavan disease (CD) is caused by a mutation in one gene, which leads to the loss of an enzyme (ASPA, a protein which carries out reactions in the body) and consequently a build-up of a chemical in the brain. Symptoms of CD include intellectual disability, loss of motor skills, abnormal muscle tone, and visual degeneration, with most CD patients dying in childhood. read more »

It has been a very exciting year for research within the Institute, auspiciously paving the way for the new year and new decade to come. The Institute is poised to embrace new challenges and discover new solutions while it continues to push research bounaries and forge new connections throughout the world.

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