Chris Barrett: ‘FameLab has allowed me to turn my work into a story’


4 Apr 2019446 Views

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Chris Barrett. Image: British Council

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University of Limerick student Chris Barrett has found a new, wider audience for his scientific chatter through FameLab.

Chris Barrett is studying for a BSc in product design and technology at University of Limerick. As part of his final-year thesis, he’s developing assistive wearables that won’t need persistent recharging.

“Inspired by an ageing population who would like to remain active, I’m designing a device which will passively provide assistance without the need for an external power source,” he explained.

Barrett’s own research and interest in this project will feed into his FameLab final presentation.

How did you hear about FameLab and what made you enter?

I received an email from one of my design lecturers, Niall Deloughry, promoting the event in Limerick. It seemed like a pretty interesting and challenging experience – and since my friends are all sick of me talking nonsense, I had to find a new audience.

What’s your presentation about and how did you prepare for it?

My presentation is about assistive wearables and how we’re on the cusp of some incredibly exciting powered garments worldwide. I’ve been preparing by blurting out sound bites around the studio and seeing which pique any interest. I think they’ve learned to drown me out at this stage though.

What was your journey to the final?

Having entered the Limerick regional for a bit of fun, I was delighted to place first and qualify for the Ireland final. We all had a brilliant weekend at the masterclass, so I’m incredibly excited for the final.

How valuable is this experience in teaching you how to communicate?

Immensely. Often times we become so absorbed in our own work that it’s difficult to refine it to a concise, easy-to-understand descriptor. FameLab has allowed us to turn this work into a story, one that’s more appropriate for a wider public audience.

Are you a researcher with an interesting project to share? Let us know by emailing editorial@siliconrepublic.com with the subject line ‘Science Uncovered’.