Smart tech of the future at NUI Galway, as IT projects excel

7 Nov 20111 Share

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Prof Gerry Lyons, dean, College of Engineering & Informatics; Dr Jim Duggan, head of IT Discipline, NUIG; HDip/MSc in Software Design and Development winners: Colin Divily and Naomi Ono; and Kevin Gallagher, Cisco

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NUI Galway IT students have won awards for their innovative smart-tech projects covering everything from interactive policy simulators for urban dynamics, web visualisation of weather-station data, smartphone systems so people can avoid early morning coffee queues and a vintage car website to check out classic models.

Here’s a look at some of the projects in a bit more depth:

Best Project in the BSc in Computer Science and Information Technology

Galway native Terry Lyons, a graduate of the BSc in Computer Science and Information Technology at National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway, was awarded the Best Project in the BSc in Computer Science and Information Technology, sponsored by Cisco Systems.

Lyons developed a software system that involved the design and implementation of a computer game to model an urban environment. The key contributions included a mathematical modelling engine encompassing continuous and Markov equations and a game engine architecture based on Microsoft XNA technology.

Best Project in the HDip/MSc in Software Design and Development

On a completely different type of application, Colin Divily from Corofin, Co Galway, and Naomi Ono, originally from Japan, both students of the HDip/MSc in Software Design and Development, were awarded the Best Project in the HDip/MSc in Software Design and Development, also sponsored by Cisco Systems.

Ono and Divily implemented a website visualising the current weather conditions in Galway using real-time weather data collected by a weather station set up by the Informatics Research Unit for Sustainable Energy (IRUSE), which collaborated on the project.

Best Final BA Project in Information Technology

For those with an interest in classical and vintage cars, Patrick O’Toole from Moycullen, Co Galway, and Mark Shaw from Tuam, Co Galway, both graduates of the BA in Information Technology, created a classic cars website.

The site includes a database that provides information on manufacturers of classic cars and the models available. Site users can also place cars for sale and view cars already available on the website.

Best Business Plan: 4th year BSc Computer Science & Information Technology

Best Business Plan - 4th year BSc Computer Science & Information Technology

Winners of the Best Business Plan – 4th year BSc Computer Science & Information Technology. From left: Prof Gerry Lyons, dean, College of Engineering & Informatics; John Farrell, Ballaghaderren, Co Roscommon; Luke Potter, Abbeyknockmoy, Co Galway; and Dr Jim Duggan, head of Information Technology Discipline, NUI Galway

Each year at NUI Galway a special Entrepreneurship Prize is awarded for the students who produce the best business plan. These plans are evaluated by external business experts from WestBIC. This year’s prize was awarded to John Farrell from Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, Luke Potter from Abbeyknockmoy, Co Galway, and Ernestas Lisauska from Galway, for their ‘Hey Expresso’ system.

This system comprises a smartphone application and related server that allows users to pre-order and pre-pay for their morning coffees, hopefully avoiding queues in the process!

Proving ground for research and commercial link-ups

"We believe this is a strong endorsement of the commercial relevance of our degree programmes, and underlines our commitment to innovation, professionalism and research at NUI Galway. We place a huge emphasis on final-year project work. These projects are a proving ground for research and commercial business opportunities. Partnering with a blue-chip global company like Cisco gives students the added motivation and ambition to deliver excellent work," said Gerry Lyons, professor of Information Technology and dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway.

Carmel was a long-time reporter with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com