Dirk Pesch, head of Nimbus, on leading a smart cities revolution

7 Oct 2015

Dirk Pesch, head of the Nimbus Centre, CIT. Image: Connor McKenna

As head of one of the leading internet of things (IoT) centres in the country – the Nimbus Centre at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) – Dirk Pesch sees its testing facilities and European collaboration as some of its key strengths.

IoT Makers Week graphic

If cities are to thrive as populations grow and more people migrate towards urban areas, the development of tech-infused smart cities is vital to ensuring that they are as efficient, clean and livable as possible.

With this in mind, research organisations like the Nimbus Centre are looking to bring the ‘smart’ into smart cities, with a range of technologies currently being developed at their high-tech facilities.

One of the centre’s largest facilities is the Litmus Technology Trialling Centre, which is a public facility for the development, testing, trialling and demonstration of applications for energy, water and community technologies.

One such application, which received particular attention earlier this year, was the smart kite developed for the Irish Defence Forces, with the hardware integration and software development taking place at the Nimbus Centre.

The AEOLUS kite is designed to be flown on the ships operated by the Irish Defence Forces, not only increasing their speed, but also generating wind energy and dramatically improving surveillance range by a magnitude of 15.

Back on dry land, Pesch and the other IoT-focused researchers at the Nimbus Centre – like Dr John Barrett – are not just developing lab-based work, but projects that are actually applicable to the real world.

“We’ve put in a test-bed infrastructure that allows us and our partners in academia and industry to take their research prototypes beyond the lab and into the target environment with real-world infrastructure,” Pesch says.

IoT Makers Week explores the internet of things revolution and the makers driving it with reports on Siliconrepublic.com from 5 to 9 October 2015. Get updates by subscribing to our news alerts or following @siliconrepublic and the hashtag #IoTMakersWeek on Twitter.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic