Archive for Education

LIT Tipperary Gro Bursary Research Creation of a dynamic interactive model of residential energy consumption – Smart DEAP

I will be co-supervising a research masters student starting in Sept 2012. The objective is  to carry out research in to optimisation of the National Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) using monitored energy data from150 buildings.

Research Area
The Department of Technology, Media and Science at the Limerick Institute of
Technology, Tipperary School has been awarded GRO Bursary funding to carry out
research in to optimisation of the National Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure
(DEAP) using monitored energy data from150 buildings.

Profile of the Candidate
• Primary honours degree in engineering or computing.
• Interest in pursuing postgraduate studies in an area related to energy management
and sustainable energy.
• Data analysis (compilation, interrogation and verification) experience or interest
in this field
• Ability to develop software models which integrate with National DEAP Software
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to work within a
team
• Interest in potential for developing a new model for assessing dwelling energy
performance
• Studies will be based in Thurles Campus (LIT Tipperary) and will involve
working with data from the EU SERVE project (www.servecommunity.ie)
Minimum Entry Requirements
A minimum of a 2.2. Hons degree in Computing or Engineering
Research enquiries should be directed to Seamus Hoyne; seamus.hoyne@lit.ie
Department of Technology, Media and Science
Tipperary School
Nenagh Rd
Thurles
Co. Tipperary
For application enquiries please contact graduatestudies@lit.ie

 

Optimising home heating controls – Gro Bursary Resarch masters opportunity in LIT Tipperary Thurles Campus

If you are interested in carrying out research into the rapidly expanding area of home heating controls then you should consider an oppurtunity that just come available in LIT Tipperary. This research would lead to the awarding of a Research Masters degree by LIT. The bursary will cover tuition and relevant conference fees for publication of research.

A colleague and I will be supervising the research which will be base in the Thurles campus.

Research Area
The Department of Technology, Media and Science at the Limerick Institute of
Technology, Tipperary School has been awarded GRO Bursary funding to carry out
research in the area of optimising home energy heating controls.
Profile of the Candidate
• Primary honours degree in engineering or computing.
• Interest in pursuing postgraduate studies in an area related to energy management
and sustainable energy.
• Data analysis (compilation, interrogation and verification) experience or interest
in this field
• Ability to work on hardware, software related to heating control systems
• Interest in user interface design and usability issues
• Practical “hands on” approach to working with industry and homeowners
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to work within a
team
• Interest in developing the commercialisation of innovative heating control
systems
• Studies will be based in Thurles Campus (LIT Tipperary) and will involve
working with industry partner (Climate)
Minimum Entry Requirements
A minimum of a 2.2. Hons degree in Computing or Engineering
Research enquiries should be directed to Liam Noonan; liam.noonan@lit.ie
Department of Technology, Media and Science
Tipperary School
Nenagh Rd
Thurles
Co. Tipperary
For application enquiries please contact graduatestudies@lit.ie

http://www.lit.ie/Research/Docs/LIT%20Tipperary%20Quantitative%20analysis%20of%20the%20impact%20that%20smart.pdf

Free irish newspapers on your kindle

Irish Independent on the Kindle. Mobi file created by Calibre

Irish Independent on the Kindle. Mobi file created by Calibre

I am a big fan of the wifi version of the kindle as I can use Calibre to download Irish & UK news papers and have them converted to a mobi kindle file which then gets emailed to my kindle. All this is achieved via 1 click.

A kindle has an associated email address. To send a document to your kindle you just email it as an attachment. I hope to exploit this feature and use it good effect for keeping up to date with developments in the sustainable energy tech sector which our students in LIT Tipperary will be exploring as part of our degree in smart sustainable energy

LIT Tipperary’s Smart Sustainable Energy students can expect a green and busy year

500 sqm Solar Park

Cloughjordan Eco Village 500 sqm solar array for hot water

As we head back for another academic year in LIT Tipperary/ Tipperary Institute my thoughts are turning to the busy year we have ahead of us. Our Smart Sustainable Energy students in our level 8 and level 7 programmes will have the oppurtunity to experience many aspects of the renewable energy sector in our sustainable orientated campus. These include:

  • Installation of our wood chip heating system for the Thurles campus. Students will have a read only access to the complete system which will be used through out the 4 years of the degree.
  • Field trips with the Smart Green Society to various Renewable sectors/sites
  • Installation of our wind anemometer and Davis Pro weather station. We will use this data in our maths analysis modules to estimate wind speeds and models for wind turbine power estimation. The weather station will also record solar activity and we will use this to estimate solar PV output.
  • Solar PV Trainer, our new solar PV trainer will assist us in exploring how to harness solar energy to generate electricity as well as developing hardware/embedded solutions to integrate with the solar PV kit.
  • Assist in organising Green week, last years green week was a great success and we hope to continue this with a week of talks by people and businesses in the green sector.
  • Green campus initiative, LIT Tipperary is in the process of seeking green campus accreditation. This will require a significant amount of input from both the campus community and management. Members of the smart green society will assist in this process.
  • Explore and learn software development processes and languages that are used in the renewable energy/ green tech sector. The efficient use of green resources requires intelligent software and hardware to harness this resource to good effect from web apps to hardware solutions. Students will explore how software applications and embedded systems can be developed to assist in this area.
  • Monitor and assist in reducing the electrical energy demand of our Thurles and Clonmel campuses. Using real time electrical monitoring equipment we aim to educate the campus community about electrical consumption and reduce it.
  • Monitor and assess data from energy efficient communities so as to assess the performance of various building technologies and renewable heating sources.
So its going to be a busy but enjoyable year. As a campus that practices sustainability as well as teaching/preaching it we believe that our smart sustainable energy students will get experience both the practical and theoretical in this emerging and fast growing sector.

LIT Tipperary takes the lead in Sustainable Energy Technologies

“Ireland has an opportunity to take the lead in the development of Smart Sustainable Technologies which will benefit energy security, sustainable development and the creation of employment” according to Dr Liam Noonan the programme chair of the Computing degree in Smart Sustainable Energy in LIT Tipperary.

LIT Tipperary have recently taken delivery of a number of new sustainable energy technologies so as to provide students with hands on practical experience in monitoring, assessment and design of new solutions to maximise energy efficiency. LIT Tipperary is also a partner in monitoring energy performance generated by the monitoring systems installed in 100 houses as part of the EU SERVE Project, as well as data from Eco village in Cloughjordan which include Ireland’s largest Solar Array, District heating and passive standard buildings.

“This comprehensive degree, which includes hands-on training and access to live data from sustainable communities, will give our students the necessary skills to be successful in the workforce upon graduation,” Dr Noonan explains. “Our goals for this degree are two-fold, to encourage and develop sustainable technologies, and to provide our students with the best, leading edge learning experience possible.”

The Smart Sustainable Energy degree provides a range of advanced modules in computing and sustainable energy technologies thus producing graduates with strong employment prospects within the sustainable energy and software development domain. Graduates will acquire the necessary knowledge to cope with the changing nature of the sustainable energy domain and the computing industry throughout their careers.

“This flagship degree program is the first of its kind in Ireland,” Dr Noonan said. “This degree  builds on our continued leadership in the renewable energy and sustainable development sector. We are the first college to offer a degree in the converging area of Computing and Sustainable Energy and we are delighted to be partnered with the Eco village in Cloughjordan and their community”

With the spiraling costs of fossil fuel based energy such as oil the environmental technologies market is forecast to reach €2.3 trillion by 2020, while in the EU the sector employs 3.4 million people and turns over €227bn annually.

Eco Evolution, a renewable energy business based in Co. Wexford and Switch Source a Photovoltaic company based in Co. Antrim, have designed and supplied LIT Tipperary with a Solar PV Trainer station for use on the Smart Sustainable degree programme.

“Eco Evolution is thrilled to be partnering with LIT Tipperary on this exciting project” said Frank Gethings, managing director. “We firmly believe that degree programmes like this are the way of the future and that LIT Tipperary are leading the charge on behalf of third level institutions across Ireland”

For more information please visit http://www.lit.ie/Tip/TecMedSci/Courses/113/default.aspx or contact Dr Liam Noonan at 0504 28254 or email liam.noonan@lit.ie

Software Development graduates are in demand in Ireland

With the news today that AOL is to hire another 20 software engineers (They hired 50 in June) and the fact that Amazon are looking for Java developers, I am still surprised that the interest in software development and ICT at a national level is still quiet muted. In a economy with rising unemployment students should consider a rewarding and challenging career with good prospects in software development. This includes a myriad of domains such as enterprise, sustainable energy, embedded systems etc.

Another multinational that is hiring is Google. At the moment they are looking for C, C++, Python, Perl, Java Experts in Dublin. They also recently announced they are going to create 200 new jobs at a new operations centre.

The  new B.Sc (Honours) in Computing (Smart Sustainable Energy) degree focuses on developing and designing innovative sustainable energy technology that solves energy problems. This innovative programme is essential in supporting the development of Ireland’s smart green economy. This programme addresses the requirement for a low carbon high-tech economy with the potential to create 80,000 jobs over the next decade as identified by the Green Enterprise Group in Dec 2009. The course is unique in Ireland and is built upon Tipperary Institute’s expertise in the sustainable energy sector. The course will commence in September 2010 and students can apply through the CAO, the course code is TI020 for level 7 and TI004 for level 7.

These graduates will focus on the design and implementation of new innovative systems which integrate technology with sustainable energy sources. Careers in this area include the following sectors:

  • Energy Management Systems
  • Electric car charging systems
  • Building Management Systems
  •  Automated energy controls for Industrial buildings
  •  Mobile communication solutions for energy systems

Smart Sustainable Solar Homes require Smart Sustainable Software Developers

solar_powered_house_small.jpg


A colleague of mine attended the European Solar Decathlon in Madrid. The objective was to build a 43 sqm solar powered home. These homes relied on a mix of clever building design, renewable and sustainable energy systems and the integration of smart technology to manage the home and its energy usage. The team members from various institutions contained a mix of builders, designers, renewable energy engineers and software developers. Several of the teams had a least 3 software developers on their team. The language of choice being C++. The technology platform of choice for building automation was Siemens Apogee

 

The students who will commence our new Computing Degree in Smart Sustainable Energy (CAO Code TI020) will be studying both C++ and Building Automation systems and hopefully in the future will play a part in these Solar Decathlons. 

Apple IPad – Can it usurp e-ink?


The Apple IPad has been launched and the hype reached new levels. Steve Jobs knows how to market and perform a product launch. It is only when the excitement dies down and the Apple Acolytes have returned to their temples to worship at their beautifully designed altars and pews will we figure out if the device is “worth it”. 

My initial reaction are as follows:
  • How will it perform outside in sunshine?, e-ink does a great job from a readability point of view
  • Power management, a e-ink devices such as as the Sony reader and the kindle can be used for a very long time between charges
  • Will they allow you to  read existing e-books, and e-books published from other stores
  • DRM are we going to see Apple take a similar approach as they did with the Ipod, lock it down first then slowly open it up
  • I can see why news papers like it you could sign up via itunes to get your daily news paper or monthly magazine subscription.
So the I am still skeptical and will probably wait 2 – 3 years for the features and technology to stabilise and the prices to drop.

Free PDF creation software for Windows

As a user of linux I take it for granted that I can create PDF documents. It is not as straight forward for Window OS users.

I have been asked in the past to recommend an application for creating PDF documents. The application I use in Windows is CutePDF which installs a printer in Windows.

It can be downloaded from http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp

You need to install the PS2PDF converter first, the link for this software is on the page.

Happy PDFing.

Apple IIe – The computer that inspired a generation of irish computer programmers


As an irish secondary school student of the 1980s. I was lucky enough to attend a school that had a room full of Apple IIe computers.We used these machines to learn Apple basic which allowed us to plot graphs etc,

There were also numerous math and educational software, but the basic programming language captured my attention.
I remember at the end of 1st year proudly demonstrating to my class mates a map of Ireland that a number of us had painstakingly plotted on the Apple IIe. This simple computer with its basic/maths/science software inspired a generation of 1980s recession kids to learn programming and pursue it at third level.

What followed in its foot steps was a retrograde step whose repercussions are still being felt in irish education. The PC and Microsoft windows changed the computing landscape in secondary schools, suddenly we went from teaching computer science to teaching computer literacy i.e. word processing etc.

Irish secondary schools have been reluctant ever since to move away from this model and it has only in recent years with the introduction of ICT coordinators are we seeing a move back to teaching “computational thinking”
So the dept education needs to go back to the 1980s and rediscover computer science and computational thinking, this means placing ICT and computational thinking on the junior and senior cycle.

The equipment is in place but the subject is still waiting in the wings.