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Institute of Technology, Carlow Masters Degrees

We have 67 Institute of Technology, Carlow Masters Degrees

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Project Objectives. Model a variety of hydrophobic and hydrophilic microtextured structures using CAD/CAM and CFD Simulation software. Read more

Project Objectives

  • Model a variety of hydrophobic and hydrophilic microtextured structures using CAD/CAM and CFD Simulation software.
  • Study the microtexture/environment (aqueous) interactions.
  • Produce physical microtexture samples for testing (mechanical, chemical, physical), using Additive Manufacturing (AM) tools

Methodology proposed

  • Microtexturing can be used to counteract many negative environmental effects such as biofouling, icing (wind turbines) and waste water infrastructure back-pressure.
  • Microtexturing is a natural phenomenon and its effectiveness has been proven in nature but not scientifically investigated.
  • Representative samples from the range of existing natural micro textures will be selected for re-creation using 3D modelling software (Solidworks, Abaqus) for subsequent study. A range of typical environments will be defined and developed based on a list of critical performance criteria (e.g. ship’s hull, sanitation infrastructure, renewable energy technology). CFD modelling (Ansys, OpenFOAM) will then study the microtexture/environment interactions.
  • Critical microtexture parameters will be identified, quantified and transferred to appropriate AM tools (3D printing, photolithography) to produce physical samples, on which a number of pertinent tests will be performed; including contact angle, scratch & wear testing, environment-controlled 3-/4- point bend testing, tribocorrosion testing and cavitation erosion.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

This work will be used to support current and future manifestations of ongoing research into the successful transition of natural to manufactured microtexturing for advanced surface treatments and enhanced interfacial properties of exposed surfaces. It will also provide diversity in the estimated research outputs for materials research and will provide for a number of publications (Targeting Journals: Corrosion Science; Wear; and Conferences: 8th International Conference of Fatigue, Fracture and Wear, 2019).



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For many people regular physical exercise is not carried out a sufficient level to stay healthy and maintain a basic level of fitness. Read more

For many people regular physical exercise is not carried out a sufficient level to stay healthy and maintain a basic level of fitness. This project will examine if augmenting a conventional exercise routine with recreational virtual environments, will increase the intrinsic mo tivation with a group of users.

Building on research in VR/AR platforms with 3D 6 Degrees of Freedom accurate low latency controllers where users’ physical movement can be tracked ,the game /experience will lead the user through a number of predefined physical activities over a specific time period.

The user’s movements and other biometric data are collated and assessed in the context of the user’s perception of exertion and motivation to continue to carry out the exercise. We hope to gain an understanding of the links between differing VR/AR experiences and motivation to carry out physical exercise.

Methodology proposed

This project will use a mixed methodology. A pilot study will be carried out on usage of the new the new system.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

Through knowledge creation, application and transfer, this project will deepen our understanding of the factors determining motivation for physical exercise in a VR/AR environment. In line with the IT Carlow’s strategic research objectives, the outputs will be disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences.



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The aims of this project are to. Determine the capacity for feedstock production within a suitable catchment area for a cooperative type scenario. Read more

The aims of this project are to:

  1. Determine the capacity for feedstock production within a suitable catchment area for a cooperative type scenario.
  2. Determine the optimum mix of the available feedstocks to maximise methane yield, including the use of fermentation enhancers. It is expected that this project will give an indication of the potential for community based bio-methane production in the South East of Ireland.

Further information

These projects are funded under the President’s Research Fellowship Programme of the Institute, with the college fees and research materials and consumables covered. A small student stipend will also be provided. The successful candidates will work in the enviroCORE, which is the Institute’s environmental research centre, in a team of research supervisors and postgraduate students.

Applicants should have a primary honours degree (Level 8) in an appropriate discipline (Biosciences, Microbiology, Genetics, Biology, Bioinformatics, Zoology, Environmental Science etc.). They must also hold a minimum of a Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2.1) undergraduate degree. The successful candidates are expected start in the postgraduate positions no later than September 2018.

To apply for a President’s Research Fellowship Scholarship, please email with the title(s) of the project being applied for, a CV and a statement (c.500 words) as to why this project is of interest to you. If applying for more than one research project, please list them in your order of preference.

Closing Date: Monday 5th June 2018



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Project Objectives. To measure competitive balance in the All Ireland Senior GAA Football Championship from 1997-2017. To test the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis in a non- professional sporting organisation using the All Ireland Senior GAA Football Championship. Read more

Project Objectives

  1. To measure competitive balance in the All Ireland Senior GAA Football Championship from 1997-2017
  2. To test the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis in a non- professional sporting organisation using the All Ireland Senior GAA Football Championship
  3. To document ‘grass roots’ experiences from Carlow GAA on competitive balance and the All Ireland Senior GAA Football Championship
  4. To make recommendations to support competitive balance in the All Ireland Senior GAA Football Championship

Methodology proposed

The methodology proposed for this study will be a mixed methods approach using three stages. Stage one of the project will measure competitive balance using data sourced on County Match statistics for The All Ireland Senior GAA Football Championship extracted from the sporting sections of National newspapers accessible through the Lexis library database. An intertemporal approach will be used from 1997-2017. Lorenz curves will be used to measure competitive balance as these are a standard measure, to date, of competitive balance in the sports economics literature.

Stage two will test the ‘uncertainty of outcome hypothesis’ that fan interest varies with competitive balance of the All Ireland Senior GAA Football Championship using regression analysis to test the relationship between competitive balance and match attendance.

Stage three will be a series of meetings at ‘grass roots’ level with Carlow GAA to document experiences at club and county level of competitive balance and the All Ireland Senior GAA Football Championship.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

The expected outcome from this research is one potentially publishable research paper. Competitive balance and the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis is an area of great interest in sports economics. Applying these concepts to the operation of the GAA, a unique Sporting Association, is a new departure in the published literature. The project is of strategic value to the GAA itself as it could assist future rule creation governing Championship Football. The project will also develop research in the Sports area of the Department as recommended by the Programmatic Review Group in 2016.



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The aim of this study is to examine the branding of local and authentic food from a tourism and food provider’s perspective. According to Bjork and Kauppinen- Raisanen (2015) the idea of local food culture is well-known, as every country is characterised by its national and regional iconic dishes. Read more

The aim of this study is to examine the branding of local and authentic food from a tourism and food provider’s perspective.

According to Bjork and Kauppinen- Raisanen (2015) the idea of local food culture is well-known, as every country is characterised by its national and regional iconic dishes. They contend that local food attracts travellers and contributes to the tourist experience, indicating marketing potential for hospitality industries, tourism business and regional development (Bjork and Kauppinen- Raisanen 2015).

IIbery and Kneafsey (1998) suggest that a potential for food brands developing a dynamic construction of cultural authenticity has been realised. However, although food tourism has been characterised as an emerging industry, studies of branding in food tourism are limited (Tsai and Wang, 2016). They also suggest that a knowledge gap exists in clarifying the key value of a food experience when forming an image. Furthermore, research into branding of local food is also limited despite an increase in consumer interest in food provenance, traceability and support for the local economy (Hingley et al., 2010).

Methodology proposed

The proposed research will be qualitative in nature through a series of semi-structured interviews. A sample of tourists and food providers will be chosen. This is essential because as consumers, tourists can only select from the kinds of food and drinks available at their destination and it is therefore necessary to talk to those supplying food products in order to establish how their attitudes towards food, place and authenticity compare to those of their customers (Sims, 2009).

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

The main project objective is the completion of a Masters thesis within the agreed time scale.

It is proposed to disseminate the research results and associated recommendations to relevant audiences.

It is also anticipated that the research project will generate research outputs in the form of conference papers and journal articles. The project also builds on current research being undertaken in the Campus/Institute thus developing a further body of knowledge and staff competence for Institute staff in focusing on local food tourism. 



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A growing body of research calls for the recognition of the complex, multi-faceted and gender-specific nature of homelessness (Barrow and Lawinski, 2009; Mayock and Sheridan, 2012; Mayock et al, 2015a; Savage, 2016). Read more

A growing body of research calls for the recognition of the complex, multi-faceted and gender-specific nature of homelessness (Barrow and Lawinski, 2009; Mayock and Sheridan, 2012; Mayock et al, 2015a; Savage, 2016). This project will apply a gender lens to the issue of housing and homelessness in Ireland in order to:

  • evaluate if and how contemporary housing legislation and policies (e.g. the Housing Act, 2009; Rebuilding Ireland, 2016) in Ireland reflect and respond to the specific needs and realities of women at risk of and experiencing homelessness
  • examine how contemporary housing policies impact on the provision of services for women experiencing homelessness
  • distinguish between the experiences of women with and without children with respect to the provision of homeless and housing services.

Methodology proposed

The following qualitative research methods will be employed:

  • a discourse analysis of relevant housing policy
  • semi -structured interviews with housing service providers and advocacy organisations
  • semi -structured interviews with women accessing homeless services

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

  • Article in a social policy/gender studies journal (e.g. Critical Social Policy)
  • Conference presentation at Social Care Ireland
  • Policy recommendations on gender-sensitive housing policies


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Project Objectives. To develop a studio to afford enterprises time to explore creatively within a dynamic peer group. To critically review the needs of enterprises with the aim of streamlining the process to innovation. Read more

Project Objectives

  • To develop a studio to afford enterprises time to explore creatively within a dynamic peer group.
  • To critically review the needs of enterprises with the aim of streamlining the process to innovation
  • To develop a methodology that enhances a multi layered offering into a bespoke approach for regional enterprises.
  • To develop interdisciplinary research in ITC
  • To develop links with potential regional research centres internationally

Methodology proposed

This research is envisaged to be predominantly applied in its nature and project driven (Action Research). It will be focused on a fixed

space, working alongside ERIC’s initiative of ‘the future studio’.

The researcher will work alongside mentors and enterprises developing case studies on various methods and approaches.

The use or design methodologies like prototyping, iteration and conceptualisation will be used to explore variations of the process.

This research will also be aligned with leading research in this field and be informed by international best practice.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

  • A methodology to enhance the development of enterprise in the South East region of Ireland
  • Investigate opportunities for delivery of research findings at an International Conference or Publication of research paper in International peer reviewed journal
  • Recommendations for further research opportunities
  • Network of research and industry collaborative partners
  • The postgraduate will present their research through public exhibition or peer review defence

Strategic Impact

  • The network of research and industry collaborative partners developed through this research project will increase the collaborati ve capabilities of designCORE.
  • Publications, peer review and conferences enhance designCORE, ERIC and ITC’s status of an internationally recognised provider of interdisciplinary research.
  • Create opportunities of commercialisation of a methodology beyond the master’s research project and development of a movement in the region.
  • Recommendations for further research opportunities allow for increased interdisciplinary research activity in ITC


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To identify and critique how positive relationships with children in the EY are supported and nurtured. To identify good practice and make recommendations arising out of the project findings. Read more
  • To identify and critique how positive relationships with children in the EY are supported and nurtured
  • To identify good practice and make recommendations arising out of the project findings.

Methodology proposed

  • Identify & critique relevant literature
  • Survey
  • Interviews with pedagogical leaders, managers, key workers and parents
  • Focus groups
  • Observation of key worker interactions (with relevant ethical approval)

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

Custom and practice in early years’ settings has tended to place the practitioner as educational manager or carer of a small group of children. The key person approach seeks to create a triangle of trust that the educator and parents build to support the child in the EY setting. (Elfer, 2007)

In line with our Strategic Plan (2014-18) this project has the potential of serving the local Early Years community by identifying good local practice. Dissemination of the recommendations and the outcomes could for the basis for critical reflective engagement CPD opportunities to be hosted by the Department.

This research project will also increase the research profile of the Dept. and contribute to the newly validated Master of Arts in Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care.



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Men with the poorest health outcomes are, paradoxically, the least likely to engage with community-based health promotion programmes (CBHPPs). Read more

Men with the poorest health outcomes are, paradoxically, the least likely to engage with community-based health promotion programmes (CBHPPs). Despite this, few ‘men-friendly’ settings-based health promotion interventions have been developed or evaluated. The exponential growth of Men’s Sheds in Ireland presents a unique opportunity to address this gap. ‘Sheds’ combine principles of health promotion and community development and provide an alternative space in which to engage so-called ‘hard-to-reach’ men in CBHPPs. This study will in vestigate the impact of ‘Sheds for Life’ (SFL), a CBHPP conducted in Shed settings, on a range of health outcome and health behaviour change measures among participating ‘Shedders’.

Methodology proposed

A preliminary study has established that the focus of SFL ought to be on creating and embedding a bottom up, grassroots, sustainable model for SFL, whereby ‘Shedders’ independently engage with health in their own Shed environment, on topics which they choose.

The proposed project will offer health screening as an initial ‘hook’ and thereafter offer Shedders a suite of health interventions, delivered in collaboration with community partners. While some process evaluation has previously been conducted on some of these interventions feasibility and effectiveness have not previously been evaluated in this setting. The study will adopt a cluster randomized control design across a sample of the 400 sheds across Ireland. Outcome measures will vary according to the intervention component chosen by Shedders and will include physiological measures, behaviour change, happiness, wellbeing, social capital, and use of community resources.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

Findings will inform best practice approaches to CBHPPs targeted at ‘hard-to-reach’ men and will have an important bearing on public health/men’s health policy. Findings will be disseminated through national/international conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and knowledge-translation activities (Sheds publications, social media, toolkits). The study will strengthen relationships with project partners (HSE, Irish Heart) and will advance the strategic objectives of healthCORE.



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Project Objectives. To measure the number of SMEs by business sector in the South East region from 2007-2017 and their contribution to the region’s local economy in terms of employment. Read more

Project Objectives

  1. To measure the number of SMEs by business sector in the South East region from 2007-2017 and their contribution to the region’s local economy in terms of employment.
  2. To document the extent that regional SMEs have internationalised their business and to investigate the opportunities and barriers to SME internationalisation.
  3. To analyse existing regional, national and European supports to assist SME internalisation in the South East.
  4. To make recommendations to assist regional SMEs grow their business through internationalisation in order to develop the region economically.

Methodology proposed

The methodology employed for this study will be a mixed methods approach broken into two stages. In Stage 1 the study will use SME data from Local Enterprise Boards in the South East and Enterprise Ireland to measure the number of SMEs by business sector in the South East. A survey will be designed, piloted and administered to regional SMEs with the aim of examining the extent, method and outcomes of their internationalisation, if any, to date. In Stage 2, those SMEs who have internationalised their business as documented in Stage 1 will be invited to participate in a focus group meeting to investigate their experience of internationalisation and existing supports in place to assist SMEs with internationalisation. The study will use this primary data to make recommendations to assist our regional SMEs further grow their business through internationalisation and aid regional economic development into the future.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

Expected outcomes from this research is one potentially publishable research paper. The project is of regional strategic value as its recommendations will assist economic development of the South East region.



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Design and optimisation of instrumentation and operative technique to facilitate an established surgical approach to a specific foot and ankle surgical intervention. Read more

Design and optimisation of instrumentation and operative technique to facilitate an established surgical approach to a specific foot and ankle surgical intervention. There is a growing awareness of the impact of human factors and design phycology on the effectiveness and acceptance of instrumentation for surgical procedures. User experience with surgical instrumentation can impact surgeon confidence with a particular instrument set, and can influence purchasing choices for implants and instrumentation. Much of the development of recent years has focused on high volume procedures in the hip, knee and spine. This project proposes the investigation of the application of the designCORE approach to human centred design to the area of foot and ankle surgery, which has historically been underserved. Through the application of industrial design techniques the insights captured by this approach will be brought through to concept realisation and validation through simulation with qualified health care professionals (HCP) in University Hospital Waterford (UHW). A key objective of the project will be the development, through this case study, of a human centred design approach suitable for use in a design controlled environment.

Methodology proposed

Secondary research will be conducted to establish the state of the art in terms of surgical instrument design and to develop an understanding of the design factors specific to medical device design. Through discussion with contacts at UHW a candidate surgical intervention will be identified and the researcher will conduct in-depth research into this procedure. Following the desktop based research the researcher will gather design insights through contextual enquiry and ethnographic investigation. Working through the designCORE method of human centred design these insights will be brought through iterative design steps to develop viable design solutions to true user need. Design iterations will be tested through video analysis and human factors engineering. Design solutions will subsequently be validated through simulation with the identified HCPs.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

From a design perspective the project aims to produce one or more improvements to the instrumentation or workflow of an existing foot and ankle surgical technique. The project will also provide a practice based case study for the application of the human centred design approach to medical device design. The project will also provide a platform to develop a research collaboration with University Hospital Waterford from which may lead to further postgraduate research opportunities. Through continued collaboration a South East regional hub for design in a healthcare setting may ultimately be developed between ITC and WUH. It is anticipated that the study outcomes could be reported in a joint publication between ITC and the participants at WUH.



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To design and prototype a system to monitor and record the activity levels of children with autism. The aim is to link in with existing research, led by Dr. Read more
  • To design and prototype a system to monitor and record the activity levels of children with autism.
  • The aim is to link in with existing research, led by Dr. Kinsella, which is working with a cohort of autistic children.

Methodology proposed

Based on the specifications from our collaborators in healthCORE we will design and prototype a hardware/software solution which will record the movement of a child, transfer that data to a storage location where it can be processed and made available for review. It is envisaged that the system will include a device which the children will wear, therefore, special consideration will need to be given to the design of the device. Adopting a ‘design thinking’ approach will assist in delivering a prototype appropriate for the children and the intended environment.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts).

Outputs:

  • Prototype hardware device for measuring a child’s movement levels. Includes embedded software for real time data gathering and wireless communication.
  • Cloud based backend system for data storage with data analysis algorithms
  • Web based data presentation portal

Strategic:

  • Prototype will feed into a parallel project with healthCORE
  • Objective measurement of children’s movement levels to be compared with results from the healthCORE project findings.

As far as we know, there has been no research like this carried out for children with autism. A successful prototype has tremendous potential to quantitatively inform care providers about a possible link between children’s activity levels and their subsequent behaviour. The behaviour analysis will be carried out by healthCORE.



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To develop an industry validated software tool that is able to find runtime errors inducing exceptions in published Java Bytecode programs. Read more

To develop an industry validated software tool that is able to find runtime errors inducing exceptions in published Java Bytecode programs. The tool will be a help to software developers to find bugs and security vulnerabilities in their code.

Methodology proposed

The tool to be developed will be based on proven static analysis techniques previously demonstrated to be successful at IT Carlow (47 SciVal citations) namely: Prolog based symbolic execution and Constraint Logic Programming.

The novelty will be primarily in developing techniques to efficiently search the control flow graph of the program under test, dealing efficiently with loops, and dealing with external libraries.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

Using an agile approach centred on the most crucial subset of Java bytecode the research will very early target published applications with a view to generate test inputs that cause the application to crash. This strategy has two main benefits:

  • guiding the research towards tangible results useful for industry from day one
  • publicising IT Carlow research by publishing the vulnerabilities discovered by the tool.

This project is an important piece to support the Software Development stream, which is the largest stream in the Computing Department, and help develop the more recent Cyber Security stream.

The student will gain much sought after advanced fundamental knowledge in software static analysis for reliability and security and in Java Bytecode which runs on billions of devices worldwide.



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The longevity of electric vehicle power batteries is reduced by exposure to high temperatures caused due to rapid charge/discharge. Read more

The longevity of electric vehicle power batteries is reduced by exposure to high temperatures caused due to rapid charge/discharge. The objective of the project is to design a novel phase change material (PCM) thermal management system which offers the effectiveness of:

(i) increasing heat dissipation away from temperature sensitive battery cells.

(ii) recovering the rejected heat as energy storage in a protective battery cell insulation layer

Methodology proposed

-The proposed design will include finned metallic battery housings embedded in a phase change material (PCM) matrix which increases the effective thermal conductivity of the composite material.

-The system will be designed and analysed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation software. This permits the modelling of natural/forced convection, conduction and phase change phenomena.

-The operating temperature of the Li-ion battery pack must be within the range of 25- 40°C to ensure optimal performance. The effectiveness of the thermal management system will be determined for three different ambient environments namely low temperatures (sub -zero), standard atmosphere temperature and high temperature.

-Full 3D modelling is advantageous as it offers calculation of the full temperature field which is critical as non- uniform temperature battery packs have a negative impact on power performance

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

-The proposed design is contemporary and will generate interest at national and international conferences. A publication in the Journal of Power Sources is envisaged.

-The improved energy efficiency of the battery assists in reducing pollutants in the environment when driving but also through less frequent charging, often from fossil fuel plants.



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Project Objectives. Determination of strength of 3D printed PLA, assessing and optimising the critical factors which influence the characteristic properties of printed Polylactic Acid (PLA). Read more

Project Objectives

  • Determination of strength of 3D printed PLA, assessing and optimising the critical factors which influence the characteristic properties of printed Polylactic Acid (PLA).
  • Assessing the reproducibility of a series of geometric printed shapes over numerous prints – dimensional accuracy, % error (parallelism, perpendicular, concentricity), surface finish.
  • Optimising print reproducibility.
  • Determine print layer by layer adhesion – tensile test – homogeneity of material post printing.
  • Determining fracture point of printed geometric shapes under compression, tension and shear – assessing whether fracture is across printed layers or along printed layers.
  • Develop test standards to characterise the homogeneity of 3D printed PLA components.

Methodology proposed

  • Design and print of a series of geometric shapes varying specific print characteristics.
  • Conduct a series of repeatability tests on these print specimens to optimise print characteristics.
  • Use of compression, tensile and shear test apparatus to determine homogeneity of test specimens and optimise print characteristics.
  • Correlate results with that of known material characteristics as a base-line comparison.

Expected outcomes: (e.g. deliverables & strategic impacts)

  • 3D printing of homogeneous PLA components.
  • Development and implementation of an industry standard relating to the 3D printing of components using PLA.
  • The proposed research is allied with one of engCORE's three thematic areas of research, namely, Smart Materials and Mechanics. This thematic area in turn is aligned with one of the research priorities (Manufacturing & Materials) identified in Innovation 2020, Ireland’s strategy for Research and Development, Science and Technology.
  • Outcomes from the research will be disseminated through high impact factor peer reviewed journals (Indexed in Web of Science/Scopus), such as Smart Materials & Structures and Materials Science and Engineering.


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