Lero – the Irish Software Research Centre (Lero) has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the implementation of a research programme worth €400,000. The 18 month programme, which will be led by Lero Director Prof. Mike Hinchey, will commence this month.
Lero will collaborate with chip manufacturer Cobham Gaisler AB of Gothenburg, Sweden on the software behind specialist microchips to be used in European space missions. The Cobham Gaisler LEON radiation hardened microchip, which was developed in association with the European Space Agency, is designed to operate in harsh environments such as space.
Lero researchers based at the University of Limerick will work on a new back end for the Open Source LLVM compiler library to enable it to be used for the LEON chip family. This is designed to expand the toolset available to developers working on the flight software for future European space missions in order to boost reliability.
This is the third and largest contract awarded in recent years by the European Space Agency to Lero, which is backed by Science Foundation Ireland.
“We are honoured to be selected for this important work,” commented Prof Mike Hinchey, Director, Lero. “Software designed for space missions needs to be leading edge and highly reliable in view of the cost, distance and unforgiving environment involved.”
Before heading up Lero, Prof. Hinchey was Director of the Software Engineering Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland. He remains a consultant to NASA.
Lero (www.lero.ie) is a global leader in software engineering research. It combines the best in Irish software talent by bringing together researchers from Dublin City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology, NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin and University of Limerick. It is funded by Science Foundation Ireland as well as by contracts from Irish and international technology corporations.
A consortium led by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and the new Science Foundation Ireland centre Amber has received €8.7m funding for research into heart disease.
Called Amcare (Advanced Materials for Cardiac Regeneraton), the group involves ten partners from five European countries and the funding is part of the EU’s Framework Programme 7.
The Amcare programme, which will create ten new positions, will carry out research to develop natural materials and new surgical devices to enhance the delivery of the body’s own stem cells to the heart to promote healing after a heart attack and prevent premature death.
The therapies being developed will replace heart cells that die due to the reduced blood flow that occurs during a heart attack, with new healthy cells derived from stem cells that come from the patient’s own bone marrow.
Amcare is co-ordinated by Dr Garry Duffy, Department of Anatomy and Tissue Engineering Research Group, RCSI and Amber investigator.
He said: “Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies have the potential to revolutionise the treatment of patients who have suffered a heart attack, and through Amcare we will develop new technologies to enhance stem cell therapies for these patients by increasing targeting and ease of delivery using advanced biomaterials.”
The winners of the inaugural ReelLife Science Science Communication video competition for primary and secondary schools were announced this week.
First place in the Secondary Schools competition went to “Life in Space” (click here to view video) created by St. Enda’s College Transition Year student Michael McAndrew, under the direction of Mr. Fahey and Mr. Conroy. The short film combines a fantastic concept and animation style with an intelligent script, wonderful delivery and original score. The film describes the fascinating field of Astrobiology, encompassing the origin and future of life on earth and the search for extraterrestrial life in other “Goldilocks Zones”. In Michael’s own words “it is very exciting what the future might bring us“.
In the Primary Schools competition, first place went to a video as Gaeilge about Seed Dispersal called “Scaipeadh siolta i Rosmuc” (click here to view video). This memorable video was made by the 5th and 6th class students in Scoil Mhuire Rosmuc, under the direction of their teacher Ms. Ni Chonaola. The students took a very specific topic in Seed Dispersal and Germination, and produced three very amusing and informative sketches demonstrating different methods of dispersal. Furthermore, they performed some experiments of their own on the various seeds they found, identifying the different traits associated with them, based on their method of dispersal.
The winners (and the second and third runners up) will be invited to attend the Galway Science and Technology Festival at the end of November in NUI Galway, to receive their prizes and certificates, and to see the shortlisted videos on display to the general public.
To view the videos and for further information about the ReelLife Science project click here
The European Commission has announced that CRANN, the Science Foundation Ireland funded nanoscience institute based at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), has secured a primary role in the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Graphene Flagship project. The EU Commission has committed €1 billion to the Graphene Flagship, the largest ever research project funded in the history of the European Union.
CRANN and TCD’s School of Physics Principal Investigator Professor Jonathan Coleman has been selected as Deputy Leader of one of these work packages.
We featured Professor Coleman and his work on graphene in the second episode of The Science Squad – the segment can be viewed here
Graphene is the strongest, most impermeable and most conductive material known to man. It is just one atom thick, but is 200 times stronger than steel. Products enabled by graphene technologies could include fast, flexible and strong consumer electronics such as foldable laptops and paper-thin smartphones, and lighter and more energy efficient cars and aeroplanes. In the future, medical devices such as artificial retinas could also be made from graphene.
For more information click here
The 49th annual BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibitions gets under way this morning with almost 2,000 students descending on the RDS in Dublin to set up their projects.
Judging begins this afternoon, after an opening ceremony, and winning projects will be announced on Friday evening.
There will be plenty of activity between now and then, however, including a battle royal between a Dalek from Dr Who and Star Wars’ R2D2, the toughest pint-sized robots of all time. They form part of the popular World of Robots show which makes a return to the RDS.
For more click here
An Irish-based researcher has been awarded a €2.5 million grant by the European Research Council.
Professor Bashar Nuseibeh of the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre – Lero – won the ERC advanced grant, which will run over five years, to focus on privacy and security threats relating to new mobile and cloud technology.
The programme will look at adaptive security and privacy, and will be a collaboration between Lero at the University of Limerick and the Open University in the UK. Prof Nuseibeh, who has been working with Lero since 2009, will lead the research teams.
It will research techniques for developing software systems to protect users from the shifting privacy and security threats as a result of new technology such as smartphones and tablets.
For more information click here