ATWARM Summer School

130705_ATWARM_CollageThe Third and final ATWARM Summer School was held in DCU last week. Sixteen fellows of the Advanced Technologies for Water Resource Management (ATWARM) project travelled to DCU from all over the globe. They were joined by six students from the International SmartOcean Graduate Enterprise Initiative (ISGEI), who also attended the talks and activities.

This year’s Summer School was focused not only on Water Resource Management, but on the personal experiences and choices of the Fellows as they approach the end of their time with ATWARM.

Monday began the four-day event with a series of presentations by experts in the area of Water Resource Management, including Dr. Sean A. McKenna, (IBM), David Smyth (NUI Maynooth),Martin Horan (BioTector), and Dr. Conor Tonra (Patel Tonra Ltd.) Dr Claire O’Connell (Science journalist, The Irish Times) brought a different perspective to the day as she emphasised the importance of making research accessible to the general public, via the media. The day ended with each student giving a presentation on their personal experiences, research, industrial and social.

The following day began early with a trip to T.E. Laboratories Ltd. in Carlow. Tea and coffee was followed by a guided tour of the labs. Breda Moore (Technical Director) and Mark Bowkett (Managing Director) gave the industrial perspective on technology, dealing with topics such as the maintenance of quality control; personality profiling and the recruitment process; the concepts of innovation, entrepreneurship and risk; risk evaluation; the implications of failure/success; strategy & business plans, and funding. All talks were open practical and gave the listeners a chance to discuss and contribute.

On the third day the activities were again based in DCU. This time the emphasis was firmly on the decisions and futures of the attendees as they heard from Dr Anne-Louise Holloway (Research Officer, Invent Building, DCU), Ger Lardner (Senior Careers Advisor, DCU) and Patricia McCrory (QUESTOR, QUB). Fellows heard tips on successful CV writing, interview skills and job finding and general career choices, as well as taking part in the practical workshops on grant applications and report writing. Dr. Kevin Fraser (Marie Curie Fellow with the NCSR) spoke on his experience on securing funding as a postdoctoral researcher.

The final day took off to a sailing start with a rain-soaked tour of Dublin bay on the Poolbeg Sea Safari. However everyone remained cheerful as Dr. Tim Sullivan (DCU) spoke about the Sensor Deployment at Poolbeg, describing the process from the production of the sensing device to the interpretation of its results. The sensor was demonstrated, and the components passed around and examined. We finally departed for lunch at DCU and the last event of the Summer School.

Following lunch, Prof. Dermot Diamond (NCSR, AIC) gave a workshop on prototyping. As a part of this, engineers and members of the NCSR and ASG groups John Cleary, Eoghan Mc Namara, Bartosz Ziółkowski and Kevin Fraser spoke about their experiences with prototyping. The Summer School ended with a presentation of Certificates by Patricia McCrory to all ATWARM and ISGEI students, finishing the week on a warm and positive note.

We thank everyone who was involved in the Summer School, ATWARM fellows and ISGEI attendees, speakers, PIs, the administrative and catering staff at DCU, staff at T. E. Labs, the Sea Safari and Allied Coaches. With everyone’s input, the week ran smoothly and was enjoyable for all.

The very best of luck to all the ATWARM fellows on their decisions and projects from here on!

If readers are interested in access to some of the slides/photos from the week please contact [email protected].


Seals as seen on the Poolbeg Sea-Safari, Photo by Ciara Byrne (NCSR)