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Table of Contents WELCOME ADDRESS ......................................................................................................................................... 6 ABSTRACTS FROM BUSINESS, HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES ......................................................... 8 STAFF ABSTRACTS ............................................................................................................................................. 8 A FRAMEWORK FOR DELIVERING LIFELONG LEARNING USING BLENDED LEARNING .............................................. 9 AN HISTORICAL-ECOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE GOLDTHORNWEDGE, WOLVERHAMPTON ........................ 10 DRINKING AND CRASHING: IRISH DRINKING CULTURE IN THE CELTIC TIGER 1995-2007 AND ECONOMIC CRISIS 2007-2009 ............................................................................................................................................................. 12 EMBEDDING ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN IRISH HIGHER EDUCATION ...................................................... 13 EXPLORING IN-BETWEEN SPACES TO FOSTER CREATIVE THINKING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: THE CASE OF PLURILINGUALISM/CULTURALISM ........................................................................................................................ 14 FACING THE FUTURE: A STUDY OF THE NEEDS OF ST. JOHN’S PARISH, WATERFORD ............................................ 15 FACILITATING SMALL FIRM LEARNING NETWORKS IN THE IRISH TOURISM SECTOR ............................................. 16 HUMAN CLONING, LEGAL RIGHTS AND BIOETHICS IN A MODERN PLURISTIC SOCIETY. CAN THE BAN ON HUMAN CLONING BE JUSTIFIED ON MORAL GROUNDS? .................................................................................................... 17 LANGUAGE AND CREATIVITY ................................................................................................................................ 18 PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING’S INTRODUCTION IN THE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS - AN ASSESSMENT FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE TEACHER/STUDENT DYAD ............................................................................................................... 19 REFLECTION IN MATHEMATICS - A RESOURCE FOR ADULT LEARNERS OF MATHEMATICS .................................... 20 REFLECTIVE PRACTICE IN THE CLASSROOM ........................................................................................................... 21 SEAN DUNNE (1956-1995): THE ROAD TO SILENCE. A PATH TO UNDERSTANDING CATHOLICISM ......................... 22 THE ADOPTION AND DIFFUSION OF A NATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (NHRD) STANDARD: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK .................................................................................................................................. 23

ABSTRACTS FROM BUSINESS, HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES ....................................................... 24 STUDENT ABSTRACTS ..................................................................................................................................... 24 AN INVESTIGATION AS TO HOW ENTREPRENEURS ARE MOTIVATED TO USE NETWORKS FOR DEVELOPING THEIR BUSINESSES .......................................................................................................................................................... 25 AN INVESTIGATION OF THE INFLUENCE OF GATEKEEPERS WITHIN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTES AND THEIR EFFECT ON TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER ....................................................................................... 26 ASSESSING TOURISM FIRM INNOVATIVENESS AND ITS ANTECEDENTS ................................................................. 27 BUILDING AND MANAGING AN ORGANISATION-WIDE TRANSFORMATIONAL CAPABILITY STRUCTURE IN THE IRISH TOURISM SECTOR ........................................................................................................................................ 28 CONNECTING THE COUNTRYSIDE: PROPOSING AN INTEGRATED MODEL OF RURAL STAKEHOLDER NETWORK RELATIONSHIPS .................................................................................................................................................... 29 DESIGNING TOURISM EXPERIENCES: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROCESS OF EXPERIENCE DESIGN .. 30

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


D.I.Y. DIVORCE - THE MARCH OF THE LAY LITIGANT.............................................................................................. 31 EVOLVING LEARNING COMMUNITIES-LOOKING BEYOND FACILITATED NETWORK ENVIRONMENTS .................... 32 EXPLORING THE INTERACTIVE FUNCTION OF ONLINE TANDEM LANGUAGE LEARNING OF CHINESE AND ENGLISH ............................................................................................................................................................................. 33 Fテ!LTE GO SLテ!NTE: THE IRISH TOURIST EXPERIENCE............................................................................................ 34 INTEGRATION OF CHINESE AND IRISH STUDENTS IN BUSINESS SCHOOLS IN IRISH HIGHER EDUCATION ............... 35 THE PORTRAYAL OF IRISH MYTHOLOGY IN CONTEMPORARY COMPOSITION IN IRELAND .................................... 36 THE PURSUIT OF PROFESSIONALISM THROUGH PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING ...................................................... 37 UNDERSTANDING THE DEVELOPMENT OF DYNAMIC CAPABILITIES WITHIN A NETWORK CONTEXT ..................... 39 UNDERSTANDING THE INFLUENCE OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION PATTERNS & CONTEXTUAL NETWORK FACTORS ON TACIT KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER EFFICIENCY IN BUSINESS NETWORKS ........................................................................................................................................................... 41

ABSTRACTS FROM SCIENCE, ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY .............................................................. 42 STAFF ABSTRACTS ........................................................................................................................................... 42 ACTIVE FOR A DAY: PREDICTORS OF RELAPSE AMONG PREVIOUSLY ACTIVE MASS EVENT PARTICIPANTS ........... 43 AN EVALUATION OF A CURRICULUM FOR REGISTERED NURSES AND THE IMPACT ON CLINICAL PRACTICE: A CASE STUDY APPROACH ................................................................................................................................................ 44 A TESTBED TO SUPPORT PERFORMANCE EXPERIMENTS ON ACCESS CONTROL POLICIES ...................................... 45 COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK MANAGEMENT SYSTEM SUPPORT FOR INTERDOMAIN FEDERATIONS ................ 46 DRUG DELIVERY STRATEGIES FOR THE TREATMENT OF EYE DISORDERS ............................................................... 47 FUTURECOMM - AN INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH APPROACH TOWARDS THE FUTURE INTERNET .................... 48 HANKEL TRANSFORMS AND ELLIPTIC CURVE CRYPTOGRAPHY.............................................................................. 49 IRISH TRAVELLERS, SELECTIVE ASSIMILATION AND DRUGS: A QUESTION OF SOCIAL CAPITAL? ............................ 50 IRISH WOOD ENERGY: A CHEMICAL PERSPECTIVE................................................................................................. 51 MICROEMULSION CHROMATOGRAPHY - A NEW METHOD FOR THE SEPARATION OF PHARMACEUTICALS .......... 52 NANO-POSITIONING AND MICRO-FLUIDICS DEVICES ............................................................................................ 54 SAFETY-CRITICAL AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS DESIGN ................................................................................................ 55 THE IMPORTANCE OF EFFECTIVELY HANDLING DATA IN AUTONOMIC NETWORK MANAGEMENT ....................... 56 UNLOCKING BIOACTIVE POTENTIAL OF SEAWEED FOR NOVEL HUMAN AND ANIMAL HEALTH APPLICATIONS ..... 57 VIDEO DELIVERY USING PEER-TO-PEER NETWORKS: THE SUBSTREAM-BASED APPROACH ................................... 58

ABSTRACTS FROM SCIENCE, ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY .............................................................. 59 STUDENT ABSTRACTS ..................................................................................................................................... 59 A BIOLOGICALLY INSPIRED FUTURE INTERNET ...................................................................................................... 60 ACHIEVING EFFECTIVE CONTROL OF RHODODENDRON PONTICUM L. .................................................................. 61

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE QUALITY OF IRISH WOOD FUEL FOR USE AS A SOLD BIOFUEL ................................ 62 ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF MARINE BACTERIA ISOLATED FROM SEAWEEDS, SAND AND SEAWATER................ 63 ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTIES OF A RANGE OF SEAWEEDS FROM THE SOUTH EAST COAST OF IRELAND ............... 64 A STUDY OF VOLUNTEERISM IN SOUTH TIPPERARY .............................................................................................. 65 AUGMENTATION OF MACULAR PIGMENT FOLLOWING SUPPLEMENTATION WITH ALL THREE MACULAR CAROTENOIDS: A PILOT STUDY ............................................................................................................................. 66 AUGMENTATION OF X.509 TO SUPPORT DEGRADING CERTIFICATES .................................................................... 67 BAYESIAN RECOGNITION OF MOTION RELATED ACTIVITIES WITH INERTIAL SENSORS .......................................... 68 BEAM PROPERTIES OF INJECTION PROFILED QUANTUM DOT LASERS .................................................................. 69 BROADBAND WIRELESS ANALYSIS FOR THE PHARMACEUTICAL AND FOOD SECTORS .......................................... 70 BUILT ENVIRONMENT, INDEPENDENT TRAVEL AND FREE PLAY IN CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ...................... 71 COMPOSTING TO IMPROVE BIOSAFETY OF PIG MANURE WITH A VIEW TO DEVELOPING A MANURE-DERIVED SOILD BIOFUEL ...................................................................................................................................................... 72 DEVELOPMENT OF A NOVEL SOLID BIOFUEL - USING SOLID PIG MANURE ............................................................ 73 DEVELOPMENT OF A STRATEGY TO ADDRESS THE HEALTH NEEDS OF VULNERABLE MEN IN CARLOW ................. 74 DUAL-PURPOSE MOLECULES- RECEPTORS FOR ANIONS AND ALSO ORGANIC CATALYSTS .................................... 75 EFFECT OF SHORT-TERM FEEDING OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED MAIZE ON WEANLING PIGS ................................. 76 FPGA BASED EMBEDDED REAL-TIME AURICLE POSITION TRACKING FOR AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS ............... 77 GLOBAL VALIDATION OF DISTRIBUTED AUTOMOTIVE CONTROL SYSTEMS ........................................................... 78 GRADIENT BASED ROUTING SUPPORT FOR COOPERATIVE MULTI-CHANNEL MAC IN AD HOC WIRELESS NETWORKS ........................................................................................................................................................... 79 HEALTHCARE DATA PRIVACY FOR CLOUD DATA MINING SERVICES ...................................................................... 80 HIGH-SPEED FPGA FADING CHANNEL SIMULATOR................................................................................................ 81 IMPROVING NON INVASIVE SURVEY METHODS FOR SQUIRRELS WITH THE USE OF REAL-TIME PCR .................... 82 INTEGRATION OF OPENCL AND OPENMPI TO PROVIDE DISTRIBUTED SUPERCOMPUTING ................................... 83 INTERFEROMETRIC CALIBRATION OF SPM SCANNERS - PROGRESS TOWARDS THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NOVEL SCANNING FORCE MICROSCOPE ........................................................................................................................... 84 INVESTIGATION OF ORGANIC PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS ............................................................................................ 85 IPTV ADMISSION CONTROL USING AVAILABLE BANDWIDTH ESTIMATION ........................................................... 86 MECHANISMS OF METAL ACCUMULATION AND TOLERANCE EMPLOYED BY SEAWEED........................................ 87 MESO-ZEAXANTHIN OCULAR SUPPLEMENTATION TRIAL: MOST .......................................................................... 88 MOLECULAR IMPRINTED POLYMER BEADS FOR CHIRAL SEPARATION OF AN ANTIHISTAMINE CHLORPHENIRAMINE AND RELATED MOLECULES ................................................................................................. 89 PACRAM: PATH AWARE CONTENT REPLICATION APPROACH WITH MULTICAST FOR IPTV NETWORKS................. 90 POLICY-BASED TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT IN HOME AREA NETWORKS .................................................................... 91

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


POLICY CONFLICT ANALYSIS ACROSS FEDERATED DOMAINS ................................................................................ 92 QUARTZ CRYSTAL TUNING FORKS FOR ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY .................................................................. 93 RECONFIGURABLE ADAPTIVE WIRELESS SENSORS ................................................................................................ 94 SMART POLYMERS FOR THE TARGETED DELIVERY AND SELECTIVE SENSING OF CORTICOSTEROIDS ..................... 95 SERVICE MANAGEMENT AND COMPOSITION USING BIO-INSPIRED MECHANISMS ............................................... 96 SIMULTANEOUS EXTRACTION AND ANALYSIS OF VITAMIN PREPARATIONS BY MICROEMULSION HPLC .............. 97 THE CHARACTERISATION OF LISTERIA SPP. ISOLATED FROM FOOD PRODUCTS AND THE FOOD PROCESSING ENVIRONMENT ..................................................................................................................................................... 98 THE EFFECT OF LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN SUPPLEMENTATION ON VISUAL PERFORMANCE AND EXPERIENCE ..... 99 THE INVESTIGATION OF CHELATION OF ISOFLAVONES WITH COPPER AND IRON ................................................100 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GROUP FORMATION MECHANISMS, COMMUNICATION SERVICES AND SYSTEM PERFORMANCE IN SOCIAL NETWORKS ................................................................................................................101 TOWARDS THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NOVEL SENSOR TECHNOLOGY BASED ON THE PHENOMENON OF EXTRAORDINARY OPTICAL TRANSMISSION THROUGH NANOSIZED APERTURES .................................................102 WATER IN POLYMERS: A SMALL BUT POWERFUL INFLUENCE ON POLYMERIC DRUG TABLETING ........................103

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Welcome Address Welcome to the book of abstracts compiled from the presentations made by students and staff during the WIT Research Day 2010. The last 10 years have been a period of transformation within the third level research community and in particular within the Institute of Technology sector. Waterford Institute of Technology’s Institutional Strategy recognises the special role it has in the economic, social and cultural development of the South East region and beyond. The tradition of excellence in teaching is well established in the Institute with its graduates in key leadership roles in industry and public services. At the heart of the WIT culture is the spirit of innovation and responsiveness to the needs of its stakeholders. The emergence of the knowledge economy and the subsequent requirement for Ireland to reposition itself up the economic value chain has placed important challenges on third level educational establishments. Responding to these challenges regionally and nationally the Institute has established itself as a research led institution. Its research community is networked to leading research groups not only in Ireland but across the 5 continents. This has led to the creation of a dynamic 4th level education environment with over 250 students registered for degrees to PhD level. The community of academic researchers, postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students is a truly multicultural community with students and staff from around the world. Our research work is published in some of the world leading journals and presented at leading international conferences. This ensures that the outcomes of our research activities are benchmarked against the best in the world. Our ability to innovate our research to create new products and services directly benefits industry. We have established a strong relationship with leading industries within the region which is contributing to the creation of high quality sustainable employment within the region. A key benefit of the links to industry is the training which is received by our postgraduate students. The combination of academic rigour and industry collaboration means that our graduates are “industry ready”. This publication is intended to provide the external community with a broad overview of the type and scope of research that is carried out in Waterford Institute of Technology. As you will see when browsing the publication the Institute has an active research community across all of its schools – Business, Education, Engineering, Health Science, Humanities and Science. The publication is not intended to cover all research areas or to provide an in-depth description of the research topics presented but rather a flavour of the topics researched by the Institute. We hope that it will be helpful to members of the public, industry and potential graduate students to locate topics of interest. Furthermore detailed information may be obtained from the researchers themselves or from the Research Support Unit. I certainly hope that it will be a start of a dialogue between us, the Institute research community and you, our stakeholders. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the authors who contributed abstracts and to all those who participated in the Research Day. We also wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the Organizing Committee Members for their substantial contributions to the Research Day. We are very grateful to all the people who have worked hard in preparing the Research Day and

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


making the event successful. Finally we would like also to express our gratitude to the sponsors of the Patent Awards, FRKelly, for their great support.

Dr Willie Donnelly, Chair of WIT Research Day Organising Committee Head of Research & Innovation Waterford Institute of Technology

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Abstracts from Business, Humanities & Social Sciences Staff Abstracts

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


A Framework for delivering lifelong learning using blended learning Dr John Wall Department of Adult & Continuing Education Email:

Abstract: There are a number of challenges that are facing higher education. Many of these challenges are driven by the need for change. These changes are forced upon educational providers due to changes in government policies, society and culture, making it harder to strike the balance between the educational methods of delivery and meeting the demands of learners in a flexible manner. Lifelong learning programmes aimed at people in the workplace must be suited to their particular needs. When addressing learning needs using technology, management, staff and technical support in higher-level institutes face new challenges and are required to make new decisions. In attempting to strike a balance between learning, the technologies available to deliver learning and the issues that educational institutions must address it is clear that the formulation of a strategic framework will assist in the development of any learning programme aimed at the needs of professionals. An important output from this research is the formulation of a framework that may be applied for deploying blended learning continuing professional development in an educational setting. This framework attempts to strike a balance between learners in industry and educational institutions who offer lifelong learning opportunities, through a balanced approach that integrates both traditional delivery mechanisms, in conjunction with e-learning. Keywords: E-Learning, Blended Learning

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


An historical-ecological investigation of the GoldthornWedge, Wolverhampton Dr Jane Russell-O’Connor Department of Adult & Continuing Education Email: Abstract: The research was carried out on the last remaining green belt area to the West of Wolverhampton (West Midlands, England), which is under threat from development. The threat has been further compounded by the fact that the “green wedge” is under the jurisdiction of three different local authorities that have in the past allowed housing developments to be built which have slowly encroached on the Wedge. The Wedge is an area of mixed farmland with some semi-natural vegetation such as three ancient woodland coppices, wet grassland and calcareous grassland (Figure 1). KEY

2000s Phase 1 Map Showing Land Use

Arable Improv ed Gr assland Semi-improved N eutral G rassland


Park Coppice

Unimpr ov ed G rassland Unimpr ov ed C alcareous G rass land Basic Flush Marshy G rass land


Upper Penn

Tall R uderal H erb

Ashen Coppice

Semi-natural W oodland

Alder Coppice

Sedgley Beacon

Mixed Sem i- natural W oodland Broad-leav ed Plantation Mixed Plantation Amenity

Light W ood

Penn Brook

Bare G round

Lloyd W ood

Buildings Open W ater Bodies

The Gorge Sedgley Farm Park #


Gospel End





2 Miles

Figure 2.1 Land use map from Phase 1 survey

Figure 1: Land use map from the Phase 1 survey

A major purpose of the research was to investigate the landscape history of the Wedge and to determine to what extent the historical development of the natural features of the Wedge have given rise to the present day ecology. There is evidence in the landscape of the ‘ancient countryside’ as described by Rackham (1995), which are districts whose fields, woods and hedgerows date in the main from before the 1700s. Based on the historical evidence the oldest feature of the Wedge is Penn Common which appears to have been present for at least 1021 years as it is mentioned in the Anglo Saxon Charter (Hooke, 1983). The modern coppices appear to be remnants of much more extensive forest lands, but their ecology suggests a greater antiquity than it is possible to prove. Some individual hedgerows were shown to date back as far as the Common and the vast majority of the fields are over 160 years old with many over 260 years old providing a living record of the history of the Wedge (Figure 2). WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


N Key

Sedgley Parke

2000s base map 1840s base map 1733 /1797 Anglo Saxon Perambulation


Penn Common (W ood)






2 Miles

Figure 5.1 Composite time map of boundaries from maps of 2000s base map, 1840s tithe map, Sedgley Parke (Bowen, 1733), Penn Wood (Adams, 1797) and Anglo Saxon perambulation (Hooke, 1982).

Figure 2: Composite time map of boundaries from maps of 2000s base map, 1840s tithe map, Sedgely Parke (Bowen 1733), Penn Wood (Adams, 1797) and Anglo Saxon perambulation (Hooke, 1982)

Although some of the individual sites do have a nature conservation designation, it has now been established that there are enough important elements throughout the whole Wedge to sanction a higher level designation than its current “Green Space� in the Black Country Nature Conservation Strategy (Dando, 1990). This combined study using two disciplines has enabled a greater understanding of how the present day countryside of the Wedge has arisen. The research project in the wider context has developed a new methodology in landscape evaluation that combines both ecological evaluation methods and interpretation of historical sources. References: 1) Dando, M. (1990) Black Country Nature Conservation Strategy. Wolverhampton: English Nature, Sandwell MBC, Dudley MBC, Walsall MBC & Wolverhampton MBC 2) Hooke, D. (1983) The Landscape of Anglo- Saxon Staffordshire: The Charter Evidence. Department of Adult Education, University of Keele. pp7-68 3) Rackham, O. (1995) The History of the Countryside. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson Keywords: Landscape Ecology and History/Landscape Characterisation

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Drinking and crashing: Irish drinking culture in the Celtic Tiger 19952007 and economic crisis 2007-2009 Mr John O’Brien Department of Applied Arts Email: Abstract: During the Celtic Tiger years there was something of a moral panic around Irish drinking culture. There was a solid foundation to this concern because of the sharp increase in the level of consumption. Of more significance was a deeper and more troubling theme of the deregulation of drinking culture. Hence, while there has been a considerable decrease in overall alcohol consumption in line with economic circumstances, this is not necessarily a cause for celebration, as overall levels of consumption are not related to damaging modes of consumption in any simple fashion. The central thesis of this paper is that the culture of everyday life, of which drinking culture is an aspect, is profoundly stamped by the broader social context in the form of an overall social figuration that has developed over time. Consequently the story of Irish drinking culture follows closely the story of the wider Irish society: material advance accompanied by a social decline, characterized chiefly by a deregulation of conduct. The research follows a broadly inductive and qualitative approach seeking to explore and elaborate the key processes that have shaped this aspect of society. Alcohol research in Ireland as well as internationally has had a bias towards positivistic, quantitative and problem centred approaches. Hence, the study hopes to offer a perspective from 'interpretive sociology' that will better reveal the real lived experience of people and the resources and difficulties that contemporary Irish drinking culture produces for them. Keywords: Sociology, Alcohol Studies, Irish Society, Community

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Embedding Entrepreneurship Education in Irish Higher Education Ms Mary Fenton School of Education Email: Abstract: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to go to the forest to gather wood, saw it, and nail the planks together. Instead, teach them the desire for the sea.” Antoine de SaintEuxprey Entrepreneurship has come into sharper focus as enterprise and innovation are being flagged as solutions to regenerate the Irish economy. The Innovation Task Board (2010) believes that Ireland needs to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation to flourish. In order for Ireland to become an Innovation Hub, it needs to attract foreign risk capital and international entrepreneurs but more importantly it needs to encourage and support indigenous entrepreneurs to start and grow companies in Ireland. Irish higher education institutes (HEIs) are playing a key role in the development of an enterprise culture amongst staff and students through campus enterprise activities and entrepreneurship education. Irish HEIs are challenged to be brave and ambitious for their graduates by creating the right conditions for entrepreneurship to flourish and embedding entrepreneurship across the spectrum of HE curricula. The key challenge for HEIs is to develop an entrepreneurial culture, where students not only can learn about entrepreneurship but also can develop a passion for it through experiential learning. The best guarantee for sustainability of entrepreneurship within a HEI is to change the Institute into an entrepreneurial organisation. For this to happen, every HEI needs to plan, prepare and implement innovation, knowledge and enterprise development strategies as a key part of its institutional mission. This research will examine the enterprise development strategies of all thirteen Institutes of Technology and investigate if these policies are having any impact on embedding and integrating entrepreneurship across the spectrum of IoT curricula. Keywords: Entrepreneurship education; entrepreneurial higher education institutes; embedding entrepreneurship in higher education curricula; graduate entrepreneurs

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Exploring in-between spaces to foster creative thinking in Higher Education: the case of plurilingualism/culturalism Dr Áine Furlong Department of Languages & Hospitality Email: Abstract: This presentation proposes to highlight the following three concepts emerging from research currently undertaken on the relation of creativity to plurilingualism/culturalism by: defining plurilingualism/culturalism to foster awareness of identity as a dynamic composite (as opposed to a static entity): on an on-going basis, individuals belong to multiple cultural groups, each with its own cultural and linguistic boundaries as well as its own set of beliefs, values, norms and language e.g., Techies, tennis players, parents, Irish speakers, single people, French nationals, teenagers, lecturers... ( Trujillo-Sáez 2002); locating creativity and considering in-between spaces – physical, virtual, temporal and/or spatial, cultural…– as a means of fostering creativity in our professional, social and personal dimensions (Bhabha 1994 ; Furlong 2007); considering creativity as a perceptual, connective, cognitive and socio-cultural phenomenon. On this view, creativity as a process is differentiated from its outcomes/outputs or products which include discovery in science, innovation in business and technology, originality in the arts, etc. (Vygotsky 1971, Boden 1996 , Furlong 2009). The presentation concludes by explaining why high level plurilinguals are more likely to be creative than monolinguals and provides examples of the creative use of in-between spaces at WIT by language lecturers to illustrate the three concepts listed above. References: 1) Bhabah H. K.(1994) The Location of Culture. London: Routledge 2) Boden, M.A. (1996) What is creativity? In M.A. Boden (Ed.), Dimensions of creativity (pp. 75_ 3) 117). Cambridge, MA: MIT. 4) Furlong, Á. (2007) The relationship between creativity and plurilingual and pluricultural awareness. In M. Bernaus, A. Andrade, M. Kervran, A. Murkowska and F. Trujillo-Sáez (Eds), Plurilingual and pluricultural awareness in language teacher education. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing Available at 5) Furlong, Á. (2009) The relation of plurilingualism/culturalism to creativity: a matter of perception. International Journal of Multilingualism Vol. 6, No. 4, November 2009, 343-368. 6) Trujillo Sáez, F. (2002) Towards Interculturality through Language Teaching: Argumentative Discourse. Cauce, nº 25, pp. 103-120. Available at 7) Vygotsky, L. (1971) The psychology of art. Cambridge, MA: MIT Keywords: Creativity and plurilingualism/culturalism, CLIL

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Facing the future: A study of the needs of St. John’s Parish, Waterford Mr Joe Moran, Ms Anne Wayne, Mr Paul Hanley, Ms Domeneca Mac Rory, Ms Joanne O'Toole Department of Applied Arts Email:

Abstract: This study, carried out during the second half of 2009, uses a mixed method approach to determine the needs of St John’s Parish, the parish in which the College Street Campus is located. The research was carried out in the context of a Church in crisis at local, national and international level. The research sought to establish, through quantitative methods, a basic profile of the parish (180 households responded to the door-to-door data gathering, which included information on 424 people). Qualitative methods were also used to obtain the views of parishioners on their local church. Findings from the research suggest that the local church is in decline, with participation in church activities mainly pursued by an ageing population. While the majority of participants defined themselves as Catholic and professed belief in God only a minority attend Mass regularly. The research also showed that parishioners are divided as to how to proceed into the future. Some want to continue with historical patterns of participation while others seek to change the notion of parish so that it is construed and organised to appeal to a broader population and new communities. This research is significant as it is the first to be carried out at local level in Waterford on the needs of a parish and it confirms a widely held view that the Catholic Church is indeed in crisis and requires visionary leadership to face the future. An important feature of the research is that it was carried out by a team of staff and undergraduate students who are part of a voluntary initiative, WITh Care, which provides research support to local groups that cannot afford to pay professional fees. Keywords: Catholic Church, local parish, crisis, future

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Facilitating small firm learning networks in the Irish tourism sector Dr Felicity Kelliher, Dr Anthony Foley, Ms Anne Marie Frampton RIKON Group, School of Business Email: Abstract: Scope: The proposed presentation will examine the design, development and operationalisation of a small firm learning network model within the Fรกilte Ireland Tourism Learning Network (TLN) programme. The research study objectives are to: develop insight into effective TLN development and management; explore how tourism firms can develop management capability through participation in a managed TLN; explore how collaborative activity can be strengthened through participation in a managed TLN. The proposed model is based on an action learning ethos, involving nearly 500 small tourism operators and relevant support agencies and incorporating local learning sets, a web community, and a series of learning interventions. Novelty: This research and incumbent model emerged from multiple calls for training interventions to be based on helping entrepreneurs to learn rather than imposing prescribed solutions on them. Furthermore, Irish businesses have called for more flexible, accessible development programmes, with networks emerging as the essential support structure, and network activity positively affects the quality of experiential learning. This networking philosophy is core to the learning network model, and has been given active support within the Irish tourism context by the TLN initiative. Research Impact: Findings suggest that this approach facilitates the development of organisational capabilities and has resulted in active and substantial TLN involvement among participating tourism enterprises. Furthermore, network activity positively affects the quality of experiential learning in the small firm milieu, offering collective benefits to participating firms. As the network facilitates the individual tourism business in developing key capabilities this programme has had an incremental and augmented impact through the larger national network, thereby working towards achieving the ultimate objective of improved small firm competitiveness in the Irish tourism sector. Acknowledgements The authors wish to acknowledge the support and cooperation of Fรกilte Ireland. Keywords: Tourism Learning Networks, Small Firm

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Human cloning, legal rights and bioethics in a modern pluristic society. Can the ban on human cloning be justified on moral grounds? Ms Amanda Hayes Department of Applied Arts Email: Abstract: Following the publication of an article on the birth of Dolly the cloned sheep in Nature in February 1997 and the announcement by the physicist Richard Seed of his intention to clone human beings there were immediate calls for a ban on human cloning. In response various International Declarations, a European Convention and national anti-cloning laws were adopted. It is clear from the explanatory reports on the aforementioned legal and quasi – legal responses that the objection to the cloning of humans and the rational for the ban was mainly based on the premise that human cloning was immoral, contrary to human dignity and consequently breached human rights. This paper poses the question can the ban on human cloning be justified on moral grounds? To answer this query – we need to turn to the realm of moral philosophy. To this end the paper will analyse the two main and conflicting moral theories most commonly utilised in the human cloning debates namely:Consequentalism /Utilitarianism; and Deontology In part two I will comment on the usefulness or otherwise of the above theories in providing answers to our question. Although much ink has been spilt and many (science fiction) films have been produced on this topic, to date there has been little or no public debate or discussion on human cloning in Ireland. This paper hopes to address this imbalance. Keywords: human cloning, human dignity, bioethics, bio- rights and the law.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Language and creativity Ms Paola Fraioli & Ms Angelica Cisneros Department of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality Email: Abstract: The activity of learning is not just about the acquisition of instrumental skills but also about the ability to self-determination and choice, original self-expression and the development of creativity. Research has indicated that creativity is present in every person but that has to be exercised in order to be enforced. The nature of learning requires the use of skills associated with creativity. Educators that adopt a creative approach to teaching are more likely to deliver content and create a learning environment that develops higher order thinking skills. The authors believe that language is a domain where creativity can be specifically enhanced. Over the last few years a collection of educational materials and teaching approaches have been developed and integrated in language classroom activities in order to encourage students in their learning process. These materials and tasks have been adapted to introduce the creative dimension into the language class. This paper presents the work of students taking Italian and Spanish in the Waterford Institute of technology. Paola Fraioli and Angelica Cisneros will present examples of classroom activities which were developed with and by students of languages, by using creative ideas and authentic materials with the goal of enhancing their creative thinking. Keywords: Creativity- authentic material

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Problem-based learning’s Introduction in the School of Business - An assessment from both sides of the teacher/student dyad Dr Mary Holden, Dr Anthony Foley Department of Management & Organisation Email: Abstract: The authors’ decision to utilise problem-based learning (PBL) as a teaching model was informed by the SIF initiative and the growing recognition in the literature by educators of the need for a shift away from the prevalent ‘transmission’ model of education (Kolb and Kolb 2005, p. 194) to a teaching approach that is conducive to meeting the needs of the knowledge economy (cf. Duch et al. 2001; Burns and Chisholm 2005). There has been calls in the business education literature for a new paradigm to replace the traditional ‘transmission’ model (Huff and Huff, 2001; Georges and Romme. 2003; Starkey and Tempest, 2005; Stern, 2008), yet there has been little change. Modern management problems require that students have the ability to leverage both their experience (know how) and new knowledge (know what), thereby exemplifying and centralising the relationship between experience and theory. PBL is founded on Dewey’s belief that experience is a major source of learning as well as Kolb’s (1984) theory of experiential learning; an andragogical philosophy underlies PBL. Reflecting the andragogical philosophy and PBL approach, the learner is centralised. For the first time in the authors’ business school (2009-2010 academic year), PBL classes were introduced. The first class which was delivered in the Fall semester involved an undergraduate module comprised of second year and third year students, while the second class was delivered in the Spring semester to postgraduate students. If accepted, the presentation will present reflections and cross-comparisons from the authors on the development and delivery of the PBL classes as well as student feedback which will highlight the student’s perceptions concerning their learning experience. The authors will provide insights into the particular challenges that they faced as well as providing examples of ‘triggers’ that were utilised as well as assessment templates. The overarching objective of the presentation will be to provide support for the promotion of PBL as a new paradigm for business education and to stimulate dialogue on the way forward for business education. Keywords: Business education, problem-based learning

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Reflection in mathematics - A resource for adult learners of mathematics Mr Michael Lanigan & Ms Fiona McKenzie-Brown Department of Adult & Continuing Education Email: Abstract: Building on findings from a Masters in 2007, where my research enquired into the relationship between mathematical confidence and competence by means of reflective practice, I reviewed in a more purposeful and methodical way how my students reflected on their learning of mathematics and the effect this had on their self-efficacy. Evidence showed that students were reluctant “journalers” manifesting as inability to journal and lack of awareness of accrued personal benefits. Ultimately this lead to the production of an as yet unpublished resource on ‘how to’ reflect on one’s learning in mathematics. It illustrates very explicitly yet concisely the process of reflecting on one’s learning and the inherent personal benefits therein. Collaborating on this project was a former student - who at one time was a most vehement antagonist regarding reflexivity in general and mathematics in particular, Fiona McKenzieBrown. Our collaboration, whilst still in its formative process was received very favorably by Loughborough University’s Eureka Centre for Mathematical Confidence in 2009, where currently collaboration is in its early stages. Ultimately our resource was rolled-out to my class of 2010, and feedback will be gathered subsequently for a follow-up piece on the effectiveness and usefulness of the resource to adult students of mathematics. Moreover, there appears to be an opportunity to utilise it whilst working with non-confident, perhaps mathephobic learners within the Institute’s Maths Learning Centre, where it was also favorably received. Again, scope exists for further follow-up research going forward. Keywords: Reflective Practice, Reflection-in-action, Reflection-on-action, Mathematics, Adult Learners, Mature Students, WIT Certificate in Foundation Studies

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Reflective Practice in the classroom Ms Geraldine Mernagh Department of Adult & Continuing Education Email: Abstract: The school of Education offers a range of level 6, 7, 8 and 9 programmes to Educators who operate within Primary and Secondary schools as well as within Higher and Further Education. Irrespective of the context within which these practitioners are operating, they are all committed to creating bridges between theoretical knowledge and the demands of uncertain situations (Sullivan and Rosin, 2008). A primary aim of this research project is to explore how a model of reflective practice which shares some of the processes of expressive writing such as narrative, metaphor and poetry can help to support responsive, imaginative and integrated practitioners, who can re- envision their practice in the classroom in new ways. A secondary aim is to learn more about the different levels of reflection with a view to clarifying some of the expected and unexpected outcomes of this process (Larrivee, 2008) The Research project is using a “mirror writing” method of reflective practice (Bolton, 2005) which has to date been largely used with Social Workers and Health Professionals. In adapting this method for educators it is hoped that the dichotomy between fact and fiction can be put to one side. The reflective writing harnesses powers of metaphor, observation, description and imaginative exploration of perspective. Two groups of adult literacy tutors participating in a Professional Development /Language and Power module are the first groups to engage in this process. It is intended to extend it to a third group. Evaluation sheets, self reporting and focus group discussions have to date revealed the impact of this method on classroom practice. Findings to date include an increase in their ability to clarify their values and professional identity as well as an ability to challenge assumptions about political, social and cultural norms. References: 1) Bolton. G (2001) Reflective Practice Writing and Professional Development (2 nd ed.) London: Sage. 2) Larrivee, B.(2008)Development of a tool to assess teacher’s level of reflective practice. Reflective practice, 9(3) 341-360. 3) Sullivan, W., and Roisin, M. (2008) A life in the mind for practice: Bridging liberal and Professional education. Change, Mar/ April, 44-47. Keywords: Reflection, Reflective writing, Creativity, Fiction, Professional Development, Adult Literacy tutors

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Sean Dunne (1956-1995): The Road to Silence. A path to understanding Catholicism Dr Michael Howlett Department of Applied Arts Email: Abstract: This paper proposes to examine the poetry and prose of the Waterford born poet, Sean Dunne. It will focus on his search and struggle to understand his own spirituality and its religious expression, particularly as described in his The Road to Silence, which concludes with a sense of fulfilment within Catholic tradition and culture. It will trace Dunne’s struggle to seek and understand silence through various religious experiences of silence within communities such as the Quakers, the Trappist monks at Mount Melleray in County Waterford, and the order of monks and nuns he came across in the old church of Saint Gervais in Paris. Other influences such as those of the American monk, Thomas Merton, and the French writer, Simone Weil, will be included in this exploration and will be examined for their contribution to his search. The outcome expected is a deeper understanding of the importance of silence to spirituality, the implication of this for understanding religion and particularly Catholicism, and how Irish Catholic experience might be enriched. Keywords: Literature, Religion, Culture, Creativity, Society

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


The adoption and diffusion of a National Human Resource Development (NHRD) Standard: A conceptual framework Ms Aileen Murphy, Department of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality Professor Thomas Garavan, University of Limerick Email: Abstract: This research proposes a conceptual framework to explain the adoption and diffusion of the national human resource development (NHRD) standard in Ireland using institutional theory as the theoretical lens. National governments use a variety of strategies and policy measures to encourage organisations and individuals to invest in human capital. NHRD standards are used by governments to promote training and development in organisations and increase the professionalization of practices used by organisations. There is a significant gap in understanding concerning how NHRD standards are both adopted and diffused. This research addresses this knowledge deficit through the use of concepts derived from institutional theory. The conceptual framework incorporates institutional processes such as normative and mimetic isomorphism, social cohesion, and structural equivalence to explain both adoption and diffusion. The research contributes to understanding organisational responses to normative and mimetic forces in the environment. The conceptual framework suggests implications for NHRD policy makers. An enhanced understanding will enable policy makers to be more informed concerning how organisations respond to external HRD standards. This framework highlights factors that influence the decision to adopt an NHRD standard and its diffusion over time.

Reference: Murphy, Aileen and Garavan, Thomas, (2009) The Adoption and Diffusion of an NHRD Standard: A Conceptual Framework, Human Resource Development Review, Vol. 8, No.1, pp.3-21. Keywords: National human resource development (NHRD) standards; institutional theory; adoption and diffusion WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Abstracts from Business, Humanities & Social Sciences Student Abstracts

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


An investigation as to how entrepreneurs are motivated to use networks for developing their businesses Ms Aisling O'Neill Department of Management & Organisation Email: Abstract: The current economic crisis in Ireland, and indeed, the world, has highlighted the importance of indigenous enterprises to national and regional economies. For too long, the Irish economy has depended heavily on Foreign Direct Investment and with rising costs here, many foreign owned enterprises have left Irish shores. Supporting indigenous enterprise means creating a sustainable economy as these enterprises spend twice as much of their output in the Irish economy in terms of materials, services and pay and by 2004, 80% of the Irish workforce were employed by the SME sector (Enterprise Strategy Group, 2004). There is no disputing the entrepreneurial spirit in Ireland and particularly in the South East of Ireland, but enterprises in this region are held back by low growth aspirations. This attitude is changing in recent years (Fitzsimons and O’Gorman, 2008) and it is important that companies seeking to expand be supported in this endeavour. Networks play a big part in the growth and development of businesses and their role in supporting the expansion of the indigenous sector in south east Ireland is crucial. The reported benefits of networks include: shared costs and risks; enhanced learning for entrepreneurs; development of market focus; platforms for industry, academic and public sector cooperation; and facilitation of innovation (InterTradeIreland, 2006). The primary aim of this research is to gain an understanding of how the motivation of entrepreneurs to get involved with networks, as a means to business development, changes over time. This current research is looking at participants in a number of networks from their beginning through their development in order to assess the motivations of the participating entrepreneurs for joining and sustaining involvement with the networks as well as gaining a greater understanding of how entrepreneurs use these networks for the growth and development of their businesses. Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Networks, Motivation, Gender, Culture

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


An investigation of the influence of gatekeepers within higher education institutes and their effect on technology and knowledge transfer Ms Niamh Owens Department of Management & Organisation Email: Abstract: In recent years higher education institutes (HEIs) have assumed a central role in innovation-led economic development and have become an increasingly important ingredient in high tech economies. According to Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff (2008) innovation is understood as a resultant of a complex and dynamic process related to interactions between HEIs, Industry and Government, in a spiral of endless transitions. This current research explores how key people within these higher education institutions affect the transfer of technology and knowledge into regional economies. This current research is focused on institutes of technology (IoTs) in Ireland. During the course of this study an examination into the impact that these IoTs have on the regional economy was explored through their number of spin-ins, spin-outs, patents, licenses and jobs created. It is only in the last 10 years that the IoTs have been funded by the government agency Enterprise Ireland in order to improve the actual transfer of technology and knowledge from these institutions out into the regional economy. Even though the current research found that the higher education institutes examined did not have exceptional statistics as regards these measurements, they still showed positive results in technology and knowledge transsfer. This impact was made not by patents and spin-outs but by the contacts, background, education and network associations of the key people, within the HEIs, who are the actual drivers, either directly or indirectly, of the transfer of technology and knowledge from the institutions to outside communities. It was also found during the course of interviewing key informants in the IoTs that the key driver backgrounds and educational qualifications did not have an impact on technology and knowledge transfer however, it was through the people that the key drivers’ knew and networked with that influenced the process. This research describes how the key drivers in a HEI make an impact on the process through the utilization of their networks both internally and externally. Keywords: Technology transfer, knowledge transfer, gatekeepers, networks and policy.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Assessing tourism firm innovativeness and its antecedents Ms Margaret Walsh, Dr Patrick Lynch, Dr Mary T. Holden, The RIKON Group, Department of Management and Organisation Mentor: Dr Denis Harrington, Head of Department of Graduate Business Email: Abstract: This study examines the concept of tourism firm-level innovativeness. Different from prior innovation studies, this research argues that a firm’s long-term survival may rely more on overall firm-level innovativeness that produces capabilities, which in turn enhances innovative behaviour, and less on the actual innovations themselves (Trott, 1998). Simply, it is argued that the defining factor of long-term survival through innovation is based not on specific, discrete innovations, but rather on an overarching, organisation-wide innovation capability structure , termed ‘innovativeness’. However, how this can be achieved in practice remains unclear within the literature; indeed, despite an increased interest in innovativeness, it has received little research attention especially in tourism. Consequently, a significant knowledge gap exists concerning our understanding of firm-level innovativeness and its antecedents; thus providing little, if any, guidance to tourism operators on achieving innovativeness. Indeed, the innovativeness literature is very fragmented. This can be partially attributed to the fact that in spite of the considerable research efforts in many salient fields of enquiry, such as tourism, marketing, organisational behaviour, strategy, and management, no universally acceptable theory or generalisable definition exists on innovativeness (Salicru, 2004; Read, 2002). Because researchers are from many different disciplinary fields, they often only study specific components of innovativeness, emphasising various dimensions of the phenomenon, depending on their respective research agendas and interpretations of innovativeness. Hence, serious definitional and conceptual issues prevail. This research provides an integrated view and conceptualisation of tourism firm-level innovativeness to eliminate much of the ambiguity and confusion caused by weak conceptualisations, taxonomies, and the inconsistent and conflicting use of terminology. The researcher disentangles the innovativeness concept and meticulously examines its key dimensions. Consequently, a universally acceptable definition and new, multidimensional conceptualisation of innovativeness may be developed and used in tourism theory and practice. The poster will illustrate how small tourism firms can achieve firm-level innovativeness to ensure long-term survival. Keywords: Business, Management, Innovativeness, Tourism

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Building and managing an organisation-wide transformational capability structure in the Irish tourism sector Ms Catherine Gannon1, Dr Pat Lynch, Dr Mary Holden, & Dr Denis Harrington Department of Management & Organisation Email:

Abstract: Strategists have spent the last five decades studying firms and organisations that have been successful. The questions that arose back then remain unanswered today. Why are some organisations more successful than others? What is different about these successful firms and how did they achieve this competitive advantage? And is it sustainable? Many theories have been put forward in an effort to solve this matter, but not one particular theory has been acknowledged as the means of gaining this competitive advantage (Barney and Peteraf, 2001; Cockburn, Henderson and Stern, 2000; Prahalad and Hamel, 1990; Porter, 1985). In the context of tourism this is even more apparent. Many authors within the tourism literature have researched competitiveness in relation to the external environment (Alavi, Sobral, Lisboa, 2003; Go, Pine and Yu, 1994). Theorists have long argued that internal distinctive capabilities, which are grounded in firm resources and routines, are the source for transformational capability (Burgoyne et al, 2004; Barney, 2001, 1991; Markides, 1998). This capability will enable the firm to integrate, build and reconfigure their structural, social and relational resources to match the requirements of a changing environment which can potentially be the basis of differentiation (Wang and Ahmed, 2007; Teece et al., 1997). In the Irish tourism sector, a common proposal to overcome this problem from national and economic reports is that the tourism organisation must refocus its management and organisational efforts in developing these transformational capabilities (Tourism Product Development Strategy 2007-2013; Tourism Policy Review Group, 2003). Notwithstanding the positive connection that has been established by researchers from the resource-based view (RBV) between resources, capabilities and competitive advantage, there has been little empirical examination of transformational capabilities (Gupta and Roos, 2001), indicating that a substantial gap in academic knowledge exists in this area. Based on the foregoing, this study seeks to make a substantive contribution to closing the existing knowledge gap by utilising an internal based perspective which is founded upon the RBV literature (Barney, 2001, 1991; Peteraf, 1993). Keywords: Resource-Based View (RBV), Capabilities, Strategy, Tourism, Competitiveness.


The author wishes to acknowledge Fรกilte Ireland who is funding this research.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Connecting the countryside: proposing an integrated model of rural stakeholder network relationships Ms Elaine Aylward Department of Management & Organisation Email: Abstract: Traditionally agriculture and farming activities have been synonymous with rural areas and have been to the fore of policies to develop the countryside. However, in the last number of years the significance of agriculture to rural development has declined (Van der Ploeg et al, 2008; 2000). Additionally, there has been a shift in focus from what has been termed the ‘modernisation paradigm’ to the development of a ‘new paradigm of rural development’ (Murdoch, 2000). A more integrated approach to rural development activities is being advocated. Much emphasis has been placed in recent years on collaborative relations between network partners’ to aid the facilitation of rural development. It is well-documented that inclusive rural stakeholder networks, involving third-level institutions and public-private stakeholders, are considered pivotal to successful and sustainable rural development (Johnson et al., 2000). Yet significant gaps exist on the identification and precise nature of the roles and functions of stakeholders (Pezzini, 2001; McQuaid, 1997), and the content of network interactions and relationships (Jack, 2008), particularly in a rural environment (Murdoch, 2000). Thus, ‘what we now need are new theories that adequately reflect these new networks, practices and identities’ (Van der Ploeg et al., 2000:394). Despite numerous calls to study relationships within these networks, these interactions have not been studied to date in a rural network setting to the best of the author’s knowledge. In response to this gap in extant literature, this research seeks to identify and explain the nature and content of the roles and relationships of key stakeholders in a rural network environment. Following a longitudinal interpretive case study carried out in the South-East of Ireland, the author proposes an integrated model of rural stakeholder network relationships, incorporating the key criteria identified in the research study. Further research studies in comparative network environments are planned for validation purposes. Keywords: Rural Regional Development, Networks, Relationships

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Designing tourism experiences: A conceptual framework for the process of experience design Ms Roseline Dalton, Dr Anne Marie Lally & Dr Patrick Lynch Department of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality Email: Abstract: The development of authentic and memorable experiences is of immense competitive importance to the Irish tourism sector (Fåilte Ireland, 2008). The experience element of tourism products is a key influencer for customers’ in selecting cultural attractions (Brunner-Sperdin and Peters, 2009). The largely physical nature of many tourism assets only partially fulfils visitor’s needs, experiences target higher order needs by creating personal and emotional connections (Timothy, 1997; Xu, 2009). While there has been considerable progress in the study of experiences over the past decades, a review of the literature indicates that there remains a lack of clearly articulated explanations of the elements of an experience and the process by which experiences are developed (Boswijk, Thijssen and Peelen, 2007). This research seeks to build upon existing theory in product and service development and adapt it for the area of experience design. The poster presents the preliminary results from an extensive literature review and case study of a leading Irish cultural tourism attraction. The case location was deemed to exhibit best practice in the design and delivery of experiences and their practices were examined in considerable detail to address the research aims of understanding the nature of cultural experiences and the process of experience development. Preliminary results indicate that the process of experience development is iterative rather than sequential and requires a number of organisational antecedents to enable success. While there is strong evidence that external collaboration is important in the experience development process, willingness to involve users in the process was shown to be poor and this impacted on both the process and the resultant experience outcome. The poster highlights some gaps between experience development theory and practice and the findings are to be used to develop a more robust conceptual model of experience development for cultural tourism attractions. Keywords: Experience design, new service development, cultural tourism

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


D.I.Y. Divorce - The March of the Lay Litigant Ms Roisin O'Shea Department of Applied Arts Email: Abstract: Introduction Organisations and groups that deal with families in crisis, and researchers and policy makers need information on what happens in the family courts. The veil of secrecy that still for the most part lies over Family Law proceedings, has meant that the public cannot see justice administered publicly. This project seeks to examine “holistically” the Family Law system in relation to Judicial Separation and Divorce. Methodology There is a necessity for research and accurate statistical and other empirical data in this subject area, to form the basis for rational reform. The research will entail the preparation of Reports, Judgements, Trends and Statistics, based on a representative “unit of time”, (November 2008July 2012 inclusive), selection of applications to the Circuit Court in relation to Judicial Separation and Divorce. The Circuit Court hears approximately 98% of all such cases. Research finding Our Family law system is not designed to assist the lay litigant a significant number of which are presenting in court without legal representation, which is hugely problematic both for the court and the parties involved. There is a clear pattern of financial necessity and lengthy waiting lists for Free Legal Aid, driving the march of the lay litigant. Statistics on Lay litigants presenting in court: 7/10/2008-17/12/2008 165 cases observed Divorce; 29% Male Separation 5.45% Male Other 9.09% Male

Cork Circuit Court 24% Female 7.87% Female 6.06% Female

4/02/09-7/05/2009 Divorce Separation Other

125 cases observed 15.2% Male 3.2% Male 10.4% Male

Dublin Circuit Court 12% Female 2.4% Female 4.8% Female

23/02/2010-16/03/2010 Divorce Separation Other

103 cases observed 26% Male 1.94% Male 6.79% Male

South Eastern Circuit 16.5% Female 1.94% Female 1.94% Female

The majority of lay litigants are husbands and Respondents to an application by the wife. Keywords: Family Law

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Evolving Learning Communities-Looking Beyond Facilitated Network Environments Ms Leana Reinl Department of Management & Organisation Email: Abstract: Learning networks are regularly cited throughout the literature as a means to create sustainable competitive advantage in small firms by facilitating learning among entrepreneurs. Once established, the question remains whether such networks can transition from a facilitated learning environment to become independent learning communities in the longer term. Little is known about the formation, maintenance or success of these learning relationships after facilitated learning structures and supports reach a conclusion. What is known is that these ‘Evolving Learning Communities’ (ELCs) are devoid of formal structures, thus autonomy in their structural and relational reasoning is required. The ‘learning value’ of these relationships beyond the facilitated learning environment remains elusive and requires exploration. The author applies a longitudinal interpretive case method to study one such ELC comprising 55 small tourism business owner/managers located in the South of Ireland. The ELC was established by a number of past participants of a facilitated learning network initiative, the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Learning Network (TLN) programme. The research objective in this pilot study is: to explore the elements and relationships that influence learning in ELCs after formal supports end. The pilot study findings provide ‘thick description’ from a variety of data collection sources including observation, interviews and reflective diaries. A preliminary ELC model is presented that draws on the Community of Practice perspective in considering the ELC context, whilst also taking cognisance of facilitated learning network themes and their function as a catalyst for autonomous learning. Further research will incorporate sub-studies for the purposes of crossvalidation which will inform the model, develop insight into the entrepreneurial learning process and the potential learning value that learning community participation could offer over time. The model represents a visual of learning evolution in the micro-firm milieu. Acknowledgments The author would like to acknowledge the contribution and support of Dr Felicity Kelliher (research supervisor) and the assistance and support of the Explore Baltimore group and Fáilte Ireland in this research study. Keywords: Learning networks, entrepreneurial learning, micro-firms, tourism.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Exploring the interactive function of online tandem language learning of Chinese and English Ms Alice Tan Wei Department of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality Email: Abstract: E-tandem learning is an underexploited but potentially a very powerful use of ComputerMediated Communication (CMC) in second language (L2) pedagogy. The overall aim of this research is to explore the interactive function of tandem language learning and to further discover its related theoretical and practical issues to increase the effectiveness of this language learning approach. The concept and three principles of online tandem language learning (e-TLL) will be introduced at the beginning. Then a planned e-TLL project to be set up between Irish Chinese learners and Chinese English learners will be presented. The methodology of my research will be further explained. Exploring the interactive function of e-TLL will be significant in improving learners’ L2 learning and intercultural competence. Through this research, more theoretical and practical issues will be discovered. It will increase people’s understanding and will provide insights into the validity of e-communication as a language learning opportunity. This research will act as a gateway for real exchanges in distant languages experiences online by adding new tandem language pairings—Chinese and English in Europe. Overall the interactive function of TLL will be further explored, which will make contributions to the existing body of knowledge and current best practice in e-TLL. Keywords: E-tandem, Interactive function, L2 learning, Intercultural Competence

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Fรกilte go Slรกinte: The Irish Tourist Experience Mr Noel Murray, Dr Anthony Foley, Dr Patrick Lynch Department of Management & Organisation Email: Abstract: Customer experience in general, is a complex construct, and difficult to define as it is characterised by the emotional and affective state of the customer (Zehrer, 2009). While it has attracted considerable attention in the literature (Atilgan et al. 2003; Aho, 2001, Gnoth et al. 2009), the need for further theoretical development has been widely recognised (Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons, 2000; Pullman and Gross, 2003). Therefore, this paper proposes a conceptual model of the tourist experience concept incorporating a number of key propositions. The central role of the customer (tourist) experience has been acknowledged in two key national tourism industry strategy documents: the Tourism Policy Review Group 2003 (TPRG) and the Tourism Product Development Strategy 2007-2013 (TPDS). Indeed, there is an imbalance in the experience literature as existing work in the area of experiential tourism services has dealt primarily with the characteristics of experiences (Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons, 2004; Gupta & Vajic, 2000; Carbone & Haeckel, 1994), or on the enhancers and inhibitors to experience delivery (Anderson et al., 2008) or on the benefits of experience delivery (Voss, 2004; Pullman & Gross, 2003) but with scant attention to how tourism providers can actually create and articulate the tourism experience concept, in particular, engaging with the reality of the tourist experience as perceived by the user (Gupta and Vajic, 2000). Therefore, this paper integrates a large volume of heterogeneous literature drawing from numerous disciplines to develop theoretical building blocks for an integrated model of tourism experience. A series of propositions are presented to guide future empirical examination. Keywords: Tourism Experience Concept

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Integration of Chinese and Irish students in Business Schools in Irish Higher Education Ms Allie Heying Department of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality Email:

Abstract: China is the second largest source of foreign students from outside of Europe in Higher Education in Ireland. At WIT, there are currently approximately 200 Chinese students, about 1/3 of whom are in the School of Business. Furthermore, Irish students can take courses in Chinese in the Confucius Institutes at UCC and UCD. All of this has implications for intercultural communication and integration of Chinese and Irish students. While research has traditionally focused on how Chinese students integrate into Irish society, this study will investigate the situation where both groups are in direct contact and will also include the views of lecturers and staff in international offices. The research has as its overall aim to investigate the perceived level of integration of Business Studies students at WIT, and students of Chinese and Business at UCD and UCC, in the sociocultural and academic environment, as well as their perceived stage of intercultural competence. The study will also explore the place of L2 motivational constructs during the process of integration, and will establish how academic procedures meet the needs of both groups. The presentation will outline the rationale for the research and the intended methodology. Two data collection methods, questionnaires and interviews, will be used at the start and towards the end of the research with the same respondents. Triangulation of data will allow for a wider perspective on the investigation through consideration of 3 viewpoints: the Chinese students’, the Irish students’ and views of lecturers/staff. The findings of this research will build on similar intercultural studies in Ireland and internationally, and will make recommendations on approaches to improved integration of Chinese and Irish students in the Irish HE context. Finally, it will contribute to on-going research in the field of motivation and second language learning. Keywords: Intercultural Competence, Socio-cultral integration, Motivation

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


The portrayal of Irish mythology in contemporary composition in Ireland Ms Angela Horgan-Goff Department of Creative and Performing Arts E-mail: Abstract: There is a significant mythologically-based repertoire of works written by Irish contemporary composers, several of which are based on the same tales. The compositional techniques employed in the portrayal of these tales vary considerably from one composer to the next. Each of the selected works will be analysed in detail to determine the most effective techniques used to portray a specific myth. Irish composer Frank Corcoran (b.1944) has produced the most extensive output of mythologically inspired works focusing solely on the tale of ‘Mad Sweeney’. This is a tale about a king whose conflict with Christianity resulted in him being cursed, losing his mind in battle, and living the remainder of his life as a type of lonely bird-man fugitive. This series of works incorporates a variety of different media including wind quintet, piano solo and electro-acoustic and mixed media. The current focus of this research is on the first work of this series, entitled Buile Suibhne (1996), for chamber orchestra and narrator. The programmatic element of this work is complemented by the narrator and the characterisation of the four wind instruments. Interestingly this is the only one from the series to include text, contributing significantly to the effective portrayal of the tale. Corcoran employs his own unique compositional language, which he terms “macrocounterpoint”, and due to the aleatoric nature of this technique no two performances of the work will ever sound the same. He introduces his atonal macro-contrapuntal layers at the beginning of Buile Suibhne and the resultant chaotic sound aptly portrays Sweeney’s turmoil. Through the use of this complex macro-counterpoint, atonal pitch material, intricate rhythmic motives and significant use of special effects, Corcoran creates a very convincing portrayal of the tale. This research illustrates the analytical techniques of Frank Corcoran’s Buile Suibhne in the context of the overall dissertation. Keywords: Musicology, Irish Mythology, Irish Contemporary Music, Frank Corcoran, MacroCounterpoint, Analytical Techniques

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


The pursuit of professionalism through problem-based learning Ms Jennifer Hussey, Dr Mary T. Holden, Dr Anthony Foley & Dr Patrick Lynch Department of Management & Organisation Email: Abstract: This paper originates in the context of growing recognition that the success of the global tourism industry will ultimately depend on the professionalism of its workforce (Edgell et al., 2008, p. 219-220). Indeed, the Tourism Policy Review Group (2003, p. 54) has highlighted the need for the development of the professionalism of the fragmented SME-dominated Irish industry, warning that “unless this is done across the industry as a whole, the status and credibility of education and training programmes will be called into question.” In her study in a tourism context, Sheldon (1989, p.493) identified a distinguishing feature of professionalism as the substantial profession-specific knowledge and competencies developed through an extended period of socialisation and education. However, while a general consensus exists on the merits of higher levels of professionalism, and education’s role as a key driver of the professionalisation process is undisputed, continuing education for owner/managers of micro/small businesses is problematic (Kelliher et al., 2009). In light of the foregoing, Fáilte Ireland began a tendering process for the delivery of a degreelevel programme to address this deficit and Waterford Institute of Technology’s School of Business was successful in this process (resulting in a new Bachelor of Science in Small Enterprise Management (BSc.)). Many of the particular sector-specific challenges were met through the adoption of a problem-based learning approach (PBL). Although there is an awareness of the potential enhancement of professionalism that PBL offers (Nilsson, 2007), Strobel and Van Barneveld’s (2009, p.44) meta-analysis of the literature highlighted a lack of consensus on the impact of PBL on learning outcomes. Hence, in parallel with the BSc’s development, a longitudinal study is underway to add to the extant literature on PBL’s effectiveness; this poster details both the progress to-date in designing the BSc as well as an evaluative framework to guide the study. References: 1) Edgell, David L., Maria DelMastro Allen, Ginger Smith, & Jason R. Swanson. 2008. Education and training in tourism. In Edgell, David L., Maria DelMastro Allen, Ginger Smith, & Jason R. Swanson, editors, Tourism Policy and Planning: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann. 2) Kelliher, Felicity, Anthony Foley, & Anne-Marie Frampton. 2009. Facilitating small firm learning networks in the Irish tourism sector. Tourism & Hospitality Research, 9(1): 80-95. 3) Nilsson, S. 2007. From Higher Education To Professional Practice. A comparative study of physicians' and engineers' learning and competence use. Academic dissertation, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, University of Linkoping, Sweden. 4) Sheldon, Pauline J. 1989. Professionalism in tourism and hospitality. Annals of Tourism Research, 16(4): 492-503.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


5) Strobel, J. & A. Van Barneveld. 2008. When is PBL More Effective? A Meta-synthesis of Metaanalyses: Comparing PBL to Conventional Classrooms. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 3(1): 44–58. 6) The Tourism Policy Review. 2003. New Horizons for Irish Tourism: An Agenda for Action: Dublin: Stationery Office. Keywords: Professionalism, PBL, Tourism, Education, Blended Learning

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Understanding the development of dynamic capabilities within a network context Ms Anne Marie Ivers Department of Management & Organisation Email: Abstract: While there has been considerable study of dynamic capabilities (e.g. Eisenhardt and Martin 2000), confusion still remains as to how dynamic capabilities are created and developed (Zollo and Winter, 2002) and the emerging network focus on dynamic capabilities (Möller and Svahn, 2003) provides an intriguing opportunity to explore how dynamic capabilities can develop as inter-organisational capabilities within the context of a network (Gulati, Nohria and Zaheer, 2000). Zollo and Winter (2002) argue that knowledge management provides the key – the generation, codification and capture of learning informs the evolution of complex routines and processes, which characterise dynamic capabilities. Networks are abundant with resources and knowledge which exist in many different forms but importantly it is through relationships with others that an organisation’s distinctive capabilities can be acquired and developed (Håkansson and Snehota, 2006). The idea of managed networks is of particular interest to this study (Möller and Halinen, 1999; Möller and Svahn, 2003) as different capabilities can evolve from the various levels of a network, depending upon how the network is managed (Möller, Rajala, and Svahn, 2005). Möller and Svahn (2003) have done some work upon identifying the various levels of strategic nets: macronetwork level, strategic nets level and net-portfolio level and the ensuing capabilities that are likely to emerge from these nets. For example, capabilities that are likely to emerge from the strategic nets level are: network visioning capability and network orchestration capability. This study involves the empirical examination of the nature and characteristics of the capabilities that emerge from the macro-network level and strategic nets level of the network and as a result will lead to the greater understanding of how dynamic capabilities are developed in networks. The researcher is adopting a case study approach for this study. References 1) Achrol, S. R., and Kotler, P. (1999), “Marketing in a network economy”, Journal of Marketing Special Issue, Vol.63.146-163 2) Eisenhardt, M.K. and Martin, A.J. (2000), “Dynamic Capabilities: What are they?”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 21,1105-1121 3) Gulati, R., Nohria, N., and Zaheer, A. (2000), “Strategic Networks”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 21, 203-215 4) Håkansson, H. and Snehota, I. (2006), “No business is an island: The network concept of business strategy”, Scandinavian Journal of Management, Vol.22, 256-270 5) Möller, K.K. and Halinen, A. (1999), “Business Relationships and Networks: Managerial Challenge of Network Era”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 28, 413-427

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


6) Möller, K.K. and Svahn, S. (2003), “Managing Strategic Nets: A capability perspective”, Marketing Theory, Vol. 3. No. 2, 201-226 7) Möller, K.K., Rajala, A. and Svahn, S. (2005), “Strategic business nets-their type and management”, Journal of Business Research, Vol.58, 1274-1284 8) Zollo, M. and Winter S.G. (2002) Deliberate learning and the evolution of dynamic capabilities, Organization Science, Vol.13, No.3, May-June pp. 339-351 Keywords: Dynamic Capability, Network Management, Knowledge Management

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Understanding the influence of interpersonal relationships, interpersonal communication patterns & contextual network factors on tacit knowledge transfer efficiency in business networks Ms Leanne Bowe Department of Management & Organisation Email: Abstract: In today’s competitive business environment, the attainment of tacit knowledge has been argued to occupy a central place in the development of a firm’s sustainable competitive advantage (Ambrosini and Bowman, 2001). Increasingly, access to tacit knowledge is provided through a firm’s participation in business networks (Batt and Purchase, 2003). A firm’s competitive position can be further enhanced when tacit knowledge is transferred efficiently, as the less time and effort required, the more likely that a transfer will be completed successfully (Hansen, 1999). In light of this, understanding the components of efficient tacit knowledge transfer is a focal part of this study. In the context of tacit knowledge, social network researchers have demonstrated the benefits of close interpersonal relationships in facilitating transfer and acquisition. Indeed, communication has been referred to as the glue that binds together network inter-relationships (Johnston, 2005) and represents an important conduit for knowledge transfer. Despite this, factors impacting knowledge transfer efficiency at the micro level of analysis, namely a firm’s interpersonal relationships and their ensuing communication patterns, have been largely ignored; hence a major gap exists in academic knowledge involving the foregoing. This study will combine these relational aspects with two contextual network factors: the geographic proximity of businesses in the network and the structural equivalence of network actors. Geographic proximity is linked to the frequency of contact between network actors, allowing for better communication (Kraut et al, 1987). Structural equivalence refers to the extent to which two individuals occupy the same network position, increasing the likelihood that they share common knowledge (Reagans and McEvily, 2003). It is perceived that these contextual factors enhance the association between interpersonal relationships, their communication patterns and tacit knowledge transfer, while the nature of the interpersonal relationship (that is, close) has a positive impact on their communication patterns and, in turn, both of these variables have a positive influence on tacit knowledge transfer efficiency. A case study methodology will be utilised involving firms operating in a business network of small and medium sized enterprises in the south-east region. Through an incorporation of network theory with the interpersonal relationship and communication literatures, it is perceived that this study will make a significant contribution to several streams of academic knowledge. Keywords: Knowledge Transfer Efficiency in Networks

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Abstracts from Science, Engineering & Technology Staff Abstracts

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Active for a day: Predictors of relapse among previously active mass event participants Ms Aoife Lane & Dr Niamh Murphy, Centre for Health Behaviour Research, Department of Health Sciences Dr Adrian Bauman, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia Email: Abstract: Background: There may be a role for mass community events, and associated strategies, in the promotion of physical activity (PA) at the population level, but the public health impact of events has not been previously investigated. The Women’s Mini Marathon 10km event attracts over 40,000 participants annually. However, we know little about the post event PA levels and who is most likely to relapse, or the usefulness of post event strategies in the promotion of sustained behaviour change. Methods and Scope: A population based sample of participants in 3 PA women-only events were assessed prior to and 2/3 months post event (n=7,656). Pre and post self report PA data, collected using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, were matched to measure changes over time and to identify participants relapsing to insufficient PA levels. Results: Data indicated that the events did stimulate PA among participants and that they attracted more than the habitual exerciser. Approximately 11% of participants did not maintain their PA levels post event, thus were included in either a print based RCT (2007, n=176) or a cluster community based trial (2008, n=402). The latter was delivered in conjunction with Local Sports Partnerships. There were notable increases in PA and proportions meeting minimum guidelines for PA following both of these interventions. Impact: It is possible to use mass community events as a lever to increase PA at the population level. There is considerable potential for PA, sport or health promoting agencies to work together to harness this initial engagement in PA and foster long term change. Keywords: Physical activity, mass events, relapse

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


An evaluation of a curriculum for registered nurses and the impact on clinical practice: a case study approach Ms Sue Fensom Department of Nursing, MSc, BA, PGCEA, DN, RN Email: Abstract Globally there has been investment for nurses in continual professional education for nurses to reach to degree status; however, there is lack of empirical evidence of its effectiveness (Jordan, 2000). Course evaluations of the part time BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies programme indicated that the curriculum was making no difference to real world nursing practice. International literature confirms that educational evaluations focus on process and do not measure the students’ impact on clinical practice (Draper & Clarke, 2007) clearly there is a theory practice gap. This study aims to determine if the practice based enquiry curriculum, based on transformative learning theory is effective and makes an impact on clinical practice development. Methods A case study approach aims to capture an in-depth exploration of the student’s journey through BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies programme. The study will focus on the relationship between the programme and the support mechanisms; towards student development and the impact on practice development. Students, clinical supervisors and line managers formed the population for the study. Three stages of data collection over an academic year were collected. All data was analysed using a thematic framework and NVivo. Findings The findings indicate that student’s learning is beginning to be transformed. Behavioural change was reported by the students through an increase confidence, critical thinking, and reflective practice skills. Students identified that their values and beliefs within the nursing culture became more questioning in practice and the acquisition of knowledge was apparent. Evidence indicates that student’s individual practice is changing, therefore improving patient care. However, the findings also suggest that there are inhibiting factors that prevent the learning culture from being developed and sustained towards lifelong learning. Students do not appear to be encouraged to disseminate their learning to the wider population of the nursing community. Despite evidence of support for some, there is inconsistency at unit level of encouragement towards the development of innovative practice. References: 1) Draper J., Clarke L., (2007) Impact of continuing professional education on practice: the rhetoric or reality, Nurse Education Today 27(6) 515-517 2) Jordan, S., (2000) Educational input and patient outcomes: exploring the gap, Journal of Advanced Nursing 31, (2) 461-471 Keywords: Impact of Post Registration Nursing Education

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


A testbed to support performance experiments on access control policies Mr Bernard Butler Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: Information Technology makes it easier than ever before for everyone to obtain resources such as documents, music, etc. New communication technologies enable easier interaction between people. However, some resource requests and interactions are undesirable. For example: some websites are not suited to 10-year olds; normal users are not trained to change the configuration of complex systems and some staff may not share views and documents with colleagues because of conflicts of interest, data protection regulations, etc. Thus Access Control is needed in mature Information and Communication Technology systems. Access Control is generally defined in the form of rules that are implemented in policies. To apply such policies, they must be encoded in computer-readable form. The access control policy language preferred by IT industry is XACML, a dialect of the eXtensible Markup Language. As access control systems become more pervasive, access control decisions are needed more often. The Policy Decision Points (PDPs) that handle each request need good performance and to scale well as demands increase. Thus access control performance is a growing concern. Researchers have proposed various improvements, mostly based on policy optimisations with corresponding changes and improvements to the PDPs. Without exception, they compare their ``optimised system’’ with a reference XACML PDP from Sun, using their own (unpublished) test data and conditions. Thus it is impossible to compare each proposed improvement with its peers. In response, I developed a software testbed to support performance experiments comparing PDP enhancement proposals with each other. Simulation experiments can be used to generate extensive measurement data. Rigorous methods, notably queueing theory and multivariate statistical analysis can then be applied to the performance measurements. Initial experiments show that simple admission control protocols prevent the PDPs from becoming overloaded; decision delays remain modest. Future research will consider other proposals, including some of my own ideas. Keywords: Access control; Performance and scalability; Knowledge engineering

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Communications network management system support for interdomain federations Dr Brendan Jennings Telecommunications Software & Systems Group Email: Abstract: In recent years researchers have developed techniques for autonomic network management, in which a network has the ability to self‐govern its behaviour within the constraints of human‐specified business goals. Whilst significant progress has been made, work to date has focused on management in the context of single, well‐defined network domains. Relatively little work has been done on how autonomic management systems can be federated across management domains to provide end‐to‐end management of communications services. In this talk I will discuss our ongoing work on how to enhance management systems with capabilities supporting the creation and lifecycle management of federations involving networks, service providers and service consumers. In particular I will discuss challenges for policy‐based management of inter‐domain federations. Policies are inter‐changeable rules of the form “on event(s), if condition(s), do action(s)” that are used to govern the behaviour of communications networks. We assume that each network domain has associated with it sets of policies (possibly grouped at various levels of abstraction in a policy continuum) that are used to govern local resources. In the context of federations a key challenge is how to maintain consistency between policies reflecting local own and policies reflecting the commitments made relating to participation in one or more federations. I will discuss this challenge and will outline our approach to developing policy authoring and conflict analysis processes that harness knowledge encapsulated in systems models. Keywords: Network Management, Federated Management Systems, Inter-domain

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Drug delivery strategies for the treatment of eye disorders Dr Wayne Cummins Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email: Abstract: Disorders of the ocular posterior segment (back-of-the-eye) account for a significant proportion of incidences visual loss and impairment. Diseases such as Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), Macular Oedema (MO) and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) all can result in a severe and permanent loss of visual acuity. AMD, for example, is the leading cause of blindness of elderly people in the western world with an estimated 30 % of the population over 75 years of age suffering from the disease. By 2012 the value of the AMD market is expected to reach $2.2 billion in the US alone. The attractiveness of this market has resulted in a focus on discovering and developing therapeutic agents which can combat these diseases. Since 2001 the number of clinical trials registered concerning molecular therapies for retinal diseases has increased 10fold, several of which are showing promise as effective treatments for these disorders. Despite the progress which has been made in the development of new molecular therapies, techniques by which to deliver them are crude, costly and pose significant risk to the patient. The US ocular drug delivery market, which accounts for 50 % of the world market, is estimated to be worth $ 4.5 billion. The majority of this is in the eye drop sector, which to date is only effective in the treatment of anterior disorders. The posterior segment of the eye is exquisitely well protected from the external environment, rending the delivery of therapeutic agents to this region a challenging task. A number of innovative ways of overcoming these barriers have been developed in recent years but ultimately lack either the efficacy of safety required to adequately address the problem. The aim of this presentation is to give a brief overview of the current state-of-the art in posterior segment ocular drug delivery and to describe some of the work being undertaken in Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre in this area. Keywords: Drug Delivery, Ocular Therpeutics, Polymeric Materials

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


FutureComm - An interdisciplinary research approach towards the Future Internet Dr Dmitri Botvich, Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam Telecommunications Software & Systems Group Email: Abstract: In recent years, we have seen increase in number of people using the Internet, and this number continues to increase from year to year. One of the main attractions for this has been largely due to various services that have been introduced over the Internet, ranging from web and data services to multimedia services (e.g. IPTV). One contributing factor towards this is also advance developments in various technologies, including networking equipment (e.g. routers and storage equipments), networking technologies (e.g. WiFi, WiMAX), end user devices (e.g. PDA, mobile phones, and laptops), and software development which has led to increase number of services and functionalities. Based on these developments, there has been an increase in research activities by the communication networking community, to develop new solutions for the “Future Internet�, in order to improve the capabilities, efficiency, reliability, and robustness of the Internet to deliver services of the future. This presentation will present the research activity from the HEA PRTLI FutureComm project, which aims to develop solutions for the Future Internet from a holistic perspective. This holistic approach address the issues of communications services, their societal drivers and the requirements they place on the heterogeneous communications infrastructure. Keywords: Future Internet

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Hankel transforms and elliptic curve cryptography Dr Paul Barry School of Science Email: Abstract: Elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) has become a standard means of securing data communications in recent times. This paper will detail how methods that arise in the investigation of integer sequences can be applied to the mathematics of elliptic curve cryptography. These methods include the (determinant) Hankel transform and Jacobi continued fractions. Links to a well-known family of non-linear recurrence sequences, the Somos 4 sequences, will also be drawn. 1) R. Shipsey, Elliptic Divisibility Sequences, PhD Thesis, Royal Holloway (University of London), (2001) 2) C.S. Swart, Elliptic Curves and related sequences, PhD Thesis, Royal Holloway (University of London) (2003) 3) P. Barry, Generalized Catalan numbers, Hankel transforms and Somos-4 sequences (submitted for publication) 4) P. Barry, Somos-4 sequences, Pellians and Hankel Transforms (accepted for publication) Keywords: Mathematics, Integer Sequences, Elliptic curves.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Irish travellers, selective assimilation and drugs: A question of social capital? Ms Marie Claire Van Hout Department of Health Sciences Email: Abstract: The Irish Traveller community whilst presenting with low drug prevalence trends is at increased risk of problematic drug use, as consequence of assimilatory stresses, marginalisation, poverty and poor health status (Fountain,2006). Drug use represents potential for additional exclusion in the form of further stigmatisation, social exclusion and cultural dissipation. The key premis for the research was to explore how the social capital environment ‘enables’ the emergence of socially situated drug risk and drug activity in the Traveller community, and how drug activity can also become a medium for group membership, support and solidarity, and achieving social space, status and sense of social agency. Qualitative research using 12 gender specific focus groups with Travellers (n=57) was conducted in the Western region of Ireland (Van Hout, 2009; 2009; 2010; 2010). The narratives were mapped within a conceptual discourse of social capital and risk in relation to ethnicity and trust, neutralisation of risk, mutual resource acquisition, normative and reciprocal frameworks for drug use. The social capital framework was presented as a resource relating to networks and associational relationships between Irish Travellers and the dominant Irish ‘settled society’, and illustrated how individual and collective actions relating to risk and drug use can be better understood within the sanctioning of the “local social world” of Travellers. Discriminatory experiences, low levels of institutional trust and influx of drug activity in Traveller communities is contributing to the neutralisation of drug taking risk, and the development of normative and reciprocal relationships in drug activities. Traditional anti drug Traveller culture is diminishing in potency, as family networks and groups become fragmented, and over time one would question if drug use among Travellers will replicate or even exceed that of the “settled” population, given the marginalisation and discrimination they experience. Accepted for publication in Critical Public Health, 2010.

Keywords: Drug and alcohol abuse, Travellers, ethnicity

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Irish wood energy: A chemical perspective Dr Eleanor Owens, Mr Tom Kent, Ms Sarah Cooley, Ms Maeve Kennealy Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Dr Peadar Lawlor, Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy Email: Abstract: The interest in a renewable sustainable and carbon neutral energy source has increased over the last number of years due to a finite fossil fuel resource, escalating fossil fuel prices and concerns for our environment. International agreements have put pressure on individual countries to reduce carbon emissions and to enhance its use of biomass. However, the development of a sustainable solid biofuel sector is dependent on a quality fuel supply chain for both supplier and purchaser. Efficiency of energy conversion is directly related to the energy content, density and moisture content of the biofuel. Regardless of the technology used, any combustion will lead to air emissions and some level of wood ash. The air emissions and ash content depends on the chemical composition of the biofuel used. Evidence suggests that the geographic source of the wood, as well as species, plays a role in determining the chemical make-up of the wood. In particular the degree of exposure to sea spray may determine the chlorine content of the wood and ultimately influences the emissions and ash composition as well as erosion potential in wood burners. Another driver in the biofuel sector is the recycling of waste products and adding value to them by converting them to use as biofuel. Until the setting up of the Wood Energy Research Group, within WIT, in 2007 no chemical and physical analysis had been published on Irish wood with respect to its use as a suitable and sustainable biofuel. The research presented will describe the chemical analysis of different species, assortments from different geographical locations of Irish Wood Energy with comparisons to European standards. The development of a novel solid biofuel using solid pig manure will also be described. 1) CEN/TS 14961:2005 solid biofuels – fuel specifications and classes. 2008. 2) I.Obernberger, T.Brunner, and G.BSrnthaler, Chemical properties of solid biofuels-significance and impact, Biomass and Bioenergy 30 (2006) 973-982 3) Burton, C.H. 1997. Manure management. Treatment strategies for sustainable agriculture. Keywords: Biomass, Sustainable Energy, Environmental Implications

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Microemulsion chromatography - a new method for the separation of pharmaceuticals Dr Sheila Donegan, Dr Joe Power, Mr Richard Ryan, Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Dr Kevin Altria, Glaxo Smithkline UK Email: Abstract: Many pharmaceutical formulations contain both water soluble and water insoluble materials. To ensure safety, quality and efficacy of the pharmaceutical product, pharmaceutical companies need to identify the components and quantities of each of the components in the product. At present, this must be done by extracting the water soluble and water insoluble components separately prior to analysis, and then analysing the water soluble and water insoluble materials separately normally by HPLC (High Performance liquid chromatography). The research group at Waterford IT working with Glaxo Smithkline UK, have developed a novel method for the analysis of pharmaceutical formulations that allows both water soluble and water insoluble materials to be analysed simultaneously without a need for the pre-extraction step. This allows for more rapid analysis and requires substantially less solvent that is required by conventional methods. This offers huge potential in terms of cost of labour and solvent use for pharmaceutical companies world wide. The reduction in solvent use is a major concern for pharmaceutical companies as use of solvents is a major environmental concern. The work involved bringing together expertise from two different areas within the C&L department – Interfacial Chemistry and Chromatography to develop Microemulsion chromatographic techniques. The group has shown that a range of pharmaceutical formulated products including suppositories and vitamin formulations, which up to now had required extensive pre analysis extractions can now be analysed in a fast one step process. The group includes lecturers Dr. Sheila Donegan, and Dr. Joe Power and has graduated 4 Ph.D students to date. Richie Ryan is currently pursuing a PhD in this area. The group has published extensively in journals such as Electrophoresis, Journal of Chromatography and Journal of Biomedical Analysis as well as many invited paper and book chapters. References: 1) The use of novel Water-in –Oil Microemulsions in Microemulsion Electrokinetic Chromatography.Electrophoresis 2004 25 645- 652 Altria K. Broderick M, Donegan S. Power J 2) “Optimisation and use of Water-in-Oil MEEKC in Pharmaceutical Analysis” Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, Volume 37, Issue 5, 29 April 2005, Pages 877-884 Margo Broderick, Sheila Donegan, Joe Power and Kevin Altria WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


3) Preliminary study on the novel use of Water in Oil Microemulsions in HPLC Chromatographia 2005 62 no.7/8 341 – 348 Altria K. Broderick M, Donegan S. Power J 4) McEvoy E, Donegan S, Power J and Altria KD. “The application of MELC and MEEKC methods for the analysis of paracetamol and related impurities in suppositories”, Chromatographia, in press (2008) 5) Ryan R., McEvoy E, Power J, Donegan S, Altria, KD “An Introduction to Microemulsion HPLC (MELC)”, LCGC October 2008. 6) Recent Advances in the Methodology, Optimisation and Application of Microemulsion Electrokinetic Chromatography (MEEKC) Methods", Electrophoresis 2009 30, 65-82, Ryan R., McEvoy E, Power J, Donegan S, Altria K 7) Capillary Electrophoresis for Pharmaceutical Analysis A Marsh, M. Broderick, S. Donegan, J. Power, K. Altria, B. Clarke, HPCE 2005 8) Microemulsion Electrokinetic Chromatography – a review - Marsh, E. Mc Evoy, K. Altria, M. Broderick , S. Donegan, J. Power Encyclopedia of Separation Science 2006 9) Microemulsion HPLC – A. Marsh, E. Mc Evoy, K. Altria, M. Broderick S. Donegan, J. Power 10) Handbook of Capillary and Microchip Electrophoresis ed Landers 2008-02-27 - E. Mc Evoy, K. Altria, S. Donegan, J. Power 11) Advances in the Theory and Application of MEEKC, Electrophoresis 2010, 31, 755-767, Ryan R., Donegan S., Power J., Altria K. Keywords: Microemulsion chromatography pharmaceutical separation

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Nano-positioning and micro-fluidics devices Dr Jim Lawlor, Mr Tom Wemyss, Ms Ann Wallace Department of Engineering Technology Email: Abstract: The expansion and integration of microfluidics into an increasing number of areas from chemical synthesis and biological analysis through medicine and manufacturing is a quickly developing field of research[Figure 1]. The development of the initial applications in these fields reveals attendant engineering and scientific challenges. This presentation describes a series of related projects which are designed to progress engineering capabilities in this area. The focus is on two primary areas. The first is the manufacture of ‘labs-on-a-chip’ (microfluidic devices) and the control of the fluids in these chipsets. Once the capability to manufacture these chips is achieved, they can be applied to a variety of challenges. The second area is in nanopositioning. The ability to accurately determine a position becomes more important as applications physically shrink[Figure 2]. Nano-positioning can assist in the construction of chipsets in terms of positioning elements such as temperature sensors and electrodes. In addition, as the breadth of applications expands, the ability to approach manipulation at cellular or molecular level, with accuracy, repeatability and high resolution, is extremely useful. The technological requirements for nano-positioning are also applicable to the control of microfluidic flow, for example in the application of piezos as actuators and sensors for valves and pumps. These projects are designed as an integrated set, with the objective of developing the ability to manufacture, assemble, control and position both the components of microfluidics chipsets and the constituents of the fluids to which the technology is being applied. The potential for collaboration with other disciplines, for example, between engineering and physics or the life sciences is large. 1) Whitesides, G.M. 2006. The origins and future of microfluidics. Nature 442(7101): 368-373. 2) Devasia, S., E. Eleftheriou, et al. 2007. A Survey of control issues in nano-positioning. IEEE Transactions On Control Systems Technology 15(5): 802-823.

Keywords: Micro-fluidics, nano-positioning

Figure 1: Micro-channel characteristics WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts

Figure 2: Nano-positioning hinges


Safety-critical automotive systems design Mr Brendan Jackman, Mr Frank Walsh Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract Automotive systems are made up of highly integrated mechatronic devices controlled by sophisticated software algorithms. These systems benefit society through increased driver and pedestrian safety, reduced vehicle emissions and greater fuel efficiency. Greater software integration in vehicles means more vehicle functions are under software control. Functions such as Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Antilock Brakes (ABS) and Drive-by-Wire are termed safety-critical because their failure could result in the loss or life or injury. Safety-critical automotive applications create new challenges for engineers, such as the early validation of alternative designs and the need to demonstrate that the timing deadline requirements of the application are met. For example, if the brakes are to be activated within 20ms of the brake pedal being pressed then it can never be allowed to take longer than this. To address these challenges safety-critical automotive system design has adopted a time-triggered approach where each system activity is scheduled to occur in a predefined time slot. Knowing in advance the time slots of each activity allows errors and delays to be detected sooner. By contrast most automotive software is event-triggered, which means that system activities are scheduled to occur as soon as a triggering event is detected. This approach can result in activity delays if lots of events occur simultaneously. The Automotive Control Group has completed a number of M.Sc. research programmes in the area of safety-critical automotive systems. Recent research, carried out for Sumitomo Electric Europe, developed a methodology for automotive companies to convert existing event-triggered systems to time-triggered designs. The group also developed a very detailed simulation of timetriggered vehicle networks that can be used to identify potential delays in message transmission. The group is currently researching ways of improving the efficiency of automotive systems integration testing in collaboration with Vector Informatik GB.

Fig 1: Networks of application control units in a modern vehicle

Keywords: Automotive, Safety-Critical, Time-Triggered, Embedded, Software

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


The importance of effectively handling data in autonomic network management Dr Steven Davy Telecommunications Software & Systems Group Email: Abstract: Traditionally, networking elements such as routers, switches, firewalls and access points all have distinct configuration options and expect to be configured in a device specific way. The human operator is therefore very much as the focus of network upgrades and changes (FCAPS). This makes network management one of the most expensive activities for network operators today. More intelligent management systems are now emerging (FP7 AutoI, FP7 Efipsans) that can orchestrate all these systems in an “autonomic� way, thus alleviating the expensive intervention of humans. However, it quickly becomes unscaleable (and expensive) to expect these management systems to be continuously upgraded given changes in the underlying data models of the networking equipment. Without a more scalable method of abstracting the data heterogeneity of networks, it will be increasingly unlikely to expect autonomic management to become a viable option. For this reason, the FP7 AutoI project has developed a software system called the Model-based Translator that makes use of a unified information model and flexible translation logic to reduce the impact on an autonomic management system of new data models and changing data models. The management systems can view the network in a way that lends itself to more cost efficient and effective network management. The MBT is used to translate abstract instructions into device specific commands, which can be used to configure networking equipment. The MBT is also being adapted to operate with other autonomic network management systems, such as that developed in the FP7 Efipsans project, illustrating the flexibility of the software and exercising diverse scenarios for network management. Our results show that the MBT can be used to dramatically reduce the effort associated to updating management systems due to rapidly changing and new data models, and can be adapted for use in traditional and autonomic network management systems. Keywords: Network Management, Autonomic, Data Processing

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Unlocking bioactive potential of seaweed for novel human and animal health applications Dr Laurie O’Sullivan, Ms Shiau Pin Tan, Ms Maria Luz Prieto, Dr Gillian Gardiner, Dr Helen Hughes, Dr Brian Murphy, Dr Peter McLoughlin Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email:

Abstract: Until recently, antibiotics were added to animal feed to promote animal growth, which was most likely achieved by changing the balance of bacteria in the gut. However, since the 2006 EU ban on the use of in-feed antibiotic growth promoters, a challenge exists to find natural alternatives. The emergence of antibiotic resistant ‘superbugs’, such as MRSA, has meant that there is also a need to identify novel antibacterial compounds for human health applications. Seaweeds grow in abundance along the Irish coastline and can be considered an untapped resource, as they contain a vast array of natural pharmaceutical compounds. Such compounds may provide a means to change the composition of bacteria in the gut as they have been reported to exert antibacterial activity. Furthermore, a diverse bacterial community exists on the surface of seaweeds consisting of marine bacteria which co-exist with the plant. Marine bacteria produce a range of compounds which can also exert powerful antibacterial activity. Hence, marine bacteria and seaweed extracts may be exploited as a potential source of novel antibacterial compounds. The SEAFEED project being undertaken in WIT in collaboration with Teagasc Moorepark aims to examine the antibacterial potential of compounds extracted from Irish seaweeds and substances produced by bacteria attached to the surface of seaweeds. Isolation and identification of antibacterial chemicals from seaweed is currently underway and a number of extracts have shown promising results. Furthermore, we have isolated a range of bacteria from seaweeds and the marine environment that display antibacterial activity against non-pathogenic and pathogenic bacteria, such as MRSA. Future work will involve identifying the compounds and bacteria responsible for the antibacterial activity. The stability of these compounds will be examined in a model pig gut system and their efficacy in pigs will also be established in feeding trials. Keywords: Marine bioactives, seaweeds, antibacterial agents, MRSA, gut health

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Video delivery using peer-to-peer networks: The substream-based approach Dr Chamil Kulatanga, Dr Dmitri Botvich, Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam Telecommunications Software & Systems Group Email: Abstract: Client-server network paradigm is the predominant application delivery method in the Internet. However, the server may fail due to lack of processing power or uplink bandwidth in presence of a very large number of concurrent users. This has been witnessed with a failure of leading news sites like CNN on 11th September 2001. As an alternative, wealthy application providers can replicate their servers by reducing load at a single point. Recently the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networking is emerging as an extension to the server replication approach making multi-party communications less capital-intensive. In P2P networking, an end-user serves the received content to other users creating an overlay network. P2P networking is technically unbeaten in file sharing due to its non-real-time nature of downloads. As a result, P2P currently contributes more than 50% to the Internet traffic. However, video-on-demand and live streaming faces QoE challenges due to its real-time nature and high-bandwidth requirement. One successful P2P video delivery method used in the popular CoolStreaming video application is the substream-based approach. Here the main video stream is divided into a certain number of substreams and therefore one child-peer can receive substreams from more than one parent-peer. This supports uplink heterogeneities of parentpeers and also minimises free-riding peers. Cool Streaming uses a block-aware child-initiated approach to change a parent-peer when a child-peer experiences poor performance on one of its substream. The drawback with this approach is that it changes all the substreams from a parent-peer when such congestion occurs. An evolutionary approach (changing substream by substream) in peer adaptations has been proposed to improve overlay network performance of CoolStreaming. This approach will in turn, minimises the diversity of parents at a child-peer by joining with a well-performing another parent, which is expected to curtail complexities in a network-assisted P2P framework. Acknowledgments: The Authors wish to acknowledge the “FutureComm: Serving Society� project funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under PRTLI scheme. Keywords: Video Delivery, Peer-to-Peer Networking, Substreams, Peer Adaptation Algorithms

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Abstracts from Science, Engineering & Technology Student Abstracts

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


A biologically inspired future internet Mr Julien Mineraud, Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, Dr Dmitri Botvich, Dr William Donnelly Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: The complexity of the current architecture of the Internet is increasing tremendously, due largely to diverse services that continually attracts new users. Unfortunately, the original protocols developed for the Internet will not be capable to support the increase in traffic demand and dynamicity, which has resulted in network researchers to seek new solutions for the Future Internet. Therefore, the Future Internet must integrate new self-governance (e.g. self-organisation, self-management) mechanisms to efficiently manage its resources in order to face future challenges. Biological systems show capabilities to exhibit self-governance in face of any environmental change. We propose a few approaches that maps biological processes to communication networks of the future to efficiently manage resources for the Future Internet. The first proposed solution is a robust, scalable and efficient routing protocol for underlying communication network, inspired from chemotaxis mobility of micro-organisms. Besides the underlying network routing solution, we have also developed new resource management solutions between ISPs and carrier, allowing resources to be autonomously subscribed from the ISPs depending on the changes in demand traffic, which is based on the blood glucose model. We have also focused our attention to multiple overlay networks, where we propose a resource sharing solution between the carrier networks and multiple overlay networks based on species competition model. Keywords: Core IP network resource management

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Achieving effective control of Rhododendron ponticum L. Mr Edward Daly, Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Dr Marion K. Seier, CABI Europe- UK Email: Abstract: The introduction of non-native species into new habitats, compounded by favourable environmental conditions and a lack of associated natural enemies such as specialised arthropods and pathogens, frequently permits a species to become invasive. Such invasions often have severe impacts on the biodiversity and integrity of the affected new habitats as well as on local economies. In Ireland one of the most serious invasive alien species which poses threats to the local biodiversity is Rhododendron ponticum L. Once established on a susceptible site rhododendron can kill other plant species in the ground vegetation layer and prevent the regeneration of trees and shrubs thereby also indirectly affecting the local fauna. Effective rhododendron control can greatly increase the economic and ecological value of invaded land and this project aims to contribute to this goal by improving our understanding of the autoecology and invasion dynamics of the species and by assessing control options. An improved understanding of why the species is such an aggressive invader in certain situations will give us a better platform for developing tools for the planning of landscape level control programmes. The specific project objectives are: Assessment of the biocontrol potential of the native fungal pathogen Chondrostereum purpureum as a cut-stump treatment to prevent re-sprouting. Work previously undertaken in North America, the Netherlands and Finland showed C. purpureum to be successful in controlling invasive alien and native tree species. Building on this work, the research will assess Irish isolates of C. purpureum for their pathogenicity and virulence towards R. ponticum and for their efficacy in reducing re-sprouting with a view to developing a potential future mycoherbicide. Mitigation against the re-invasion of R. ponticum on disturbed sites. Investigation into seed germination and longevity. Characterisation of the fuel properties of rhododendron. Quantification of biomass potential of rhododendron. Keywords: Invasive species, Rhododendron, Bio-control , Invasion dynamics, Biodiversity.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


An investigation into the quality of Irish wood fuel for use as a sold biofuel Ms Sarah Cooley, Mr Tom Kent & Dr Eleanor Owens Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email: Abstract: Due to growing concerns for the environment such as green house gas emissions, air and water pollution and diminishing amounts of available fossil fuels, there is a constant demand for renewable and sustainable energy sources. Wood is an important renewable energy source for Ireland. As trees are one of the main sources of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, using wood as a solid biofuel does not contribute to net greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately regardless of the technology used, any combustion will lead to air emissions and some level of wood ash. Before we consume this natural resource it is essential for further research into the use of wood biomass, by looking at its chemical components to see how it can affect the environment. The chemical and physical properties of wood are dependent on many factors. Evidence suggests that the geographic source of the wood, as well as species, play a role in determining the chemical make-up of the wood. Sitka spruce is a predominant wood species in Irish forestry, as it grows productively under a wide range of conditions. In this research, Sitka spruce, in several different harvesting assortments: whole tree (WT), round wood (RW), energy wood (EW) and firewood (FW), from various geographical locations have been studied over intermittent time intervals. The ash forming metals, macro and micro nutrients were investigated using ICP spectroscopy. The calorific values of the wood samples were determined using bomb calorimetry. Other properties such as the chlorine, nitrogen, hydrogen concentrations and ash and moisture content have also been investigated. The studies carried out have indicated the quality of Irish wood fuel from across Ireland is of expectable standards to be used as a renewable and sustainable fuel. However, much analysis could still be carried out, on the many variables, which may affect variations in the quality of the wood fuel, which is processed within Ireland. These variables may include weather conditions, geology and intra and interspecific competition. Keywords: Wood energy, renewable fuel, Chemical analysis, calorific values

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Antibacterial activity of marine bacteria isolated from seaweeds, sand and seawater Ms Maria Luz Prieto, Dr Pat Duggan, Dr Gillian Gardiner, Dr Helen Hughes, Dr Peter McLoughlin, Dr Brian Murphy, Dr Laurie O´Sullivan, Ms Shiau Pin Tan, Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Dr Peadar Lawlor, Teagasc Email: Abstract: Due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, there is a demand for new antibacterial agents. To date ~3,000 biologically active microbial metabolites have been isolated from marine micro-organisms, many with potent antimicrobial activity. Seaweed surfaces are colonised by diverse microbial communities, which play a role in defence against predators and biofouling. Therefore, seaweed-associated bacteria could potentially be exploited as a source of novel antimicrobial compounds. The objective of this study was to examine the antibacterial activity of culturable epiphytic (surface-attached) bacteria from a range of Irish seaweeds, as well as bacteria from sand and seawater. Bacteria from seven seaweeds; three brown species (B1, B2, B3), two green species (G1, G2), and two red species (R1, R2), one water and one sand sample were cultured on four isolation media. Spore-forming bacteria, known for the production of antimicrobial compounds, were also isolated. More than 6,000 colonies have been screened for antimicrobial activity against E. coli, Salmonella Typhimurium, Listeria innocua, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus using an agar overlay method. To date, nine isolates with confirmed antibacterial activity against L. innocua and S. aureus have been isolated; four from G1, two from B2, one from R1, one from seawater and one from sand. Interestingly, three seaweed isolates were active against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) but to date, no bacteria with activity against Gram negatives (E. coli, Salmonella) have been obtained. Seventeen additional seaweed bacteria with antibacterial activity have been isolated and their activity is currently being confirmed. This study demonstrates that bacteria isolated from seaweeds produce compounds with promising antibacterial activity which could potentially be effective against human antibiotic-resistant pathogens, such as MRSA. Future work will include identification of the antibacterial-producing bacterial isolates by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and characterisation of the antibacterial compounds produced. Keywords: Seaweed, antimicrobials, marine

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Antibacterial properties of a range of seaweeds from the South East coast of Ireland Ms Graece Tan, Dr Peter McLaughlin, Dr Helen Hughes, Dr Gillian Gardiner, Dr Pat Duggan, Ms Maria Luz Prieto, Dr Laurie O'Sullivan, Dr Brian Murphy Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email:

Abstract: As a result of the 2006 EU ban on in-feed antibiotics, there is a demand for alternative feed additives which can enhance performance and improve health in farm animals. Seaweeds are a good candidate and could potentially be exploited as feed additives, as they have been shown to contain numerous phyto-chemicals with a range of different biological activities. Therefore, the aim of the present research is to screen a wide range of seaweeds from the South Eastern coast of Ireland for antibacterial activity in vitro. Extracts from seven seaweeds, three brown species (B1, B2, B3), two green species (G1, G2) and two red species (R1, R2) were generated using a series of eight solvents with varying polarity. These extracts were subsequently screened for antibacterial activity against a range of pathogenic and non-pathogenic, Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria using the disc diffusion assay. In total, 56 extracts were tested and 26 demonstrated antibacterial activity against at least one species of bacteria. Of the seven seaweeds tested, extracts generated with a neutral solvent from G2 and R2 produced large inhibition zones against Bacillus subtilis (12 mm) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (17.5 mm) and Cronobacter sakazakii (15 mm), respectively. Interestingly, a polar extract from R1 produced the largest growth inhibition zone (18 mm) against MRSA. This study demonstrates that seaweeds contain compounds with promising antibacterial activity which could potentially replace antibiotics in animal feed. These compounds also offer potential for use against human antibiotic-resistant organisms, such as MRSA and may find applications in a range of products, including pharmaceuticals and functional foods. Future studies will focus on the isolation, characterisation and detailed antimicrobial testing of the compounds responsible for the bioactivity observed from G2, R1 and R2. Keywords: Marine bioactives, seaweeds, antimicrobials

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


A study of volunteerism in South Tipperary Ms Hilery Tarrant Department of Health Sports & Exercise Science Email: Abstract: The voluntary sector has been growing steadily during the last few years and continues to increase in Ireland. At a time of economic down turn in Ireland there is an increasing need for people to be involved at a local community level Volunteering may be defined as the commitment of time and energy, for the benefit of the society and the community, the environment or individuals outside ones immediate family (Gaskin and Smith, 1995). It is undertaken freely and by choice, without concern for financial gain. Volunteers are valued as individuals who bring a unique contribution to the group with whom they work and generally work for no reward other than personal fulfilment and community development (Lord and Farlow, 1989, Smith, Havercamp and Randol, 1990) Research Aim The aim of this research is to conduct an exploratory mixed method study on volunteer’s experiences and that of the organisations that use the South Tipperary Outreach Placement Service. The research will focus on three core areas namely; the volunteer, the matching service and the host organisation. The research will also illustrate the experiences and issues of volunteers while on placement with the organisation, identify the type of volunteer using the placement service, the type of host organisation using the placement service, and potential recommendations for improved service provision for volunteers. The action research will form the basis of this research as the researcher works fulltime in the volunteer centre, and thereby will use the research as reflective process in addition to quantitative and qualitative methodologies employed. The benefit of this for both the centre and the research is the access to all data dashboards and a full time focus on the research in terms of process and outcomes throughout the intended 24 months. Keywords: Voluntary and Community

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Augmentation of macular pigment following supplementation with all three macular carotenoids: a pilot study Ms Eithne Connolly Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email: Abstract: Purpose At the macula, the carotenoids meso-zeaxanthin (MZ), lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) are collectively referred to as macular pigment (MP). This study was designed to measure macular and serum responses to a supplement containing all three macular carotenoids. Materials and Methods Ten subjects were recruited into this study (five normal and five with early age-related macular degeneration [AMD]). Subjects were instructed to consume a formulation containing 7.3mg of MZ, 3.7mg of L and 0.8mg of Z everyday over an eight-week period. The spatial profile of MP optical density (i.e. MPOD at 0.25°, 0.5°, 1° and 1.75°) was measured using customised heterochromatic flicker photometry and a blood sample was collected at each study visit in order to analyse serum concentrations of MZ, L and Z. Results There was a significant increase in serum concentrations of MZ and L after two weeks of supplementation (p < 0.05). Baseline serum carotenoid analysis detected a small peak eluting at the same time as MZ in all subjects, with a mean ± SD of 0.02 ± 0.01μmol/L. We report significant increases in MPOD at 0.25°, 0.5°, 1° and average MPOD across the spatial profile after just two weeks of supplementation (p < 0.05, for all). Four subjects (one normal and three AMD) who had an atypical MPOD spatial profile at baseline had the more typical MPOD spatial profile (i.e. highest MPOD at the centre) after eight weeks of supplementation. Conclusion We report significant increases in serum concentrations of MZ and L following supplementation with MZ, L and Z and a significant increase in MPOD, including its spatial profile, after two weeks of supplementation. Also, this study has detected the possible presence of MZ in human serum pre-supplementation and the ability of this carotenoid formulation to rebuild central MPOD in subjects who have atypical profiles at baseline. Keywords: Health Science – Age-Related Macular Degeneration

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Augmentation of X.509 to support degrading certificates Mr Eamonn Power Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: Credentials form the basis for deriving identity in many security systems. These credentials take many forms, but one frequently used form is that of the digital certificate. The popularity of the certificate is based on its accepted use in electronic commerce, communication and prevalence of implementations for use in existing and new applications. Certificate issuing and revocation are processes delegated to a certificate authority from the entity accepting the certificate. This reduces flexibility in the validation process for the acceptor. This proposal seeks to augment the certificate by introducing a rate of degradation for the certificate lifetime. Our approach gives the acceptor additional flexibility in determining the relative freshness of a presented credential. Degrading Certificates could be applied in restricted environments where traditional cryptographic protocol features may not be available. They may also be used in environments that require additional autonomy such as federated systems. Keywords: Testbeds, Internet, Security, Software Engineering

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Bayesian recognition of motion related activities with inertial sensors Mr Korbinian Frank, Dr Tom Pfeifer, Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Dr Patrick Robertson, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Communications and Navigation, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany Ms Maria Josefa Vera Nadales, Universidad de Málaga, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería de Telecomunicación Email: Abstract: Recognising motion related human activities is an important source of context information for a variety of modern computing application domains, ranging from health care, social computing, and recreation to intelligent offices. The work presented here was targeted towards recognising a set of seven important motion related activities in real time. These can be categorised as activities with a repetitive pattern (in particular "walking" and "running"), a range of static activities ("standing", "sitting" and "lying"), as well as important short-time activities ("falling" and "jumping"). The only sensor used is an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). In our setup it is worn on the belt, close to the centre of gravity of the human body. This singular location provides us with the largest amount of relevant information, both relevant to the upper part of the body, as well the movement of the legs. Based on the 3D turn rates, integrated 3D orientation and accelerations provided by the IMU we selected relevant features which are calculated from the raw data in real time. The set of features is thereby extensible and would also cover the integration of more sensors. For the actual classification, we decided to apply Bayesian techniques. Based on a complete labelled data set, i.e. supervised by an observing human judge, learning algorithms such as K2 by Cooper and Herskovits can be used to construct Bayesian Networks (BNs). The inference over such a BN, using the current features computed from the sensor measurements, then provides the current activity as the system output. We compared four different Bayesian classifiers: For both Naïve Bayes and learnt BN structures, we constructed a static classifier and a dynamic one, in both cases based on a first order Hidden Markov Model (HMM) - considering the activity as the hidden state and the features as the observations. Our experimental results are based on the evaluation of the labelled data sets recorded from 16 male and female subjects under semi-naturalistic conditions and comprising a total of 4.5 hours of activities. They show that a HMM based on a learnt BN provides the best results. A four-fold cross-validation (learning data derived from three individuals and the resulting network used to infer the activity of a fourth person) provides a recall rate between 75% and 97%. The lowest recall rates are evaluated for the short-time activities "Falling" and "Jumping" that suffer mainly from the recognition delay of half a second, which could be addressed by a more realistic evaluation protocol adapted to these particular short-term activities Keywords: Context Awareness, Inference, Bayesian Networks, Activity Recognition

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Beam properties of injection profiled quantum dot lasers Mr Vinod Vukkalam Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: Injection current profiling is a simple and effective technique used to increase the stability range of broad area semiconductor lasers. Here, a flat current profile at an injection region of the laser is smoothened into a bell shaped profile at the active region of the laser. Earlier studies of this technique on a Quantum Dot (QD) laser reveal the occurrence of characteristic dip at the near field intensity of the device. Quantum Dot lasers offer improved characteristic features like high modulation bandwidths, temperature-insensitive threshold current, high insensitivity to optical feedback, low threshold current density, high tunability of gain spectrum width and emission wavelength, low chirp (shift of lasing wavelength with injection current), improved beam quality (M 2 characteristics) and reduced filamentation than conventional semiconductor lasers like bulk and Quantum Well (QW) lasers. The unique carrier dynamics of QD laser involves resonant charge carriers (carriers that take part in lasing process) and non-resonant charge carriers (carriers that do not take part in lasing process). The purpose of our numerical simulations, which are based on a simple rate equation model of QD laser, is to examine the role of non-resonant carries in the appearance of strong dips at the near field intensity of the laser device. This work also details the occurrence of symmetry breaking in the near and far field intensity distributions at high injection currents and the coherence properties of the QD laser array. The motivation of using injection current profiled quantum dot materials in lasers is to examine its suitability as signal sources and amplifier pump sources in the optical communication field. Keywords: Quantum dot (QD) laser, Injection current profiling, Resonant charge carriers, Nonresonant charge carriers, Near field intensity, Far field intensity, Characteristic dip, QD rate equation model, QD laser array and Symmetry breaking

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Broadband wireless analysis for the pharmaceutical and food sectors Mr Yaqiang Liu & Mr Praveen Munjampally Department of Engineering Technology Email: Abstract: This abstract describes a novel technique to measure the dielectric properties of sample materials. The properties of a wireless signal can change when passing through solids and liquids. When measured, these changes can be used to analyse the shape and material composition. A new technique has been developed in WIT to accurately and efficiently use wireless signals to measure liquids and powder materials, such as water, milk, flour, sugar, coffee, rice, etc., used in the food processing industry and many pharmaceutical powders and liquids. The new technique draws on our experience and a test platform developed by our research group, the attenuation of two commercial energy efficient glass are being tested [1]. Sample results will also be presented for some solid materials, including plastics, composite timber, concrete, polystyrene and synthetic slate and roof insulators [2]. The advantages of this technique to the food sector include the means to analyse/predict the ability to heat a product effectively in a microwave oven, as well as suggestions for food additives that may enhance the microwave heating of the food product. The advantages to the pharmaceutical sector include the (as yet unverified) ability to analyse the homogeneity of drug powder blends prior to the tablet compression phase. This technique is an improvement on existing techniques, especially in terms of accuracy, as existing techniques rely on the error-prone, uniform packing of material into small waveguides, for solids, or the equally challenging positioning of a dielectric probe for normal incidence and reflection measurements over a liquid. The new technique is a bulk dielectric measurement, with reduced risks of packing errors, is scalable, and does not require normal incidence of the incident beam. References 1) D. Stolhofer, Yaqiang Liu, H. Doelecke and P.O’Leary, “RF Propagation Through Transparent Conductors In Energy Efficient Windows,” Proceedings of the 16th European Wireless Conference, 12-15 April 2010, Lucca, Italy. 2) Yaqiang Liu, Praveen Munjampally and P.O’Leary, “Broadband Wireless Propagation through Various Building Materials” Proceedings of the Colloquium on Wireless as an Enabling Technology, 22nd April 2010, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, Ireland. Keywords: Wireless, permittivity and dielectric analysis

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Built environment, independent travel and free play in children and young people Ms Rose-Ann Gahan Department of Health Sports & Exercise Science Email: Abstract: Active Transport to School and Independent Travel in children and young people today has decreased dramatically over the past few decades and particularly in recent years. The main aim of this study is to investigate how the design of the neighbourhood, parents’ fears or worries about traffic/strangers etc., and children’s perceptions of their neighbourhood influence where they play and the amount of independent travel (walking and cycling to school, shops, friends houses etc.) that they take part in. There is limited research with children regarding the influences of social capital, neighbourhood perceptions and the built environment on their independent travel and unstructured play. In particular, there is limited research available in Ireland about the barriers to and attitudes of children and young people towards independent travel and the nature of parents’ influence on this. The study will be completed using a mixed methods exploratory design using questionnaires, walkability audit, workshop and interviews with Foroige youth groups in various areas of Waterford city and county. Keywords: Children, Independent Travel, Physical Activity, Built Environment

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Composting to Improve Biosafety of Pig Manure with a View to Developing a Manure-Derived Soild Biofuel Ms Gemma McCarthy & Dr Gillian Gardiner, Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Dr Peadar Lawlor, Mr Shane Troy, & Ms Tereza Nolan, Teagasc, Pig Development Unit, Moorepark Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork Email: Abstract: Utilising pig manure to manufacture a solid biofuel could assist with manure disposal problems. However, biosafety is a concern, as pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria may be carried over from the manure to the end-product. The aim of this study was to investigate if composting is effective in eliminating and/or reducing pathogenic and indicator microorganisms. The separated solid component of pig manure was composted alone or with sawdust, greenwaste or straw bulking agents for 56 days. Microbiological analyses were performed throughout composting and statistical analysis was performed on the data (repeated measures using the PROC MIXED procedure of SAS with linear and quadratic polynomial contrasts). By day 7, E. coli and Enterococcus counts had decreased from 4.98-5.33 log10 cfu/g to 2.0 log10 cfu/g (P<0.001), most likely because the temperature increased to 59 째C. E. coli and Enterococcus remained at this level for the remainder of the composting period. However, coliform tended to increase from 2.82 log10 cfu/g on day 7 to 5.22 log10 cfu/g on day 21 but declined to 3.66 log10 cfu/g in the final compost (P=0.1). Yeast and mould counts declined initially but increased at day 56 to 4.68 log10 cfu/g (P<0.001). A tendency towards a quadratic response over time was observed for aerobic spore-formers (P=0.07), which were still present at 5.86 log10 cfu/g at day 56. Microbial counts were not influenced by the bulking agent used (P>0.05). Salmonella was detected in the sawdust prior to composting but was undetectable in the manure solids or in any of the compost treatments. Overall, the pig manure-derived compost complied with EU regulations for processed manure products, as it was free from Salmonella, with E. coli or Enterococcus counts not exceeding 3.0 log10 cfu/g. However, the relatively high counts of yeasts and moulds and spore-formers in the final product may pose a risk to end-users but further processing into a solid biofuel may reduce these. Keywords: Biofuel, Microbiology, Renewable Energies

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Development of a novel solid biofuel - Using solid pig manure Ms Maeve Kennealy & Dr Eleanor Owens, Department of Chemical and Life Sciences Dr Peadar Lawlor, Teagasc Email: Abstract: The use of biofuels in Ireland is rapidly expanding due to the growing concerns of depleting fossil fuels and the limits placed upon green house gas (GHG) emissions in correspondence to the Kyoto protocol. In areas with a high pig population, manure is in abundance, especially since the introduction of the Nitrates Directive (SI 101 2009). Dried manure has been used as a fuel for centuries and it is hoped that with the addition of a biomass addendum, it can prove to be a novel and sustainable renewable form of energy. In this research, the solid fraction from separated pig slurry (SRM) was composted neat and with various biomass addendums - sawdust, woodchip, green waste and straw. The purpose of composting the SRM should result in both a reduction in moisture content and also promote mixing of the SRM and the biomass addendum. Composting will also allow us to see how the biodegradation of manure effects the chemical composition, therefore allowing us to select the most suitable sample for a biofuel. Samples were collected on composting day 0, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, 42 and 56 and have been analysed for moisture, ash, gross calorific value, pH, Cl-, ash forming elements and heavy metals. During composting it was found that the ratio of inorganic/organic changed, leading to an increase in percentage ash and a decrease in GCV. Preliminary elemental analysis appears to show that most of the analysed metals fall within the expected range, although more analysis will have to be carried out to confirm this. Sample Day 0 SRM & Sawdust was determined as the most suitable sample for a biofuel. Keywords: Biofuel, Sustainable energy, Manure, Gross calorific value, Ash content

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Development of a strategy to address the health needs of vulnerable men in Carlow Ms Lisa Kirwan, Mr Barry Lambe, Dr Paula Carroll, Mr Bruce Wardrop & Ms Sinead Brannigan Men’s Health Research Group, Department of Health Sport and Exercise Science Email: Abstract: Introduction: Men are disproportionately affected by preventable causes of ill-health (Richardson, 2004) and especially those in lower social classes (O’Shea, 1997). Furthermore, health services have traditionally found it difficult to engage with men to promote health. The aim of this study was to conduct a health needs assessment of vulnerable men in Carlow in order to inform the development of a local Men’s Health Strategy. Methods: 163 structured interviews were conducted with men in five locations in County Carlow (Farmers Marts, Social Welfare Offices and an Urban Community Centre). The interview schedule covered four broad areas. These included demographics, general health status, health behaviours and priority health needs. Participants were offered a free cardiovascular health check prior to the interview. Results: The majority of participants (40%) reported experiencing frequent stress, feeling down or depressed due to unemployment and financial worries. Only 25% perceived their health to be poor or fair despite the fact that obesity levels of participants (44%) were higher than that reported nationally (36%) for men in social classes 5-6 (Morgan et al., 2008). Notably, over 40% had not attended a GP in over a year. The most frequently reported suggestions for the development of a men’s health strategy included further health checks, topic-based health education, access to facilities for exercise and promoting the social aspect of health. Conclusions: Participants experienced significant risk factors for ill-health. Despite frequently highlighting the negative influence of socio-economic issues on their health, their suggestions for the development of a local men’s health strategy were predominantly topic-based physical health recommendations. This presents a challenge to service providers to develop a strategy that is both acceptable to men but also effective in addressing the broader determinants of men’s health. Keywords: Men’s Health, Community Development

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Dual-purpose molecules- Receptors for anions and also organic catalysts Mr Mike Kinsella, Dr Claire M. Lennon & Dr Patrick G. Duggan, Pharmaceutical Molecular & Biotechnology Research Centre, Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Dr Jimmy Muldoon, Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology, School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, University College Dublin Email: Abstract: Most compounds are uncharged whereas anions can be defined as chemical species which carry a negative charge. Research into such species has recently become very intense due to their large number of roles in a range of biological, environmental and chemical processes. In particular, anions have very important roles within the human body, cystic fibrosis is a very common condition which is caused by the misregulation of the chloride anion in the body. Also, the maintenance of the sulphate anions is imperative in kidney dialysis patients. From the environmental viewpoint, many anions such as nitrate and sulphate are responsible for pollution of our rivers and streams which are known to cause eutrophication. In addition, anionic species have large roles to play in the synthesis of drugs and pharmaceutical products. As a result of this, the design of compounds which selectively attach or bind anions in the presence of other compounds has attracted intense attention over the last number of years. We report the design, synthesis, testing and application of new uncharged compounds which have the ability to strongly bind anions and also look at their application as catalysts to speed up chemical reactions, i.e. dual application. Our molecules are organic based, i.e. they do not contain any metals with many commonly used catalysts containing heavy metals with the toxic nature of these metals a significant challenge to the pharmaceutical industry worldwide. We tested these organic molecules for their anion binding strength and we found them to give extremely strong anion binding with up to a 66 fold increase in binding strength compared to a simple baseline compound. These organocatalysts also gave impressive reaction rate improvement (2.1 fold increase in product yield) to the notoriously slow Baylis-Hillman reaction. Keywords: Organocatalyst, Organic synthesis, Baylis-Hillman reaction, Anion binding

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Effect of short-term feeding of genetically modified maize on weanling pigs Mr Stefan Gabriel Buzoianu & Dr Gillian E. Gardiner, Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Dr Maria C. Walsh & Dr Peadar G. Lawlor, Teagasc, Pig Production Development Unit Dr Joseph P. Cassidy, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin Ms Mary C. Rea & Dr Paul R. Ross, Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork Email: Abstract: Genetically modified (GM) maize is the second most cultivated transgenic crop worldwide. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of feeding diets containing GM maize for 31 days on weanling pig growth performance, organ weights and organ histopathology. Thirty two male pigs were weaned at 28 days of age and following a 6 day basal period were blocked by weight and ancestry and randomly assigned as individuals to one of two treatments: GM Bt maize- (MON 810) or non-GM isogenic maize-based diets (388 g maize/kg). The pigs were individually penned in four identical climate controlled rooms (8 pigs/room). Each treatment group was equally represented in each room to avoid a room effect. Body weight and feed disappearance were recorded on days 0, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 30. Pigs were sacrificed on day 31 and the heart, kidneys, spleen and liver, devoid of blood clots and fat, were removed, weighed and sampled for histopathological analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using the GLM procedure of SAS. Overall, pigs fed GM maize had a higher daily feed intake (P<0.05), tended to be heavier (P=0.11) and to have higher average daily gain (P=0.11) than the pigs fed the non-GM maize. Heart, liver and spleen weights did not differ between treatments (P>0.05) and no histopathological differences were observed for these organs. The kidneys of pigs fed GM maize were heavier than for non-GM fed pigs (P<0.05). However, no indicators of kidney damage were found on histopathological examination. These data demonstrate that short-term feeding of GM maize had no observed adverse effects on piglet growth or the health indicators investigated. Keywords: Genetically modified, histology, pig performance, MON810, Bt maize

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


FPGA based embedded real-time auricle position tracking for automotive applications Mr Niall Murphy Department of Engineering Technology Email: Abstract: Vehicle manufacturers constantly strive to improve on the safe control of a motor vehicle. Instrumentation acquires feedback from driver input controls, traction level, and physical vehicle parameters. Processed algorithms then determine the level of intervention required to output parameters such as braking, suspension, and power, in an attempt to regain vehicle control that may otherwise result in an accident. Direct monitoring of an individual in control of a vehicle is proposed, and presents itself as viable data that contributes to the input to safety algorithms. The vehicle cabin is however considered an informal environment, where direct driver monitoring, using a biometric requiring participation, or one that contributes to distraction is unsuitable. The auricle of the ear is a biometric that can be captured without participation, where the video hardware is optimised outside of the driver’s field of vision, a non-invasive proposal that complies with cabin protocol. Unique to the individual, and shape invariant over time and emotion, the auricle orientation is directly related to the orientation of the driver’s head within the vehicle cabin. Determination of the spatial position of driver’s head also provides an indirect feedback of the upper torso. The feedback gained from auricle position contributes to determining the level of attention the driver is giving to the road ahead, and also provides critical head positioning for adaptive air-bag deployment. Video capture of the auricle in determining position requires the use of a binocular camera system. Dual capture allows the implementation of a stereoptic process, similar to that of a human’s ability to subconsciously determine distance from the slight difference between both eyes when viewing a common object. A Field Programmable Gate Array is interfaced with two CMOS Image Sensors to capture raw, rather than picturesque imagery. Captured data is migrated to MATLAB via USB for the development of algorithms to detect the auricle and separate it from surrounding imagery. Further algorithms will then determine the distance of the auricle from a reference position. The complete algorithm set will become an embedded system on the FPGA with the aim of providing real time feedback of driver position within the vehicle cabin. Keywords: Driver-Feedback; Auricle-Biometric; Stereopsis; FPGA; Image Sensor.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Global validation of distributed automotive control systems Mr Liang Zhang, Mr Brendan Jackman Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: Investigating the theoretical methods for constructing the global state of a system, made up of networked ECUs on a CAN bus. The prototype system will verify if the theoretical methods can assist in simplifying ECU testing and debugging during the system validation and integration phase. Keywords: Global Validation Automotive Software

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Gradient based routing support for cooperative multi-channel MAC in ad hoc wireless networks Mr Stepan Ivanov Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: Growing popularity of wireless ad hoc networks leads to higher demands on performance of all TCP/IP stack layers. Usually ad hoc networks operate according to IEEE 802.11 standard which provides a MAC layer protocol that uses a single channel for data transmissions. However, increasing the number of data channels on MAC layer improves performance of ad hoc wireless networks by letting nodes simultaneously transmit data through different channels. Nevertheless network performance improvement will be diminished if routing mechanisms are not efficient and reactive to load changes within the network. In this paper we introduce a multi-channel MAC layer cooperative technique that integrates gradient based routing to support multi-hop wireless transmission. We show that using the gradient based routing to support multi-channel MAC protocols can enhance overall throughput of the network, and improve network load balancing. Simulations have also been conducted to validate the proposed solution. Keywords: Multi-channel MAC cooperation; Gradient based routing

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Healthcare data privacy for cloud data mining services Mr Ahmed Elmesiry, Dr Huaiguo Fu Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: Cloud Data mining (CDM) is a new term that has emerged in parallel to the recent advances in cloud computing. CDM envisages a user (data owner) outsourcing his/her private data to a third party enterprise/system to perform data mining tasks in the cloud environment. The user resorts to CDM to overcome his/her lack of expertise or computational power. In theory CDM tasks may be outsourced to other countries (i.e. to data centres located abroad); however, due to different legal structures that relate to data privacy laws in different legal jurisdictions CDM is not a trivial solution. Regardless of the official legal framework requirements, when outsourcing CDM users usually require that private data is kept safe when it is in the possession of third parties. A common fear for users is data disclosure due to insider attacks, where an employee of the CDM compromises the confidentiality and integrity of the collected data. Existing solutions for this problem rely primarily upon the use of cryptography protocols, and as a consequence more computing resources are required (e.g. processing power and bandwidth) that in turn lead to overall higher environmental costs in terms of energy consumption. In this poster, which focuses on a healthcare scenario, the architecture shown provides a secure data collection schema that sanitizes the data prior to transmission to CDM, and thus achieves the desired privacy based on two parameters specified by the user with the help of special statistical routines. This sanitization schema allows the user to make sure that the data do not leave his/her system until it is properly secured. This architecture has been validated experimentally using synthetic datasets sanitized using the new schema and the performance of mining frequent item set compared for both sanitized and original data. The results show the applicability of the schema in terms of increasing the privacy level with acceptable accuracy and reducing the processing time to extract frequent item set. Keywords: Data mining, Privacy, Database, Healthcare, Green security.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


High-speed FPGA fading channel simulator Mr Hugh O'Neill & Mr Michael McCarthy Department of Engineering Technology Email: Abstract: Simulation of wireless communications is a fundamental part of product development, as the products can be tested on a laboratory PC, where outdoor conditions may be accurately reproduced. However, each simulation is a relatively slow process and simulating the possible variation in all significant channel parameters is prohibitively time consuming. This paper describes a means of overcoming the simulation delays for most commonly encountered wireless channels. It describes an accurate, high-speed simulation of wireless fading channels using Rice’s sum of sinusoids model, implemented on an efficient FPGA architecture [1], [2]. The simulation is supported by PC based Matlab software, results from which are also presented here. The work produces a frequency selective deterministic simulation for the channel models according to the Cost 207 power spectral densities for rural, typical urban, bad urban and hilly terrain [3]. The underlying accuracy of the technique is demonstrated by comparing the autocorrelation function of the stochastic and deterministic models. The PC simulation will also be used to verify the speed improvement by using the FPGA. The ultimate goal is to create an FPGA real-time emulator, by using efficient hardware speed-ups, pre-calculating the channel coefficients, for both speed and also so that repeatable channel conditions may be reliably produced for successive measurements. References 1) S. O. Rice, “Mathematical analysis of random noise,” Bell Syst. Tech. J., vol. 23, pp. 282-332, July 1944 2) S. O. Rice, “Mathematical analysis of random noise,” Bell Syst. Tech. J., vol. 24, pp. 46-156, Jan. 1945 3) M. Pätzold, Mobile Fading Channels, Chichester, John Wiley & Sons, 2002 Keywords: Wireless channel statistics, simulation, FPGA.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Improving non invasive survey methods for squirrels with the use of real-time PCR Ms Denise O'Meara, Dr Peter Turner, Dr Lee Coffey & Dr Catherine Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email:


Red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) are in significant risk in parts of Ireland due to the invasion of the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and distribution information has proven difficult to gather. Hair-tube surveys in other areas have proved successful in providing information on the distribution of habitat used by red squirrels. Hair-tubes are relatively inexpensive to construct and easy to install, and have the potential to provide distribution information on squirrel populations. However, interpretation is limited by the possibility of more than one species depositing a hair sample and by the similar variations in hair colour found in both red and grey squirrels. Such limitations have previously been overcome using labour intensive microscopy. We have developed an alternative method to distinguish between red and grey squirrels using real-time PCR, with SYBR green detection or species specific MGB Taqman probes. These were designed to amplify fragments of the mitochondrial D-loop. This technique can be applied to non- invasively collected material such as hair. To demonstrate this we conducted a preliminary study in Crough Wood, Mahon Bridge, Co. Waterford, where a significant number of samples contained hair colour variations that were difficult to determine visually. These samples were subsequently identified using real-time PCR. Further analysis could utilize microsatellites to examine the population genetic structure. This real- time PCR technique could potentially be used throughout Ireland and the UK to aid management planning for the allocation of resources to improve habitat and control grey squirrels. Keywords: Squirrels, wildlife, conservation, genetics

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Integration of OpenCL and OpenMPI to provide distributed supercomputing Mr Niall Donnelly Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: Despite the often cited Moore's Law --- that computer power effectively doubles every two years --- the demand for faster computing resources is not decreasing. Initial efforts to address this need for high performance supercomputers were limited to the development of very expensive, proprietary systems that were designed for specific problems. Since the 1980's, the focus has shifted towards high performance computing resources constructed using large numbers of readily available, cheaper processing units networked to run in parallel. However, efficient use of a supercomputer consisting of multiple networked processors running in parallel is non-trivial. One of the most utilised standards for this communication system is the Message Passing Interface (MPI). However, since approximately 2006, advances in graphics chip technology has resulted in another avenue for parallelization: the use of graphical processing units (GPUs) for general calculations rather than just graphics processing. The processing power of GPUs can potentially be up to 100 times faster than CPUs. This is due to their highly specialised parallel design. In order to take advantage of this processing power the Open Compute Language (OpenCL) specification was developed by Khronos*: a group consisting of the major players in the silicon industry. The OpenCL specification provides abstraction for programmers so that they do not require specific hardware knowledge to program parallel algorithms. It is a highly flexible specification that allows for a broad range of devices to support it. The next development in highperformance computing, and the focus of this research project, is the evolution of a specification that supports both communication between different machines across a network (based on MPI) and within a machine utilizing all available CPUs and GPUs. This will allow programmers to write scalable algorithms that efficiently utilise all of the available OpenCL compliant devices in the network. Keywords: OpenCL, MPI, Supercomputing, Parallel Computing, Distributed Computing

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Interferometric calibration of SPM scanners - progress towards the development of a novel scanning force microscope Mr Padraig Cullen Department of Engineering Technology Email: Abstract: Optical interferometry was used to calibrate the movement of a New Focus Pico motor and a four-quadrant tube scanner for scanning probe microscopy applications. The calibration method will be illustrated and results confirming sub-20nm precision in movement of the picomotor will be presented. In addition the displacement in nm/volt of the tube scanner has been determined and will be discussed in terms of the design of a novel probe microscope for the analysis of photoactive samples. Preliminary indications of the obtainable resolving power of the microscope will be presented based on Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM) imaging of granular films of gold. This instrument offers the potential for studying the effects of nanomorphology on the efficiency of organic photovoltaic devices. Keywords: Nanometrology, Probe Microscopy, Mechanical Design

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Investigation of organic photovoltaic cells Mr Daniel Tiemann Department of Engineering Technology Email: Abstract: Polymer photovoltaic cells offer an attractive alternative to silicon-based cells due to their simpler and cheaper production methods. For an operating photovoltaic cell, the energy production cost (â&#x201A;Ź/kWh) relates to both its efficiency and lifetime. For successful deployment, the organic photovoltaic cells will require substantive improvements in both. The degradation mechanisms that lead to a loss of efficiency can be attributed to chemical and physical changes taking place within the cell [1]. Macroscopic characterisation and analysis can provide much information about the degradation mechanisms and the moderating abilities of fullerene derivatives. However charge generation is a nanoscale process. Furthermore, transport properties and the surface morphology can vary significantly at the nanoscale. Access to parameters at such scale can provide important additional information for the interpretation of macroscale observations. Scanning probe microscopy related techniques based on STM and AFM allow nanoscale characterisation and analysis of polymer films [2,3]. The ability to perform nanoscale I/V spectroscopy and z/V spectroscopy on organic photovoltaic cell structures have allowed us to probe information relating to the electronic processes occurring within the polymer film. Scanning probe microscopy, FTIR and UV-Vis spectroscopy have been applied to study the effects of oxygen on the cell. References 1) M. Jørgensen, K. Norrman, and F. C. Krebs, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2008, 92, 686-714 2) M. Kemerink et al., Phys. Rev. B, 2004, 70, 045202 3) A. Alexeev, J. Loos, and M. Koetse, Ultramicroscopy, 2006, 106, 191-199 Keywords: Organic Photovoltaics, Scanning Probe Microscopy, Conjugated Polymers, Thin Films, Degradation Mechanisms

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


IPTV admission control using available bandwidth estimation Mr Brian Meskill Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: This poster presents an overview of our research approach to developing an Admission Control algorithm that can improve the Quality of Service present in IPTV deployments. IPTV is the transmission of video content, either live or on demand through the existing telecommunications networks in use (most commonly, the Internet). Admission control is a very important component of IPTV deployment that decides whether or not a new user can be accommodated without the degradation of the service being provided to existing users. Our intended approach is to incorporate Available Bandwidth estimation into the decision making process to allow for decisions to be made based on dynamic, real-time information about the network transporting the content. Keywords: IPTV, Admission Control, Available Bandwidth Estimation

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Mechanisms of metal accumulation and tolerance employed by seaweed Mr David O'Neill, Dr Orla O' Donovan & Dr Catherine O' Reilly Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email: Abstract: Water pollution, like other environmental concerns, has been the focus of widespread public interest for a number of decades and awareness is ever rising. Heavy metals such as zinc, copper, lead, cadmium, mercury, nickel and chromium can enter the environment as a result of both anthropogenic pressures and natural processes. The presence of metal ions in the marine environment is highly undesirable as elevated metal concentrations can be toxic to both higher and lower organisms. In addition, since many aquatic species are utilized for human consumption, the public health significance of toxic substances accumulated in their tissues is of clear concern.A number of conventional, abiotic methods have been used for the removal of heavy metals present in industrial effluent but in most cases these methods are unsatisfactory. Biological processes have the advantages of usually being environmentally benign, cost effective and can be carried out in situ at the contaminated site. Seaweeds have the ability to accumulate and retain significant amounts of heavy metals. Consequently, they have received much attention in recent years for both environmental monitoring and remediation roles.The red seaweed Polysiphonia lanosa was selected for genetic analysis as it has the ability to concentrate metal by a factor of 104. The seaweed has been shown to accumulate Cu both extracellularly by interactions with functional groups present on the seaweed surface and also intracellularly. The intracellular accumulation of Cu by P. lanosa has been shown to occur in parallel with the induction of a number of genes, indicating their functional importance in the metal tolerance and accumulation by this seaweed. This project investigates the presence of gene-encoded proteins in P. lanosa capable of binding to heavy metals. The identification of seaweed surface-bound bacteria as well as their capacity for heavy metal binding and tolerance was also studied. Keywords: Seaweed, bioaccumulation, metals, microbial diversity.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Meso-zeaxanthin ocular supplementation trial: MOST Ms Eithne Connolly Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email: Abstract: Purpose: At the macula, the carotenoids meso-zeaxanthin (MZ), lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) are collectively referred to as macular pigment (MP). Our study was designed to investigate (in a double-blind, randomized placebo controlled fashion) changes in MP optical density (including its entire spatial profile), and serum concentrations in response to MZ, L and Z in healthy subjects. Materials and Methods: We recruited 44 healthy subjects for this study. 22 subjects were randomized to consume a formulation containing 10.9 mg of MZ, 5.9 mg of L and 1.2 mg of Z, and 22 subjects consumed a placebo everyday over a six month period. At each study visit (Baseline [V1], 3 months [V2], 6 months [V3]) the spatial profile of MP optical density (i.e. MPOD at 0.25°, 0.5°, 1° and 1.75°) was measured using customised heterochromatic flicker photometry; and a blood sample was collected to analyse serum concentrations of L and Z using high performance liquid chromatography. Results: The mean ± SD age of our subjects was 43.54 ± 12.2. There was a statistically significant increase in serum concentrations of L and Z (μmol/L), and MPOD at 0.25° and 0.5° retinal eccentricity from baseline at V2 and V3 in the intervention arm of the study (p < 0.005, for all). As expected, there was no statistically significant change from baseline in serum concentrations of L and Z in the placebo arm at either V2 or V3 (p > 0.05, for all). Conclusion: Our findings are consistent with previous supplementation studies that have shown increases in serum concentrations of L and Z; and MPOD following supplementation with the macular carotenoids. We report significant increases in serum concentrations of L and Z; and MPOD at 0.25° and 0.5° retinal eccentricity for the intervention arm of the study. Clinical Trial Reg. No.: ISRCTN60816411 Keywords: Health Science – Age-Related Macular Degeneration

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Molecular Imprinted polymer beads for chiral separation of an antihistamine chlorpheniramine and related molecules Ms Rachel Walsh Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email: Abstract: Chlorpheniramine (CP) is an antihistamine drug often used as an ingredient in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;over-the counterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; treatments for the common cold and allergic conditions. The chiral drug is marketed as a racemic mixture. Chiral molecules of a compound are mirror-image versions of each other. Separating these closely related forms is difficult to do chemically. In some cases, drugs come in chiral forms that have very different properties - one may be therapeutic while the other causes disastrous side effects. Antihistamine activity is mainly associated with d-isomer (d-CP), while the l-isomer is mainly responsible for the sedative side effects of this drug. In this research molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) beads were developed as selective media for separating these chiral compounds by HPLC analysis. A MIP is a synthetic material formed in the presence of a target molecule/template that is extracted afterwards, thus leaving complementary cavities or imprints behind. The shape and chemistry of these recognition sites in the polymers enables them to serve as specific recognition media. The availability of defined particle size MIP beads is highly desirable to satisfy flow-through applications such as column-packing materials for separation methods such as liquid chromatography. A column packed with a material (the MIPs) that binds preferentially to a particular compound. When a solution containing the analyte of interest is forced through the column, the compound of interest demonstrates an affinity for the original molecule while unwanted components are unretained and, therefore, elute first. The application of dchlorpheniramine isomer (d-CP) as MIP chiral stationary phase (separation media) for HPLC of d,l-chlorpheniramine (CP) was assessed. MIP beads demonstrate promise for the production of a molecular imprinted based separation media. These materials could hold the answer to releasing a host of new technologies, making the analytical applications of MIP technology for real-world analyses more attractive, including separation methods to separate chemicals for industry and sensor technology to detect biomedical implants. Keywords: Chlorpheniramine, antihistamine, molecular imprinted polymer

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


PaCRAm: Path aware content replication approach with multicast for IPTV networks Mr Gajaruban Kandavanam, Dr Chamil Kulatunga Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: The recent years have seen an explosive upsurge in the popularity of IPTV networks and the IPTV user base. The increased user base poses new challenges to ISP in providing the IPTV services with the expected QoE to the users due to the increase in traffic and heterogeneity in networks. The VoD, being the most prominent and most lucrative of the triple play components, require efficient managing in order for the ISP to meet the expectations of the users, i.e. efficient management of contents. In this paper, we propose PaCRAm by adding a new multicast approach SMoD which combines unicast and multicast, to our earlier proposed content replication strategy PaCRA. SMoD provides satisfactory levels of QoE by eliminating the batching delay which is present in the traditional multicast approaches by exploiting the segmentation of videos. We show that the application of SMoD significantly improves the performance of PaCRA in terms of resource utilization, rejection rate and number of content replications. We further recommend a pre-population strategy for video segments to improve the performance of SMoD by taking into account the segment numbers for future work. Keywords: IPTV, VoD, P2P, Multicast, Triple Play

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Policy-based traffic management in home area networks Ms Annie Abrahim Rana Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: The complexity of Home Area Networks (HANs) Management lies in the variety of different devices, applications, protocols and media involved, and the requirements of the various services provided to the user. In HANs, the networked devices are usually unmanaged and network applications work in best effort fashion. Moreover, the HAN devices usually donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t provide sophisticated management Interfaces. The dynamic network management requirements are very challenging in HAN management. Lack of technical skills and expertise level of HAN users make the process more complex. The autonomic management approaches could potentially offer a solution such as policy-based network management (PBNM). The requirements can be specified as policies and they can be refined into network configurations. However, the refinement is highly non-trivial process due lack of standard policy languages and tools. The main motivation of this research work is to use policies to control network according to the user requirements. The preliminary experiments were based on a scenario that assumed a HAN user was conducting a VoIP call along with other Internet activity. The default network configuration held no QoS settings and resulted adversely in terms of VoIP quality. After using the policies to prioritize different traffic, packet loss was decreased and the VoIP quality was improved significantly. The low level policies were used to conduct the experiments but they cannot be used by HAN users in a straightforward manner. To simplify HAN management, policy refinement plays a pivotal role: it allows transforming high-level policies into lower-level configurations. This then effectively reframes the key problem as being the automated policy transformation between these levels. The produced results argue that HAN management needs to embrace the techniques like PBNM to manage the increased complexity. However, to employ PBNM in HAN, policy refinement is the key challenge to address the issue of HAN management. Keywords: Autonomic Policy-based Home Area Network Management.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Policy conflict analysis across federated domains Mr Jason Barron Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: In todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rapidly changing service environment service providers are joining or federating their resources to provide services of better value to customers. Federations are ultimately comprised of complex business processes that are realised at arbitrary levels of abstraction, e.g. businesslevel and device-level. Where, business-level federation involves sharing and realising the business rules of the federation and device-level federation involves the utilisation of devices belonging to members of a federation across domains in order to achieve the goals of the federation. Policies can be used to reduce the complexity associated with network management processes; however, there are open issues related to the consistent specification and enforcement of policies. Specification of policies can be undertaken at arbitrary levels; this has an adverse affect on the enforcement of policies as it becomes much more difficult to maintain the consistency of policies at any one level, a formalised approach to specifying and analysing policies was developed, called the policy continuum. The policy continuum can be utilised to represent polices at different levels of abstraction within the domains of services providers; however, what is also required are policy conflict analysis processes to detect potential inconsistencies that may arise between deployed local service provider policies and proposed federation policies before those federation level policies are deployed. The policy continuum has proven to be effective at abstracting policy to aid policy specification and more specifically, policy conflict analysis in a single-domain environment. However, considerable work needs to be undertaken to ensure the effectiveness of multiple policy continuum instances within a federated policy specification process and to aid federated policy conflict analysis in a federated-domain environment. Keywords: Policy-based network management; policy specification; policy conflict analysis

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Quartz crystal tuning forks for atomic force microscopy Mr Yang Dong Department of Engineering Technology Email:

Abstract: Quartz crystal tuning forks show excellent potential as a replacement for the traditional beam bounce force detection system employed in atomic force microscopy (AFM). Operating in the dynamic self oscillating mode, they provide a non-contact measurement of surface forces which minimizes damage caused to soft samples by scanning in the more conventional contact mode. Relying on the piezoelectric effect, they have an added advantage over traditional methods in that no optical components are required and light sensitive samples can be investigated with a minimum of interference from the detection system. This poster will outline the method detection and its advantages and will discuss recent progress on the development of the electronic system for the measurement of nanoNewton forces using the quartz tuning fork. In addition the poster explores the potential for employing this tuning fork as a novel biosensor for process applications. Keywords: Electronics, tuning fork, AFM

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Reconfigurable adaptive wireless sensors Mr Rentao Wang Department of Engineering Technology Email: Abstract: The Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is a new class of network that has appeared in the last few years. A wireless sensor network is essentially a network of spatially distributed individual devices referred to as nodes which have the ability to sense and/or control their environment. In the modern fast paced world in which we live, WSNs are increasingly employed in a wide range of applications, such as environmental monitoring, health monitoring, security surveillance, industrial process control, natural disaster detection, etc. While WSNs are already shown to be capable of supporting and facilitating many applications, they continue to represent a diverse and challenging research area. Because of the large variety of sensors, a significant challenge in many applications is how to adaptively support or integrate different types of sensors within each node of the network to realise the specific goals of the system. A possible solution to this is to devise a sensor node technology that can adapt or reconfigure itself to perform a number of different sensing functions with the same electronic hardware. Another important research field in this area is how to optimise the energy efficiency in order to achieve a long sensor lifetime while maintaining a good quality of service with only a limited on-board power supply. In this poster, we will firstly introduce the background information, relevant technologies, stateof-art applications, and the research challenges in the WSN area. We will also describe the reconfigurable adaptive wireless sensor (RAWS) research programme, which mainly focuses on the challenges described above. The RAWS programme proposes to investigate the feasibility of developing a highly capable sensor node technology with wide applicability, multiple sensing capabilities, remote configuration and semi-autonomous operation, for deployment in low power high utility wireless sensor networks. Keywords: Wireless Sensor Network, WSN, reconfigurable, adaptive

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Smart polymers for the targeted delivery and selective sensing of corticosteroids Mr Laurence Fitzhenry, Dr Panagiotis Manesiotis, Dr Peter McLoughlin & Dr Patrick Duggan Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email: Abstract: Corticosteroids are a class of steroid widely used for a range of physiological conditions, including ocular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory and skin conditions as well as inflammatory bowel disorders. Despite their wide ranging beneficial use, there can also be associated undesired effects and appropriate dosage regimens are necessary to help prevent such problems. A current approach is to develop site-specific drug delivery platforms with controlled release capabilities. Such systems can be utilised for the delivery of these steroids. In this study we are developing drug delivery platforms, with the potential for ocular drug delivery, using molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). MIPs are intelligent polymer systems in which the polymer is synthesised in the presence of a target or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;templateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; molecule. The removal of this template creates sites within the polymer that are selective for the template or its close structural analogues, which can then be used for controlled release. We have prepared MIPs for corticosteroids from biocompatible monomers and have demonstrated recognition properties in predominantly polar and aqueous solutions, where imprinting factors as high as nine have been achieved. The successful polymers will be developed for controlled release for ocular steroid delivery. These MIPs are also being investigated for their use in real-time biosensor applications. Keywords: Drug delivery, biosensing, polymer, steroids

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Service management and composition using bio-inspired mechanisms Mr Ray Carroll, Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam & Dr Dmitri Botvich Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: The current Internet is under severe pressure to meet the needs of an ever-evolving society. This is largely due to the Internet now become a thriving marketplace with services at the core. The range, number and complexity of these services are set to increase even further with a more dynamic service environment envisioned in the future. However, as these services grow, even basic service management tasks will become increasingly difficult. At the same time, the ability for users to efficiently discover and compose these services will become a key factor for service providers, in order to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. In our work, we adopt mechanisms from biology and apply these to service management, resulting in a Bioinspired service management solution for the Future Internet. The biological mechanisms, such as replication and migration, allow for automated, intelligent self-management on the part of the services. Keywords: Service Management, Service Composition, Biologically Inspired Mechanisms

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Simultaneous extraction and analysis of vitamin preparations by microemulsion HPLC Mr Richie Ryan, Dr Sheila Donegan & Dr Joe Power, Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Dr Kevin Altria, GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development, Harlow, Essex, UK Email: Abstract: Knowledge of substances within drug formulations is of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry. Since these substances possess a wide range of solubilities and functionalities a great deal of time and money is spent developing methods to analyse them. Vitamins are essential dietary compounds necessary for good health and exemplify a range of substances which possess diverse characteristics. Generally vitamins are categorised as either water-soluble (C or B complex- B1, B2, and B6,) or fat-soluble (A, D, and E). Traditional methods rely on independently extracting the water and fat soluble vitamins before separating them on HPLC using aqueous/organic solvents. These methods are time consuming and costly. An area which has shown promise of simultaneous extraction and separation involves the use of microemulsions in High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Microemulsions are clear solutions consisting of oil and water stabilised by a surfactant which is similar to a soap molecule. Microemulsions have great solubilising power for both water-soluble and fat soluble compounds. They therefore offer the ability to directly solubilise fatty samples and matrices, such as creams and waxes, without lengthy pre-extraction steps. This saves time and cost as it avoids procedures such as solvent-solvent extraction used in advance of a conventional HPLC analysis. During this project a stable microemulsion capable of simultaneously extracting and separating water- and fat-soluble vitamins was developed. Microemulsion-based HPLC (MELC) is a recent development that can offer the pharmaceutical industry new possibilities in terms of reduced sample preparation time for complex samples and generic separation conditions which are applicable to a wide range of solutes. Keywords: Microemulsion, Separation, Vitamins, Pharmaceutical Science

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


The characterisation of Listeria spp. isolated from food products and the food processing environment Ms Laura O'Connor, Mr Mark O'Leary, Ms Nola Leonard, Mr John Egan, Dr Margery Godinho, Dr Catherine O'Reilly Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email: Abstract: A collection of 378 Listeria spp. isolates were obtained from several food processing plants in Ireland over a three year period (2004-2007). The isolates were recovered from raw and cooked ready-to-eat (RTE) meats (bovine, pork, poultry and fish) and the food processing environment (drains, floors and walls). The collection was characterised by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The most prevalent pulse-type was PFGE profile I (n= 14.5%) which consisted mainly of environmental Listeria spp. samples. Serotyping of 134 L.monocytogenes isolates revealed 5 serotypes. The most common serovar was 1/2a and comprised 57.4 % (n=77) of the L.monocytogenes collection. The other serovars were as follows, 4b (14.1%, n= 19), 1/2b (9.7%, n=13), 4c (4.4%, n=6) and1/2c (6.7%, n=9) respectively. The remaining 10 L.monocytogenes isolates were non typeable. The antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed the antibiotic that isolates displayed the most resistance to was gentamicin (5 %) followed by sulphamethoxazoletrimethoprim (2 %), tetracycline and ciprofloxacin (1.5 %). As this study has shown that there is a high prevalence of Listeria in RTE food products and the food processing environment, a Realtime (RTi) PCR assay that can detect and differentiate between four Listeria spp. (Listeria grayi, Listeria welshimeri and Listeria innocua) was developed. Whole cell suspensions prepared from plate cultures, broth cultures, cryopreservation beads and ready-to-eat (RTE) cooked chicken matrix can be directly analysed by the RTi PCR assay. For identification of plate/broth cultures the RTi PCR assay can be performed in 3 hours compared to 24 hours for the API-Listeria速 kit. A study comparing biochemical identification (API-Listeria速) to rapid molecular identification (RTi PCR) was also performed. The study comprised of isolates not previously identified to species level and both methods for listeria species identification was evaluated. Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes; ready to eat foods; PFGE typing; serotyping; Real Time PCR.

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


The effect of lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation on visual performance and experience Mr Mukunda Akkali, Dr John Nolan, Dr Stephen Beatty, Mr Philip Major, Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Dr Peter A. Davison, Dr Veronica O'Dwyer, Ms Grainne Scanlon, Dr James Loughman, Dublin Institute of Technology Email: Abstract: Purpose: Macular pigment (MP), as a powerful antioxidant, and short wavelength optical filter, which is anatomically concentrated at the macula, may theoretically contribute to visual performance by attenuating the effects of chromatic aberration and light scatter, or by optimizing retinal health. The Collaborative Optical Macular Pigment ASsessment Study (COMPASS) is a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) supplementation trial, designed to assess whether MP augmentation through supplementation affects visual performance and experience. Methods: 121 young (mean age ± SD = 29 ± 6 years) healthy subjects were recruited into two separate study sites: Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Assessment of MP optical density and visual performance was conducted on four occasions for each subject, at baseline, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months following L + Z supplementation (12 mg of L and 1 mg of Z daily). The spatial profile of MPOD (i.e. at 0.5, 0.25, 1, 1.75 and 3 degrees of retinal eccentricity) was assessed by customized heterochromatic flicker photometry. Visual performance was assessed psychophysically including quantification of best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), mesopic and photopic contrast sensitivity, mesopic glare sensitivity, photostress recovery time (PRT) and visual function by self-report. Results: All longitudinal data has been collected and is currently under analysis by the COMPASS investigators. Preliminary analysis of baseline visit findings, prior to supplementation, is presented here. Mean ± SD peak MPOD (at 0.25°) was 0.48 ± 0.19. There was a positive and statistically significant relationship between BCVA and MPOD across its full spatial profile (r = 0.237 to 0.308, p < 0.01). MPOD was also positively and significantly related to both mesopic and photopic contrast sensitivity (at 7.5 cpd and 11.8 cpd), but this relationship was confined to the central MPOD at 0.25° and 0.50° of retinal eccentricity (r = 0.167 to 0.220, p < 0.05, for all). PRT, glare sensitivity, and self-reported visual function were unrelated to MPOD across its spatial profile. Conclusions: Measures of central visual function, including visual acuity and contrast sensitivity, are positively associated with MPOD. This longitudinal, placebo-controlled and randomized supplementation trial will serve to more fully elucidate the potential for visual performance enhancement through MP augmentation. Keywords: macular pigment, visual performance, supplementation trial WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


The investigation of chelation of isoflavones with copper and iron Mr Stephen Dowling, Dr Fiona Regan & Dr Helen Hughes Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email: Abstract: Flavonoid metal chelates come from the binding ability of flavonoids with metals such as copper and iron. The investigation of chelation/binding with flavonoids, such as quercetin (found in red wine and citrus fruit) has been performed extensively but little has been done with investigation of chelation/binding of isoflavones with metals. The investigation of isoflavone metal chelates would be useful to explain how isoflavones can mediate metal overload disorders in the human body. This is when metals go beyond safe levels in the body and cause toxicity such as iron induced lipid peroxidation that leads to toxic peroxide chemical production. Flavonoid metal chelates have often shown to have enhanced antioxidant properties compared to flavonoids that do not have metals attached to them. This can lead to better antioxidants being produced rather similar to the use of metal based vitamins/antioxidants such as B vitamins that normally contain cobalt in their structure. Keywords: Inorganic Biochemistry

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


The Relationship between Group Formation Mechanisms, Communication Services and System Performance in Social Networks Mr Leigh Griffin Department of Computing, Maths & Physics Email: Abstract: Groups are a traditional place for interaction, communication and sharing. Services are a cornerstone of the Future Internet and a valuable resource for users. Combining this functionality presents a paradigm known as Group Communication, offering a means for resource sharing and collaboration, with this functionality delivered through diverse technologies. This paradigm was once the realm of academics and professionals, however, the landscape has changed through the advent of social networking. This phenomenon, personified by the likes of Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, has brought group communication to a whole new demographic. One of the technologies employed in social networking is Instant Messaging, which traditionally took the role of a facilitating service within such communities. Driven by a flexible XML based protocol, XMPP, instant messaging has developed functionality to a point where it can be considered a standalone group communication model. Harnessing the extensible nature of the protocol has allowed this evolution to occur. Combining this model, with a well defined Service framework, such as OSGi, and controlling the medium with Policies can yield an evolved group communication system. This would provision for real time communication, extensibility for future needs with focused and controlled groups driven by innovative user generated services. This work documents such a model and framework, grounded in a typical hospital A&E scenario visible on a daily basis around Ireland. The dynamic and unpredictable nature of an A&E coupled with the need for accurate and timely information makes this environment an ideal candidate for group communication research. Keywords: Instant Messaging, XMPP, Social Networking, Group Management, Medical

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Towards the development of a novel sensor technology based on the phenomenon of extraordinary optical transmission through nanosized apertures Mr Shi Bo Cai Department of Engineering Technology Email: Abstract: Colloidal nanolithography techniques have been developed to allow the structuring of noble metal films with apertures of size less than 100nm. These techniques rely on the controlled deposition of nanosized latex beads. Subsequent overcoating of the beads to less than 50% of their peak height with a thin film of gold and subsequent removal of the beads allows the fabrication of the nanoaperture. The size of the bead and thickness of the gold film determines the size of the aperture. The percentage transmission of light through these nanostructures is much greater than that predicted by Abbe diffraction theory. This is due to the stimulation of a surface plasmon on the surface of the metal film by the incoming light. The plasmon propagates along the film and tunnels through the hole where it is reconverted to light on the opposite side of the hole. This process is highly dependent on the refractive index at the surface of the metal film. It thus lends itself as a convenient technique for sensing minute changes in refractive index occurring at the surface of the thin metal film. These changes can be induced by ligand binding interactions occurring on the surface and the localized nature of the surface plasmon effect implies that massively parallel arrangements of sensors can be fabricated on single sensor surface. This presents opportunities for deployment in disease prevention or drug discovery. Keywords: surface plasmon, nanolithography

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


Water in Polymers: A small but powerful influence on polymeric drug tableting Ms Reem Elsiddig, Dr Sarah Hudson, Dr Eleanor Owens, Dr Helen Hughes & Dr Peter McLoughlin Department of Chemical & Life Sciences Email: Abstract: Many patients with chronic kidney disease need to control the high level of phosphorus in their bloodstream. One treatment is to take Renagel tablets, an oral dose product manufactured at Genzyme Ireland Ltd in Waterford. Renagel tablets contain a polymer called sevelamer hydrochloride (a crosslinked polymer). Detection of any defects in sevelamer hydrochloride before tablet manufacture is crucial to reduce costs. The goal of this project is to develop a rapid online screening process of the incoming polymer to understand the impact of polymer properties on the physical appearance of the tablet. Initial investigations suggested that the physical and chemical properties of the incoming polymer were the critical factors impacting on Renagel tablets. To determine the key parameters which influence tablet appearance, a variety of techniques were used to characterise the polymer. Parameters such as chemical functionality, decomposition temperature, water content and arrangement, glass/rubber properties and affinity for water were investigated. The results obtained did not show significant differences between polymers that cause tablet defects and those that did not. However, differences relating to content and arrangement of water molecules (bound and free) in the polymers were observed. It is proposed that the free space available inside the polymer, coupled with the mobility of the water molecules, are important factors that might affect the appearance of the tablets after manufacturing. Keywords: Polymer, Pharmaceutical, Characterisation, Tablet manufacture

WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


WIT Research Day 2010 Book of Abstracts


WIT Research Day Book of Abstracts 2010  

Waterford Institute of Technology Research Day Book of Abstracts 2010