Prof Kaufmann with CLT model skyscraper

CLT: taking construction back to its roots

Wood has seen a slow-paced renaissance since the early 1990s, but now ambitious proposals for timber (CLT) structures seem to appear every few weeks. Technologist assesses how close these architectural dreams are to becoming reality.  Imagine the city of the future. What’s it built of – steel, glass, perhaps graphene? Actually, the answer may be[…]

Wearable technology and the IoMT

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is flourishing, but will it help or hinder health professionals in keeping us fit and well? The jogger who ran past you this morning was more than likely being followed. Not by some nefarious menace, but rather a digital device, which might just be motivating the wearer to beat[…]

Irish innovation silicon docks dublin

All eyes on Irish innovation

Dublin’s “Silicon Docks” may be known as a welcome destination for U.S. tech giants, but the Emerald Isle has plenty of native innovation to shout about. From James Joyce’s depictions of Dublin life to the archetypal “old boy” telling anecdotes over a pint of stout, storytelling is embedded in Irish culture. In fact, the country’s[…]

Urban mobility_clearing congestion

Clearing Congestion

It can be difficult to effect behavioural change in large cities, but Stockholm and London have shown that a well-conceived nudge will deliver results. Stockholm’s congestion charge was first trialled on 3 January 2006, but with hindsight Halloween would have been more apt. As in an act of sorcery, the queues of motorists typically found[…]

Crowd sourcing deep space communication

Deep space communication poses a range of significant challenges. To overcome them, NASA is taking more flexible approaches to problem solving than ever before. We look at how their collaboration with TopCoder is evolving the uses of crowd-sourced code, and consider what lies ahead. Email is so ubiquitous and fast that we may be inclined[…]

longhorn crazy ant illustration by Orlagh Murphy

In praise of the crazy ant

In light of entertaining ant-related findings publicised recently, Ben McCluskey argues that studies on bizarre animal behaviour can provide researchers with opportunities for outreach that go beyond the norm. Among this month’s many research headlines, one story that stood out concerned Paratrechina longicornis. Why? Well, first off there’s the brilliance of their common name: longhorn crazy[…]

academia illustration

A note on university rankings

The Times Higher Education’s ‘100 under 50’ university rankings were published on Wednesday 29 April. Digital Editor Ben McCluskey discusses the list’s significance within the context of a rapidly changing global research landscape. Australia has 16 ranking institutes in the THE’s list of 100 universities under 50 years old, Asian universities dominate the top five[…]

marinet animated short screenshot

Script writing for animated short

Below is the script I wrote for this short animated presentation on MaRINET, an EC FP7 offshore renewable energy project. I also conceptualised the visual narrative before the design team storyboarded and animated: “Secure energy is an essential building block for social development. But sustainable development needs sustainable energy sources. Developing exciting renewable energy technologies[…]