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Friday, July 4th, 2014: First Fulbright TechImpact Awardees Commence Research in the U.S.

Press Release

For Immediate Release

TechImpact Awardee travels to U.S. on 4th July to explore Transformative Power of Technology

Friday, July 4th, 2014: This year the Fulbright Commission in Ireland launched its first-ever Fulbright TechImpact Awards. These grants are for early career scholars or professionals to explore how technology contributes to a larger social value through undertaking short-term projects and research in the U.S. In 2014, TechImpact grants were awarded to 6 exceptional candidates.

Fulbright Commission. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
TechImpact Awardees, Back L-R: Dr. Jeneen Naji & Dr. Colm Browning
Front L-R: Ruairí McKiernan, Dr. Orla Murphy, Dr. David Monaghan & Dr. Ian McLoughlin

Fulbright TechImpact Awardee Ruairi McKiernan’s arrival in the US today will coincide with nationwide Independence Day celebrations. McKiernan is a social entrepreneur, a technology-for-change innovator, and a Member of the Council of State – appointed by the President of Ireland. As a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar, he will spend 3 months at the Citizen Engagement Laboratory in Berkeley, California where he will explore online civic engagement, digital democracy development and web-based citizen activism. As with all Irish Fulbright Awardees, McKiernan will return to his home country after he has completed his award research and put the knowledge he has gained in the U.S. into action in Ireland.

Also commencing TechImpact Scholarships in the U.S. this month are Dr. Colm Browning, a post-doctoral researcher at the Radio and Optical Communications laboratory in DCU, and Dr Ian McLoughlin, a lecturer in Computing and Mathematics at the Institute of Technology, Sligo. Browning will undertake research focused on the introduction of high speed optical communication systems to data centres at Columbia University, New York, while McLoughlin will travel to Stanford University, California to research the provision of online laboratory environments.

Later this year, TechImpact Awardee Dr. Jeneen Naji, the Digital Media Program Coordinator in the Department of Media Studies at NUI Maynooth, will visit Brown University’s department of Literary Arts to make a multicultural digital poem in their immersive 3D CAVE. In November, Dr. David Monaghan, a post-doctoral researcher at the Insight centre for data analytics in DCU, will travel to Arizona State University to research computer gaming technology and its application to physical rehabilitation.

Dr. Orla Murphy leaves for Boston College in February 2015. A Lecturer in UCC School of English, and Digital Arts and Humanities, Murphy’s TechImpact research will focus on Digital Cultural Heritage, 3D model creation, and interactive exhibition environments. Her work will digitally enhance access to the Centenary 2016 Celebration of the Irish Arts and Crafts Movement in Boston.

Applications for the 2015-2016 Fulbright TechImpact Awards open on Tuesday August 26th 2014. closing Wednesday November 12th 2014.The Awards are open to Irish citizens and E.U. citizens resident in Ireland for three or more years. Proposals are welcomed from all disciplines, but applications in Education, Mobile Technology, and Digital Arts, Humanities, and Culture are particularly encouraged. The Awards includes a monetary grant, accident and emergency insurance, cultural and professional programming, and visa administration. Please see www.fulbright.ie.


For further information, please contact:
Emma Loughney – Communication and Administration Officer
Fulbright Commission Ireland
emma.loughney@fulbright.ie/ +353.1.660.7670


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