Current Projects

Project Title MaREI (Marine Renewable Energy Ireland)
Summary Ireland is in one of the best locations in the world in terms of Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) resources, but requires enabling science and technology to access these resources. Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has recently funded a €25 million Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI). Further information is available at the MaREI website at NUI Galway.
Duration June 2013 - June 2019
NUIG Research Team Prof. Michael Hartnett; Prof. Sean Leen; Dr. Jamie Goggins; Dr. Stephen Nash; Dr. Annette Harte; Dr. Patrick McGarry; Dr. Nathan Quinlan

Project Title MAREN (Marine renewable Energy)
Summary This project aims to answer some fundamental questions regarding the provision of marine renewable energy. Collectively, the outcomes from the project activities will provide information on the energy extraction potential of the Atlantic Area coastal waters and enable the prediction of both the impact of marine renewable energy devices on the environment (natural and human) and the impact of the environment on the performance of these devices. The focus of the NUIG team is tidal stream devices.
Duration May 2009 - Jun 2012
NUIG Research Team Dr. Michael Hartnett (PI); Dr. Stephen Nash (Co-PI); Dr Indiana Olbert (postgraduate researcher); Noreen O’Brien (PhD student)

Project Title Structural Health Monitoring of Ocean Energy Devices
Summary This research is developing computational methods to continuously monitor and assess performance and design life of marine energy devices. This monitoring and assessment can be carried out remotely by analysing data from select measuring equipment placed in strategic locations.
Duration Sept 2009 – Oct 2012
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins (PI); William Finnegan (PhD student)

Project Title Numerical Modelling of Tidal Turbines
Summary This research aims to develop a three-dimensional nested tidal hydraulic model to simulate energy extraction by tidal current turbines and to investigate the resulting hydro-environmental impacts, such as changes in water levels or flow patterns.
Duration Sept 2010 - Aug 2013
NUIG Research Team Dr. Stephen Nash (PI); Darren Coppinger (PhD student)

Project Title Tidal Current Resource Assessment
Summary This research aims to assess and quantify the available tidal energy resource in Irish coastal waters. A nested tidal flow model of Irish coastal waters will be developed and used to investigate the available resource and generate a database of resource maps.
Duration Sept 2010 - Aug 2013
NUIG Research Team Dr. Stephen Nash (PI); David Fallon (PhD student)

Project Title Localised Assessment of Pipeline Integrity after Ultra-Deep S-Lay Installation
Summary Development of a local numerical model for the prediction of the structural response of ultra-deep water offshore pipelines and pipeline joints during the installation procedure.
Duration Nov 2009 - Oct 2011
NUIG Research Team Dr. Annette Harte (PI); Robert O’Grady (MEngSc student)

Project Title Advancement of a Design Life Prediction Technique for Steel Tube Umbilicals
Summary Steel Tube Umbilicals (STUs) are an essential component in the control system of many offshore floating production systems. The objective of this project is to establish a refined fatigue damage prediction technique for such systems for the purpose of reducing the conservatism in current methods.
Duration Oct 2007 – Sep 2011
NUIG Research Team Dr. Annette Harte; Padraic Kirrane (MEngSc student)

Project Title I2E2 AWE
Summary The Appropriate Working Environments (AWE) project is part of the Innovation for Ireland's Energy Efficiency (I2E2) centre of excellence. The project aims to develop an automated Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) tool for large air handling units. This automated tool will collect data from Building Management Systems, identify faults, and quantify the associated energy saving opportunities. There are currently 5 pilot sites with industry partners in Ireland - Analog Devices, Boston Scientific, DePuy, Intel & Pfizer.
Duration 2011 - 2014
NUIG Research Team Dr. Marcus Keane (PI); Dr. Paul Raftery (Postdoctoral researcher);

Project Title Economic and technical research into the PFBR at a small Irish town
Summary Providing cheaper, more sustainable solutions for the treatment of wastewaters to acceptable standards reduces the risk to the environment and subsequently helps to ensure Ireland meets its EU directive responsibilities and avoid further convictions. A Civil Engineering research team at NUI Galway have developed and patented one such novel wastewater treatment technology that directly addresses these problems whilst maintaining an excellent treatment performance. The objectives of this proposed Innovation Partnership between NUI Galway and Molloy Precast Products Ltd. are to:
  • further develop the efficient PFBR wastewater treatment system to protect public health and the environment
  • investigate a number of novel aspects that the research team have developed to add further value to the PFBR
  • accurately quantify the costs of installation and operation of the PFBR in ‘real’ conditions
  • provide a full-scale PFBR treatment system for marketing purposes
  • optimise the operation and maintenance of the PFBR system at a full-scale village/town treatment works while meeting a stringent discharge licence
  • commercially exploit this Irish technology and open new export markets
Duration May 2011 – May 2012
NUIG Research Team Mr. Edmond O’Reilly (Co-PI); Dr. Eoghan Clifford (Co-PI)
Other Collaborators: Molloy Precast Products; Offaly County Council

Project Title The role Building Information Modelling (BIM) plays in the building operational phase
Summary Research into Building Operation and the role Building Information Modelling may play in this regard. The work seeks to create greater relationships between building design information and the operational phase of the Building Lifecycle. This work will form the basis of a PhD thesis and is funded by IRCSET and some other industry contributions.
Duration 2010 - 2013
NUIG Research Team Dr. Marcus Keane (PI), Edward Corry (PhD student)

Project Title An Irish framework to assess embodied energy and carbon
Summary The Irish government has published its plan to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by 2020. However, the measures outlined miss the opportunity to address embodied energy (EE) and embodied carbon (EC) i.e. the energy and carbon associated with any product or system prior to use. Previous studies have shown how critical EE/EC can be over a full lifecycle (LC) as it can account for up to 67% of a building’s operational energy (OE) over 25 years. For a low energy house the EE can account for up to 50% of the OE over a 60 year lifecycle. In Ireland, there is currently limited knowledge on how to apply EE/EC assessment methods as energy conversion factors are required in conjunction with national economic data. The current work focuses on addressing this issue. In particular, this research focuses on the development of a framework, enabling the quantification of EE/EC in an Irish context using a hybrid Input-Output (I-O) methodology. An initial study applies the framework to cement, which is a material high in EE/EC and consequently a material included in the European Union-Emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS). Initial case studies will apply the framework to the savings achievable when replacements for cement, which is a material high in EE/EC, are used in concrete for the construction of wind turbines and buildings.
Duration Sept 2009 – Oct 2011
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins (PI); Mark McCaffrey (MEngSc student); Dr. Gordon Baylor
Other Collaborators: Michael Brennan, Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Project Title Embodied energy analysis and visualisation tool
Summary Embodied energy (EE) is the energy consumed over the duration of a product’s lifecycle. Having the quantity of EE clearly visible to designers during the design process should make them conscious of the impact their decisions are having on the EE of a product. This is increasingly important due to rising costs of energy and awareness of environmental impact. This research investigates the different methods of analysis and is developing a unique EE software tool to assist engineers to accurately calculate the EE of a product. The tool will focus on the manufacture of concrete specifically in Ireland.
Duration Sept 2010 – Oct 2011
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins (PI); Dr. Hugh Melvin (Co-PI); Deirdre O’Connor (MSc student); Mark McCaffrey (MEngSc student)

Project Title NEMBES
Summary The Network Embedded Systems (NEMBES) Project examines the application of network-embedded systems in the design and management of the built environments. NEMBES consists of three main research groups: (i) Health, (ii) Transportation and (iii) Facilities Management (FM). This work is a part of the FM cluster and concentrates on the management of internal environments from an environmental and energy perspective utilising Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis. The optimal application of the wireless sensor networks is being investigated in this research.
Duration 2009 – 2012
NUIG Research Team Dr. Marcus Keane (PI), Magdalena Hajdukiewicz (PhD student)

Project Title SmartOp - Smart Building Operation
Summary Current building operation strategies do not account for the dynamic behaviour of building usage. An integrated ICT base methodology is required to support optimal building and systems operation and control. SmartOp will define an ICT based methodology that is capable of supporting optimal decision making in relation to building and system operation. With a vast array of information not previously available in terms of building energy performance, SmartOp will develop the proposed methodology to employ this data to make optimal energy management decisions with particular consideration to the triple dimensions of energy flows (generation, grid exchange and consumption).
Duration 2009 - 2011
NUIG Research Team Dr. Marcus Keane (PI), Dr. Andrea Costa (Postdoctoral researcher)

Project Title Study on feasibility and efficacy of microbial biodiesel production from agro–industrial wastes using oleaginous fungi
Duration Dec. 2008- Nov. 2012
NUIG Research Team Dr. Xinmin Zhan, Iniya Kumar (PhD student)

Project Title Evaluation of biogas production and GHG mitigation from anaerobic digestion of pig manure
Duration May 08 – Oct. 11
NUIG Research Team Dr. Xinmin Zhan, Sihuang Xie (PhD student)
Other Collaborators: Peter Frost (AFBI), Peadar Lawlor (Teagasc), Michael Rodgers

Project Title ITOBO
Summary The goal is to improve asset management while supplementing efforts to fulfil the Kyoto Protocol requirements. ITOBO will enhance the management of large-scale, complex networks, services, and mobile users through introducing new network and management protocols develop frameworks and algorithms to support mixed-initiative configuration for energy efficient buildings design a system architecture that will support scale-free composition of service coalitions support seamless end-to-end network composition and service operation through sensor and RFID hardware with dynamic features
Duration 2007 - 2012
NUIG Research Team Dr. Marcus Keane (PI); Dr. Andrea Costa (Postdoctoral Researcher), Ignacio Torrens (PhD Student); Walter O'Grady and Raymond Sterling Garay (Research assistants)

Project Title Treatment and monitoring of nutrients, odour and sludge at a small-town demonstration wastewater treatment system
Summary At present, there is a huge need - mainly driven by EU environmental legislation - for sustainable, robust and economic water, wastewater and sludge treatment technologies. Furthermore these technologies are required to be increasingly energy efficient, employ new monitoring and control techniques and have reduced maintenance. This will present many opportunities for the water and wastewater industries, cognate companies and research organisations. Local authorities, universities and other stakeholders will also be required to educate and train students and staff in the use and operation of new technologies. To meet these challenges NUI Galway, with funding from the EPA, and support from Galway County Council, have developed the NUI Galway/EPA Water Research Facility (WRF). The WRF is a full-scale test bed for innovative wastewater and water treatment technologies and comprises a full scale wastewater treatment plant (treating up to 70 m3/day), a tertiary treatment facility (treating up to 2 m3/hr) capable of supporting a number of technologies such as automatic sand filtration, activated carbon systems, chlorine dosing, UV etc., and a remote operating, monitoring and control system for the main wastewater treatment process at the WRF.
Duration September 2006 - ongoing
NUIG Research Team Dr. Michael Rodgers (Previous PI); Dr. Eoghan Clifford (Project Engineer); Mr. Edmond O’Reilly (Project Engineer); Prof. Padraic O’Donoghue (current PI)
Other Collaborators: EPA, Galway County Council, Response Engineering Ltd., Carlow Precast Tanks Ltd., Molloy Precast Products Ltd., ACal Technologies Ltd., and Ryan Hanley Consulting Engineers.

Recently Completed Projects

Project Title Research into the status of safety and health (risk education) within construction-related courses in third level institutions in Ireland
Summary This research project is carried out in conjunction with construction and management consultancy firm, Healy Kelly Turner & Townsend (HKT&T). This research will develop a profile of safety and health programme content, teaching methodologies and learning systems in construction-related courses. It will examine the weighting that safety and health is given in such safety-critical courses, in terms of credits/overall value. It will further draw up recommendations on the most appropriate ways of ensuring that risk education is included in content of all such safety-critical courses in higher education. The project team will also analyse the challenges and opportunities facing the three main stakeholders namely: Academia, Industry and the Professional Bodies, when considering its recommendations. The team will work together to identify the potential gaps between the needs and demands of Industry, the requirements of Professional Bodies and how third level institutions can bridge this gap in the supply of their graduates.
Duration January 2009 – January 2010
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins
Other Collaborators: Healy Kelly Turner & Townsend

Project Title Engineering the West Region to 2020: The driver of sustainable development
Summary Engineers Ireland – West Region have developed a vision for the achievement of a sustainable West of Ireland by the year 2020. This research project provides the background research to enable recommendations to achieve that vision to be developed. Key features of the work include: assessment of the principles of sustainability; review of policy documents; consultation with key stakeholders; assessment of key industries and analysis of infrastructural needs.
Duration January 2009 – December 2010
NUIG Research Team Dr. Annette Harte (PI); Conor Heaney (MEngSc student)
Other Collaborators: Engineers Ireland West

Project Title Characterisation of the Wave Environment in the Fatigue Analysis of Flexible Risers
Summary This project examined different methods of characterising the wave environment in the fatigue analysis of flexible risers used in the offshore oil/gas industry. A methodology for performing global stochastic analysis in the frequency domain has led to greatly reduced analysis time.
Duration Completed 2005
NUIG Research Team Dr. Annette Harte (PI); John Sheehan (MEngSc student)

Project Title An Analytical Tool for the Design and Analysis of Thermal Insulation Systems for Risers and Subsea Flowlines
Summary As the offshore oil/gas industry moves to deep and ultra-deep waters, the issue of flow assurance has become increasingly important. Thermal insulation systems are required to ensure that fluid temperatures remain high enough to prevent the formation of waxes and hydrates. A software tool to design such systems was developed that is capable of predicting the lifetime performance of the system and also the response to a shut-in event.
Duration Completed 2002
NUIG Research Team Dr. Annette Harte (PI); Dara Williams (MEngSc student)

Project Title Design of Combined Riser Mooring System for Deepwater Applications
Summary The Combined Riser Mooring (CRM) concept involves combining steel catenary riser systems and mooring systems for floating offshore production units into a single integrated system. A suitable methodology for the evaluation of CRM systems with respect to both riser and mooring design criteria was developed. The feasibility of using CRM systems was demonstrated and with reduced dynamics for the risers, and improved fatigue performance.
Duration Completed 2002
NUIG Research Team Dr. Annette Harte (PI); Brendan Hogg (MEngSc student)