Mariusz Wilk, a PhD researcher in Dr Brendan O’Flynn’s Wireless Sensor Networks Group at Tyndall National Institute, has received the inaugural CONNECT Education and Public Engagement Award for his contribution to the centre’s outreach programme.
CONNECT is the world leading Science Foundation Ireland research centre for future networks and communications, with 80 researchers at UCC and Tyndall National Institute. The award was presented by UCC’s Prof. Cormac Sreenan, Deputy Director of CONNECT, at the centre’s annual assembly in Kilkenny.
The award citation highlighted, in particular, Mariusz’s development of smart farming demos to prompt conversations with the public on the usefulness of the Internet of Things for agriculture. These demos have been at the heart of CONNECT’s presence at the National Ploughing Championships for the past two years.
Last year, Mariusz also appeared on RTÉ’s ‘Big Week on the Farm’ TV show, during which he explained the value of wireless sensors in farming. The show attracted an audience in excess of 300,000 viewers.
Over the past two years, Mariusz has reached out to audiences from different demographics, ranging from female secondary school students, industry stakeholders, third level undergraduate students, and the wider public.
Congratulating Mariusz, Dr O’Flynn said:
“This is a well-deserved honour for Mariusz. In addition to being a generous volunteer for public engagement events, he has developed creative ways of presenting our smart sensor research to the public, including their deployment in smart agriculture applications. In particular, he has made use of Pervasive Nation, CONNECT’s IoT testbed, to illustrate the potential applications of wireless sensors in a farming environment.
”Mariusz is a great example of a dynamic researcher who is using public engagement as a way of deepening his understanding of the wider context of his field of expertise.”
CONNECT includes 350 researchers across ten Irish higher education institutes. The centre is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund.