Conference

Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) 2020 Conference (Online)

Friday, 16th October 2020

This is the website for the SURE 2020 online conference, that took place on Friday, 16th October 2020.


SURE 2020 Conference

The SURE 2020 Conference was the third series of Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Conferences, following earlier series in 2018 (with three conferences in Dublin, Athlone and Waterford) and in 2019 (with three conferences in Dublin, Sligo and Carlow).

The aims of each of the SURE conference are to:

  • Provide current students with an opportunity to gain an understanding of the work which has been undertaken by recent graduates, and the career opportunities that exist for graduates in Scientific disciplines.
  • Provide recent graduates with an opportunity to gain a reviewed publication based on the scientific research undertaken by them during their undergraduate studies.
  • Celebrate the academic achievements of recent graduates in the scientific disciplines.
  • Provide a multi-disciplinary scientific forum through which undergraduate research outputs can be disseminated to students, researchers, academic professionals and industry.

Conference Opening by Minister Simon Harris

It was our honour to welcome the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, to open the SURE 2020 conference.



Papers

Students and graduates who had recently completed an undergraduate research project (NFQ Level 8 or NFQ Level 7) in a Scientific discipline were invited to submit a 250 word abstract for an oral or poster presentation. Submissions were invited for the following, and related, disciplines:

  • Analytical Science
  • Biology
  • Biopharmaceutical Science
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Food Science
  • Health Science and Nutrition
  • Land Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Physics
  • Sport Science

Abstracts were reviewed by a team of 40 reviewers around Ireland, leading to the final presenter list, comprised of 24 oral presentation and 35 poster presentations.

Students entering final year in September 2020 were engaged with from semester 2 of 2019-20 to encourage them to attend the conference. This cohort constituted the majority of the audience at the conference.

This is the presentation for final year project coordinators and penultimate year tutors that was used to inform students about the opportunity to participation in the SURE 2020 Conference.

This is the promotional flyer used to publicise the conference.


Oral Presentations

Oral presentations were organised into three streams, with eight presentations in each stream, as follows:

Analytical, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Science

  • Influence of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and nitrogen enrichment on eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and fucoxanthin biosynthesis in the marine diatoms Stauroneis sp. and Phaeodactylum tricornutum, by Tommy Conlon (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Nicolas Touzet
  • The Impact of Organic Pollution on Benthic Macroinvertebrates, by Karen Johnston (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Paul Hamilton
  • Analysis of sunscreen, by Mary O’Donoghue (Waterford Institute of Technology), Sheila Donegan
  • Synergistic Effect of Cold Atmospheric Plasma and Gold Nanoparticles on Cancer Cells, by Yamsel Barandino (Technological University Dublin), James Curtin
  • MinION Sequencing of PAsteurised Milk (MI.S.PA.M.), by Emma Browne (Athlone Institute of Technology), Dawn Howard
  • Investigation of chlorine free detergents in food: Using the dairy industry as a knowledge model, by Amber Bevan (Cork Institute of Technology), Ambrose Furey, Michael McAulliffe
  • Chemical characterisation of finished cosmetic products using spectrophotometric instrumentation, by Tamara Jordan (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology), Eadaoin Tyrrell
  • Exosomes as Smarter Drug Delivery Vesicles, by Claire Healy (Technological University Dublin), Gordon Cooke

Health Science and Nutrition

  • Muscle strength in ambulatory oncology patients and its relationship with quality of life, by Niamh O’Callaghan (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Laura Keaver, Aoibheann O’Sullivan, Catherine McHugh
  • How do men prepare for pregnancy? Views on preconception health and lifestyle practices in Ireland, by Sally Griffin (Cork Institute of Technology), Janette Walton
  • Validation and Interpretation of PD-L1 (SP142) in Triple Negative Breast Cancer, by Arianna Raso (Technological University Dublin), Kathleen Brosnan, Colm Buckley, Marie Staunton
  • Investigation of the effect of timing of caffeine consumption on sleep quality of male students, by Niamh Donnellan (Athlone Institute of Technology), Geraldine Cuskelly
  • Adherence, Impact and Challenges of Physical/Social Distancing during the COVID-19 crisis in Ireland, by Shauna Maloney (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Richéal Burns
  • An investigation of relationship between habitual physical activity levels and cardiovascular disease risk factors, by Kate Kinsella (Technological University Dublin), Oscar MacAnaney
  • An Investigation of the Perceived Health Benefits, Self-Reported Effects on Physical Activity Behaviour and Main Uses of Wearable Fitness Trackers: A Cross-Sectional Study, by Ellie Mc Donnell (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Azura Youell
  • Dietary intake and knowledge of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids among a sample of Irish women: results from a preliminary study , by Rachel Reidy (Athlone Institute of Technology), Aine O’Connor, Sharon Murtagh

Biological, Sport, Computing, Mathematical and Physical Sciences

  • Use of TRFLP as a Method to Examine Microbial Diversity in Different Soil Types, by Aoife Mulry (Athlone Institute of Technology), Siobhán Kavanagh, Lauren Egan
  • A Cyber Security Framework for Identifying Android Application Security Issues, by Timothy McCann (Technological University Dublin), Stephen O’Shaughnessy
  • Affine Term Structure Models, by Enda Flynn (Technological University Dublin), Stephen O’Sullivan
  • The Knowledge and Perceptions among Parents of Overtraining in Youths, by Rebecca Phelan (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Sasirekha Palaniswamy
  • Microbial fuel cells (MFCs): A study of microbial diversity on efficiency of power outputs from MFCs, by Lauren Egan (Athlone Institute of Technology), Siobhán Kavanagh
  • Computational screening for potential inhibitors of SARS-COV-2 Main Protease, by Margaux Labrosse (Technological University Dublin), James Curtin, Gemma Kinsella, Ajay Pal, Julie Mondala
  • The Future of Manufacturing: Validating the use of a Digital Twin for a Drug Manufacturing Process, by Peter McSweeney (Cork Institute of Technology), Craig Murphy
  • Ecotoxicology studies on recycling derived fertilisers using nematodes as environmental indicators, by Andrew King (Institute of Technology, Carlow), Thomais Kakouli-Duarte, Anna Karpinska

Poster Presentations

Poster presentations were organised into three streams, as follows:

Analytical, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Science

  • “Accidental” quinoline/ quinolone products from the syntheses of benzodiazepines: an exploration of the chemistry and interpretation of their mass spectra, by Michaela Larkin (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Geraldine Dowling, Pierce Kavanagh
  • Evaluating the potential cholinesterase inhibitory effect of crude extracts from native Irish algae species, by James Blee (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Owen Kenny, Paul Higgins
  • The determination of cannabidiol and cannabidiolic acid in CBD products: Is Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry a suitable analytical platform?, by Shannon Inigo (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Geraldine Dowling, Pierce Kavanagh
  • Development of a food product from carrot waste, by Ciara Mannion (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Maria Dermiki
  • A Comparison of Runs of Homozygosity Across 14 Populations from the 1,000 Genomes Project, by Eimear Looby (Cork Institute of Technology), Deirdre Purfield
  • The Effect of Atmospheric Pollutants on Pollen Grains – with particular emphasis on Hedera helix (ivy), by Aoife McMullin (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Paul Hamilton
  • Bacterial Biofilms – A cause of chronic infections , by Sophie Shannon (Technological University Dublin), Emma Caraher
  • Synthesis of pH-sensitive hydrogels for the incorporation and targeted release of folic acid, by Ailise Keating (Athlone Institute of Technology), Patricia Heavey, Clement Higginbotham
  • Paracetamol Overdose and Poisoning Cases in Ireland and the UK: Is There a Growing Problem?, by Clare McKernan (Cork Institute of Technology), Anne Ward, Lorraine Endersen
  • The making of compost: the significance of the carbon/nitrogen ratio, by Oskar Pestka (Institute of Technology, Carlow), Carloalberto Petti
  • An investigation into the development of different gel matrices incorporated in Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation (MALDI) by organic synthesis , by Fox Fallon (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology), Cormac Quigley
  • Method Development and Validation of a Gas Chromatographic Method for the Detection of Solvents in Commercial Screen Wash, by Nicole Meany (Cork Institute of Technology), Grainne Conneely
  • Optimisation of the Utilisation of Immobilised Bead Technology for the Production of Ethanol: Batch versus Continuous Feeding Regimes, by Gavin Murray (Cork Institute of Technology), Caroline O’ Sullivan

Health Science and Nutrition

  • Factors affecting willingness to consume proteins from sustainable sources, by Aoife Fitzpatrick (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Maria Dermiki
  • Investigation of the antimicrobial properties within the dynamic environment of homemade kombucha which may affect human health, by Fiona O’Mahony and Niamh Ring (Cork Institute of Technology), Brigid Lucey
  • Physical activity and weight status in relation to the home environment among 5-year old children in Ireland: A descriptive analysis of the Growing Up in Ireland Infant Cohort Wave Three, by Aoife McGovern (Technological University Dublin), John Kearney, Richard Layte
  • A Review of the Adherence of Online Retailers to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes (the Code) and Irish legislation Concerning the Sale of Formula Milks, by Isha Sant (Technological University Dublin), Elizabeth O’Sullivan
  • A Study of the Association Between Dietary Assessments and Dietary Screening Tools in Investigating Nutritional Quality and Disease Risk, by Rosemary Cushion (Technological University Dublin), Mairead Stack, Machteld van Lieshout
  • An Audit of Marketing Legislation of Complementary Foods, by Emily Hunt (Technological University Dublin), Aileen Kennedy
  • Drop Out from Phase IV Community-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme; Rates and Reasons, by Serena Wynne (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Joanne Regan
  • Children’s Perceptions of Health and Wellness in A Primary School Setting, by Eva Capasso (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Margaret McLoone
  • Investigating the relationship between Aortic and Brachial blood pressure cardiovascular risk factors in healthy adults, by Aoife Kennedy (Technological University Dublin), Oscar Mac Ananey
  • The evidence behind calorie posting as a strategy for behavioural change, by Aoife Corcoran (Cork Institute of Technology), Laura Kehoe, Brendan Brosnan
  • The Determinants of Fast Food Consumption, by Laoise Quinn (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Irina Uzhova

Biological, Sport, Computing, Mathematical and Physical Sciences

  • Micronutrient Intake of League of Ireland Soccer Players, by Aiveen Connolly (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Edwenia O’Malley
  • An Investigation into the Hydration Status and Practices of Elite Soccer Players and the Efficacy of Individually Tailored Post-Exercise Rehydration Plans, by Ashleigh Mortimer (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Azura Youell
  • To Measure Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior of Students, by Ciara Treanor (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Joanne Regan
  • An investigation of the kinematic properties of resisted sprinting (RS) under different loading conditions, by Lorcán Mason (Athlone Institute of Technology), Ciarán Ó Catháin, David Mannion, Katja Osterwald
  • The Effect of Post Activation Potentiation Exercises (Depth-Jump vs. Countermovement Jumps) on Wingate Anaerobic Performance in Collegiate Athletes, by Rory Doyle (Athlone Institute of Technology), Kris Beattie
  • Physical Activity Promotion and Referral Among Healthcare Professionals for Clinical Populations, by Aideen Fitzsimmons (Athlone Institute of Technology), Clare Mc Dermott, Eimear Finnegan, David Murray
  • The use of hemp protein hydrolysate as an antimicrobial agent to extent the shelf life of minced meat, by Robyn Lockhart (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Maria Dermiki
  • Female Perspectives Regarding Resistance Training, by Shauna Bennett (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Azura Youell
  • The Effect of Land Management on Raw Milk Composition and Quality in Organic and Conventional Dairy Farms, by Chloe Dreaper Eyre (Athlone Institute of Technology), Sile O’Flaherty
  • Gym-Eye – A Risk Detection System for Gym Environments, by Carl Brady (Technological University Dublin), Simon Mc Loughlin
  • An investigation into the effectiveness of the design and placement of thirty-nine ‘Bee hotels’ on the Waterford Greenway as nesting aids for native solitary bee species, by Sean Keane (Waterford Institute of Technology), Yvonne Grace, Cara Daly

Award Winners

The following awards for the Analytical, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Science stream were presented by Dr. Barry O’Connor, President of Cork Institute of Technology:

  • The SURE Network Award for Best Scientific Poster in the Analytical, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Science category was presented to Ciara Mannion from Institute of Technology Sligo for her presentation entitled Development of a food product from carrot waste.
  • The SURE2020 Audience award for Best Scientific Poster in the Analytical, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Science category was presented to  Eimear Looby from Cork Institute of Technology for her presentation entitled A Comparison of Runs of Homozygosity Across 14 Populations from the 1,000 Genomes Project
  • The SURE Network Award for Best Oral Presentation in the Analytical, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Science category was presented to Tamara Jordan from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology  for her presentation entitled Chemical characterisation of finished cosmetic products using spectrophotometric instrumentation
  • The SURE2020 Audience award for Best Science Communicator in the Analytical, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Science category was presented to Claire Healy from Technological University Dublin  for her presentation entitled Exosomes as Smarter Drug Delivery Vesicles

The following awards for the Biological, Sport, Computing, Mathematical and Physical Sciences stream were presented by Dr. Orla Flynn, President of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology:

  • The SURE Network Award for Best Scientific Poster in the Biological, Sport, Computing, Mathematical and Physical Sciences category was presented to Robyn Lockhart from Institute of Technology, Sligo for the presentation entitled The use of hemp protein hydrolysate as an antimicrobial agent to extend the shelf-life of minced meat.
  • The SURE2020 Audience award for Best Scientific Poster in the Biological, Sport, Computing, Mathematical and Physical Sciences category was presented to Rory Doyle from Athlone Institute of Technology for his presentation entitled The Effect of Post Activation Potentiation Exercises (Depth-Jump vs. Countermovement Jumps) on Wingate Anaerobic Performance in Collegiate Athletes.
  • The SURE Network Award for Best Oral Presentation in the Biological, Sport, Computing, Mathematical and Physical Sciences category was presented to Timothy McCann from Technological University Dublin for his presentation entitled Cyber Security Framework for Identifying Android Application Security Issues.
  • The SURE2020 Audience award for Best Science Communicator in the Biological, Sport, Computing, Mathematical and Physical Sciences category was presented to Peter McSweeney from Cork Institute of Technology for his presentation entitled The Future of Manufacturing: Validating the use of a Digital Twin for a Drug Manufacturing Process.

The following awards for the Health Science and Nutrition stream were presented by Prof. David FitzPatrick, President of Technological University Dublin:

  • The SURE Network Award for Best Scientific Poster in the Health Science and Nutrition  category was presented to Aoife McGovern from Technological University Dublin for her presentation entitled Physical activity and weight status in relation to the home environment among 5-year old children in Ireland: A descriptive analysis of the Growing Up in Ireland Infant Cohort Wave Three.
  • The SURE2020 Audience award for Best Scientific Poster in the Health Science and Nutrition category was presented to Laoise Quinn from Institute of Technology, Sligo for her presentation entitled The Determinants of Fast Food Consumption.
  • The SURE Network Award for Best Oral Presentation in the Health Science and Nutrition  category is presented to Kate Kinsella from Technological University Dublin for her presentation entitled Investigation Of Habitual Physical Activity Levels And Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors In Healthy Subjects.
  • The SURE2020 Audience award for Best Science Communicator in the Health Science and Nutrition category was presented to Sally Griffin from Cork Institute of Technology for her presentation entitled How do men prepare for pregnancy? Views on preconception health and lifestyle practices in Ireland.

Conference Materials

This is the SURE2020 Conference Booklet, listing all those involved, all presenters, all keynotes and sponsors.

The posters were made available on this website during the conference.

The conference took place on Zoom.