AIT Graduates to Compete at National SURE Science Conference

Ireland’s first academic conference dedicated to promoting STEM research across the technological higher education sector will take place at IT Sligo, TU Dublin and IT Carlow on Friday, 27 September.

Eleven recent Athlone Institute of Technology science graduates, along with graduates from IT Sligo, GMIT and LYIT, have been selected to present their final year research projects through a range of oral and poster presentations.

Daniel Fitzpatrick and his classmate Carina Hardy, both recent graduates of Athlone Institute of Technology’s Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Toxicology, were chosen from over 116 abstracts to deliver oral presentations on the emerging toxicity of common food additives and the role of mitochondrial toxicity in adverse drug reactions, respectively.

Other anticipated oral and poster presentations include research into anti-microbial resistance, freshwater micro-plastic pollution, the effects of parental feeding styles on children and the production of novel delivery systems for folic acid.

Last year’s inaugural conference, organised by Athlone Institute of Technology Life and Physical Science Lecturers Dr Therese Montgomery and Dr Anne Marie O’Brien, proved hugely successful and was attended by more than 250 undergraduate students, academics and representatives from industry.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Dr Therese Montgomery enthusiastically recalled last year’s event citing it as a “real celebration of student achievement, capable of empowering students as they presented their research in front of an audience of peers, academics and industry professionals”.

Dr Montgomery went on to describe how the SURE conference highlights the importance of the final year undergraduate research project as a critical educational tool and programme capstone which challenges students to apply the practical, theoretical, analytical and science communication skills they have acquired throughout their four year degree and results in high quality research.

She explained how this research, if communicated successfully through avenues such as the SURE Conference and SURE Undergraduate Research Journal, can and will have a huge impact on industry, health and the environment.

Based on the significant success of last year’s SURE Network conference, Dr Therese Montgomery and Dr Anne Maire O’Brien were proud recipients of the ‘Best Academic Partnership’ award at the prestigious Irish Education Awards 2019 and continue to represent Athlone Institute of Technology nationally as part of the SURE Network.

Established in 2017, the SURE Network consists of a community of academics from nine different high education institutes across Ireland and is dedicated to the enhancement of scientific practice, training and research excellence at undergraduate level.

Further information about the SURE Network can be found at Registration for the conference at IT Sligo is now full, however live conference updates can be found on twitter at #SURE2019.

An educational powerhouse defined by a commitment to academic excellence, rigour and applied education, Athlone Institute of Technology has enjoyed considerable successes in the academic arena this year, most notably being named ‘best in class’ for research across the technological higher education sector and rated number one in the Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE) for the sixth consecutive year. These accolade build upon the institute’s success in winning the Sunday Times Good University Guide ‘Institute of Technology of the Year’ award in 2018.

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