School of Electronic Engineering
Phone number: 01 700
Academic biographyDr. Shirley Coyle is a researcher and designer in the field of wearable technologies and smart textiles. She has combined expertise in Biomedical Engineering and Fashion Design. She received a first class honour for her BEng in Electronic Engineering in 2000 from Dublin City University, Ireland. During industrial placement she worked for Siemens Ireland Ltd. After graduating, she then worked in the Information and Communications division in Siemens Ltd. as a telecommunications engineer for two years. She spent one year of this time at Siemens headquarters in Munich. Her role within Siemens involved the deployment of communication networks throughout Ireland. In Munich she worked in the central technical support for third generation mobile networks for Siemens worldwide. On returning to Ireland she decided to pursue a PhD study. She enrolled at the Department of Biomedical Engineering in National University of Ireland Maynooth. Her PhD involved the development of the first optical brain computer interface. This device provides a means of communication using thought process alone for people who are locked in. Optical techniques were used to detect brain activity. She received her PhD from NUI Maynooth in 2005. Between 2002 and 2008 she completed a diploma in Fashion design, attending by night, at the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design. This course covers all aspects of design, from concept to creation. She specialized in Evening and Bridalwear and all-wool tailoring for her final collections. From 2005 until 2007 she worked in the Adaptive Sensors Group in Dublin City University on the EU FP6 Biotex project. This project was a European-wide multi-partner research effort to merge sensing capabilities with fabrics and textiles. The eight partner BIOTEX consortium included universities, research institutes, SMEs and a large microelectronic company. She currently works within CLARITY: Centre for Sensor Web Technologies as Team Leader in Wearable Sensors. Her main research interest is in the development of truly wearable devices that can be used to improve personal health and fitness. As she also has a keen interest in sports and physiology, being a competitor of long-distance running events, she sees great potential for wearable technologies in the sports industry. Wearable sensors may be used to provide valuable information about the wearers health through continuous monitoring of the wearer in a natural setting. This involves the development of new materials and the integration of novel sensor materials within textiles. This is a multi-disciplinary task involving the broad expertise that exists within CLARITY including science, engineering, computer applications, physiotherapy and physiology.