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DCU PhD student takes first place at Inspirefest

Shauna Flynn, a research student in the DCU School of Electronic Engineering, scooped up first prize at the ResearchFest competition.

The contest is run as a fringe event as part of Inspirefest - Silicon Republic's international event which connects science and technology professionals that are interested in STEM. 

Eight PhD researchers were selected to compete and received training from SNP Communications before their pitches.

The candidates had three minutes to pitch their ideas in a clear way, despite the research topics being traditionally difficult ones. Topics on the day included biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, pain management and electronic engineering.

Shauna spoke about transistors on computer chips and how she is using block copolymers to build more transistors into a silicon substrate. Moore's Law states that the number of transistors on a computer chips doubles every two years and Shauna's research could advance Moore's Law even further.

Silicon Republic reports that if Shauna's research is successful, she will be able to fit billions more transistors in tiny spaces.

Shauna received a Samsung tablet and will be trained further by SNP Communications.

Three other DCU students were also selected for the pitch round - Claire O'Connell who is completing her PhD research at the DCU Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, Kim Connick is a postgraduate researcher in the Immunomodulation Research Group at DCU’s School of Biotechnology and also in the DCU Immunomodulation Research Group iis Niamh Hunt, who is currently in the third year of her PhD.