Limerick hurler an expert in the green jersey and on green technology

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

LIMERICK hurler Séamus Hickey is getting known for his speed on and off the pitch.

LIMERICK hurler Séamus Hickey is getting known for his speed on and off the pitch.

The pacy player is working on high speed communications in University of Limerick’s Stokes Institute.

The Boher man wears the green jersey and is a PHD researcher in Green Technology.

He is part of a research team who are working on the critical challenge of thermal control for high speed communications - increasing broadband speeds while improving energy efficiency.

Explaining the significance of his research, Séamus said today’s telecommunications networks allow wall to wall information access through mobile devices such as smart phones.

“We have become accustomed to instantaneous streaming of live footage to our fingertips anywhere.

“The technology behind such high speed data transmission consumes a lot of electricity, with the waste energy given off in the form of heat.

“Our research works to make the technologies behind the information revolution greener and cheaper by dealing with the source of the heat and removing it efficiently,” said Seamus, who has a BEng in Biomedical Engineering.

An increasingly important requirement to support today’s cloud-based computing technologies are photonic devices. These are used to transmit data over optical fibres for high-speed, long-haul communications.

Strict temperature control is essential to allow the transmission of data using laser arrays, and this leads to high energy consumption.

In his research, Séamus is using novel small-scale “micro-thermoelectric modules” to achieve energy efficient temperature control - thus saving costs and minimising the impact of data centres on the environment.

He is one of UL’s many PhD graduates striving for excellence and making a real impact to the economy. Ninety four per cent of UL’s PhD graduates are employed, with the majority working in Ireland and helping to build our world-leading innovation ecosystem.

This research is funded by Alcatel-Lucent/Bell Labs and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology.