The applications for the UCD Innovation Academy Fellowship are set to open today. The Academy which is located in the Shackleton Lounge on the ground floor of the Science building offers applicants “two flexible creative studios and a prototyping laboratory. In addition to these facilities, we have a significant number of resources available including Virtual Reality Headsets, 360 cameras, video making suite, 3-D Printers, Lego Mindstorms & Tetrix, EEG hardware, Intel Galileo.”


Image above: Some of the 3D printers present in the lab.

James Carron, a 3rd year Engineering student took up the fellowship last year and spoke to the Tribune about why he feels it’s important for people to get involved. “The idea of the fellowship is the just extend the reach that Innovation Academy has to students because they have all of these facilities and they’re under-utilised. By letting students use them during the nights, you get so much more out of it. Now I run this lab with all these 3D printers for example where you can make nearly any physical part that you need. There’s electronic workbenches with all the tools we need and there’s high power PCs too’.He had the opportunity the extend the fellowship into the summer where he received a stipend for the work that he did.

James has worked on a number of interesting projects. ”I’m working with an artist at the moment called Fiona MacDonald and she’s trying to make an art piece focusing around Quasar explosions which are the most powerful explosions in our universe but because they’re so far away, we can’t see them. So her art piece is to point to them’

In another project he worked with artist Glenn Loughran to create an installation called ‘After the Future…. Of Work’. In this project the “printers were repurposed to wrap rather than make objects. The objects & fragments that each printer was recoded to wrap were collected from the Dot Binding sewing factory.” The objects wrapped for 8 hours a day over one week to reflect the current working week. The installation was displayed in Dublin for a month and parts of it have also been shown in Venice and Paris.

James says that the fellowship has allowed him to make some ‘amazing connections’ and allowed him the freedom to do things ‘where it pushes you outside your comfort zone. ‘When asked what the advantages of the fellowship were he said “The biggest thing that I find is that it’s not so much the tech but the people and the camaraderie around you”. He’d like to ‘build a community of people who want to build and learn’. ‘If you think it’s work then you’re not going to fit in here’.

The fellowship is open to all disciplines and will be open from today until Wednesday the 1st of November. You can find more information about the fellowship and apply here.

Rachel O’Neill – Editor