Emma Leahy will point the way to tomorrow’s world

Emma Leahy who has been appointed Executive Director of Enable. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan
Emma Leahy who has been appointed Executive Director of Enable. Photo: Lorraine O'Sullivan

LIMERICK woman Emma Leahy has been appointed Executive Director of Enable – a new €14.5 million national research programme based in Trinity College Dublin, which will explore how Internet of Things technology can address challenges such as air pollution and flooding in Irish cities and towns.

Funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund, Enable includes researchers in seven Irish institutions, including the University of Limerick, who will work with some of the world’s leading technology companies, as well as Irish local authorities, to address challenges facing urban communities.

“This is a very exciting and fast-moving research area,” Emma says. “In the coming years, for example, we will see driverless cars on our roads. Safety will be paramount for this innovation, and Enable will explore how vehicles can predict the behaviour of road users.

“By 2050, three-quarters of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. If we are to enjoy a good quality of life, technology-based solutions will be very important in helping us to manage more efficiently our limited resources such as electricity. I am really looking forward to working with Enable’s world-class researchers across the seven colleges around the country.

“In addition to world-class scientific research, Enable will also contribute to job creation and the development of a strong ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in Ireland.”

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Emma, a graduate of the University of Limerick, worked previously as the EU Grants Manager at AMBER, a Science Foundation Ireland research centre in Trinity College, where she was involved in securing over €38 million in European and international funding.

Enable Director Professor Siobhán said that Emma will be working in a very exciting and challenging. area.

“Cities and towns will change dramatically in the coming years and Internet of Things technology will help communities to better manage scarce resources,” she explained.

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