Engaging Energy Citizens on the value of Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths

NexSys completes 6-weeks of STEM engagement 

NexSys researchers and team members have just completed a six-week programme of public engagement, funded by SFI’s Discover Programme. 

The programme, called Little Big Questions, engaged primary school children from the Travelling community with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The children, aged 8-12, visited UCD and took part in experiments and activities ranging from pH testing, eye colour experiments, space and rocket science, energy, motors and circuits, to the research process itself.

The activities were coordinated by staff from NexSys, Insight, UCD Discovery Institute, with collaboration allowing for a diversity of STEM activities for primary school children.

NexSys researchers were involved in presentations to the primary school visitors as part of NexSys’s EPE programme.  

“In any classroom, you will find a wide range of interests. A varied programme of activities that speaks to the diversity of things to study and careers to pursue from STEM translates into more opportunities to connect with young people and their individual interests,” said Lorna Byrne, NexSys Education & Public Engagement Officer.

Associate Professor Julie Byrne, EPE Champion and Finance Theme Lead for NexSys, said: “Young learners who visit UCD for these programmes get to hear from early and advanced career researchers. There is a great sense of connection in the room as they learn about why these researchers are interested in what they are, and who they are as people. 

“Lorna facilitates an environment that enables PhD students and faculty to be accessible role models. Those participating in such events receive powerful messages along with some very cool learning experiences in our outreach labs. As researchers, we all learn the difference between ‘dumbing down’ and ‘simplifying’ our messages about the power of science in providing solutions to real-world problems,” said Julie.

Professor Andrew Keane, Director of NexSys and the UCD Energy Institute, said: “The energy transition affects everyone, and perhaps particularly the youngest generations. By engaging younger generations on the role of energy, we hope to empower the next generation of energy citizens to make evidence-based decisions, and inspire them to become curious about research in general.”

Children, teachers and organisers on the final day of the programme.

Lorna was recently awarded a UCD College of Engineering & Architecture Teaching & Learning Award. The award, which was made in November 2022, recognised Lorna’s ‘exceptional contribution to learning’ through workshops conducted in 2021/2022.

The programme ran with schools from across Dublin and engaged 8-12 year olds in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).  

About the NexSys EPE programme

The EPE vision for the NexSys programme is to define the pathways to a net zero energy system by 2040 with the Energy Citizen at the core. This means creating opportunities to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and decision makers across relevant sectors. 

NexSys’ EPE activities range from educating school children on the role of energy, inspiring generations of curious researchers, as well as engaging with policy makers and industry stakeholders in supporting evidence-based decision making.

NexSys publications

A PDF with a list of publications from 2022 and part of 2023 can be viewed here.

The publications below include fully funded NexSys publications, publications that were part-funded by ESIPP, NexSys’ predecessor programme, as well as publications that were noted as relevant to the programme

E2023 publications to date

Refereed original articles


[Format: Authors, Title, Journal, DOI] 


1) Scarselli, G, Quan, D., Prasad, V., Rao, P.S., M Hardiman, M., Reid, I., O’Dowd, N.P., Murphy, N. & Ivankovic, A. Mode I fracture toughness of glass fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites after UV and atmospheric plasma treatments, Composites Science and Technology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compscitech.2023.109982


2) Parivendhan, G., Cardiff, P., Flint, T., Tuković, Z., Obeidi, M., Brabazon, D. & Ivanković, A. A numerical study of processing parameters and their effect on the melt-track profile in Laser Powder Bed Fusion processes, Additive Manufacturing, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addma.2023.103482


3) Batistić, I, Cardiff, P., Ivanković, A. & Tuković, Z. A finite volume penalty-based implicit procedure for the treatment of the frictionless contact boundaries, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1002/nme.7302


4) Dreelan, A. Ivankovic & D J Browne. Grain structure predictions for metallic additive manufacturing processes, Mater. Sci. Eng., https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/1274/1/012013


5) Blackman, B., Sun, F., Teixeira De Freitas, S., de Barros, S., Arouche, M.M., & Ivankovic, A. Understanding fracture mode-mixity and its effects on bond performance, Advances in Structural Adhesive Bonding, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-91214-3.00015-6


6) Khan, Z., Long, X., Casey, E., Dowling, D., & Ferguson, S.. Development of continuous spatially distributed diafiltration unit operations, Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1039/D3RE00013C


7) Afkousi-Paqaleh, M., Jafarian, M., & Keane, A. Modelling the Interdependence of Multiple Electricity Markets in the Distribution System Aggregator Bidding, IEEE Transactions on Energy Markets, Policy and Regulation, https://doi.org/10.1109/TEMPR.2023.3268440


8) Yasuda, E.M. Carlini, A. Estanqueiro, P.B. Eriksen, D. Flynn, L. Finn Herre, B.-M. Hodge, H. Holttinen, M.J. Koivisto, E. Gómez-Lózaro, S.M. Martínez, N. Menemenlis, G. Morales- España, C. Pellinger, A. Ramos, C. Smith, & T.K. Vrana. Flexibility chart 2.0: an accessible visual tool to evaluate flexibility resources in power systems, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2022.113116


9) Zhao, X. Kestelyn, Q. Cossart, F. Colas, D. Flynn. State residualisation and Kron reduction for model order reduction of energy systems, Applied Sciences, https://doi.org/10.3390/app13116593


10) Keyvani, E. Whelan, E. Doddy, D. Flynn. Indirect weather-based approaches for increasing power transfer capabilities of electrical transmission networks, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, https://doi.org/10.1002/wene.470


11) Sood, Divyanshu, Alhindawi, Ibrahim, Ali, Usman, McGrath, James A., Byrne, Miriam A., Finn, Donal, & O’Donnell, James. Simulation-based evaluation of occupancy on energy consumption of multi-scale residential building archetypes, Journal of Building Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2023.106872


12) Banerjee, Aparajita & Schuitema, Geertje. Spatial justice as a prerequisite for a just transition in rural areas? The case study from the Irish peatlands, Environment and Planning Part C: Politics and Space, https:://doi.org/10.1177/23996544231173210


13) McGinley, J., Harmon O’Driscoll, J., Healy, M.G., Ryan, P.C., Mellander, P.E., Morrison, L., Callery, O., Siggins, A. Impact of historical legacy pesticides on achieving legislative goals in Europe, Science of the Total Environment, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162312


14) O’Hegarty, R. & Kinnane, O. A whole life carbon analysis of the Irish residential sector-past, present and future, Energy and Climate Change, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egycc.2023.100101


15) Oeschger, G, Caulfield, B. & Carroll, P. Investigating the role of micromobility for first- and last-mile connections to public transport. Journal of Cycling and Micromobility Research, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmr.2023.100001 


16) Wisudawan, A., Jaksic, V., Pakrashi, V., & Murphy, J. Variability of Kinetic Response Estimates of Froude Scaled DeepCwind Semisubmersible Platforms Subjected to Wave Loading. J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng., https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4063180

17) Keane, A. Buckle up: Electrification of transport is happening [In my view],” in IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 114-116, https://10.1109/MPE.2023.3308249 

18) Minion, L. & Banerjee, A. ‘I can feel the money go out the window: how high energy prices evoke negative emotions in people with previous experience of homelessness. Energy Research and Social Science, vol.108, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2023.103387


Refereed conference proceedings

[Format: Author list, Title, Conference title, DOI]


1) Mendieta, D. Flynn, Grid integration impacts of hydrostatic transmission-based wind turbines, IEEE PES PowerTech, 10.PowerTech.2023


2) Stanley, L. Ryan, D. Flynn, Strategies to increase grid flexibility for an isolated system with over 80% renewable electricity in 2030, International Conference on the European Electricity Market (EEM), 10.EEM.2023.1


3)            Improving wind power market value with various aspects of diversification, International Conference on the European Electricity Market (EEM), 10.EEM.2023.2


4) Maryam Pourmahdi-torghabe, Terence O’Donnell, Hamed Heydari-doostabad, Reza Ghazi. Bridgeless Active PFC Modified Cuk-based Rectifiers with Positive/Negative Output Voltage and Low Semiconductors Voltage Stress, 27th International Electrical Power Distribution Conference, DOI not yet available






-PhD researcher Alireza Etemad’s project is entitled ‘Integration of Supply, Demand, and Policy for Development of 5th Generation District Heating Systems’. You can download a copy of his recent presentation at the EirGrid research forum which took place in Dublin in August 2023 here. Learn more on this Researcher Spotlight: Researcher spotlight: Alireza Etemad – NexSys Next Generation Energy Systems (nexsys-energy.ie).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

– Prof Eoghan Clifford is co-author of a 2023 white paper on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Water Resource Recovery Facilities produced by the International Water Association Climate Smart Utilities GHG sub-group.


Science Week 2022 webinar for Houses of the Oireachtas L&RS by NexSys

Science Week 2022 webinar for Houses of the Oireachtas L&RS by NexSys

Future-proofing Ireland’s energy systems

Watch the webinar by Professor Andrew Keane, Director of NexSys and UCD Energy Institute on the work of the Next Generation Energy Systems (NexSys) programme on future-proofing Ireland’s energy systems.

It was hosted by the Houses of the Oireachtas Library & Research Services with Science Foundation Ireland to mark Science Week 2022.


Andrew Keane gives insights across the five research strands of NexSys: Energy Systems, Water, Transport, Offshore Wind, and Cities & Communities. 

Watch the Webinar


Twitter post

Post Template

Your content goes here. This is just a text editor.

If you have an image to add, you click on the area you want to add the image to and then click the ADD MEDIA button.

Don’t forget to click Save before you exit.