Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Mahdi Ebrahimi Salari

Mahdi Ebrahimi Salari was born in Mashhad, Iran in 1982. He received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Islamic Azad University, Bojnord branch, Iran, in 2007 and the M.Sc. degree from Islamic Azad University, Najaf Abad branch, in 2009. He was teaching at the Khorasan Scientific and Industrial College of Applied Science and Technology University, Mashhad, Iran from Sep.2008- Sep 2014. 

Mahdi joined the CRIS in 2014 as a PhD student. He worked on a project investigating the ground station for offshore pumping mode AWE system energy farms. The project was supported by Science Foundation Ireland under the MaREI Centre research program and through the support of the European Commission under the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie action: ITN AWESCO. 

Mahdi obtained his PhD from the University of Limerick in "Direct Interconnection Technique Applied to Marine Renewable Generators", and he continues to work with CRIS centre as a research fellow. His research interests are in renewable energy, electrical machine design, power system dynamics, power electronics and fuzzy logic controllers.

Contact Mahdi here.

Last update: Dec 2015

Luke Blake

Luke is a Research Assistant in the Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CRIS) at the University of Limerick. He received a BSc in Electronics from the University of Limerick in 2019. He worked with underwater robotics during his final year through use of the BlueROV 2 as part of his project.
Luke also previously worked with the ECE department in UL as a Teaching Assistant for two years supporting hardware modules.
His current work in the CRIS includes supporting installation, operation and maintenance of CRIS’s ROVs systems and offshore operation.

Contact Luke here.


Mike Forde

Mike is a research assistant in CRIS. Located in the National Space Centre his key focus is to identify new R&D opportunities, industrial partnerships and commercial applications for Maritime innovation via Space related technology. Mike graduated with an Msc in International Public Policy and Diplomacy from University College Cork in which he wrote his thesis on the “Strategic development of Irish satellite potential: The cross collaboration of Fields; Environment and Security, Military and Civil, Maritime and Space”. He is also a graduate from the University of Limerick in which he studied Politics & Public Administration. Mike was previously Vice President of the University of Limerick Students Union and has also worked in the European Parliament, the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC) and Cork City Council.

Contact Mike here.

Last update: Nov 2018

Joseph Coleman

Joseph was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the CRIS, primarily working on the development and testing of maritime unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for the inspection and monitoring of marine renewable energy devices. Joseph also assisted on several of the underwater research projects including underwater manipulators, mini-ROV’s, remote presence technology and the offshore operation and maintenance of ROV Latis. During Exercise Cathach in the Shannon Estuary Joseph lead the shoreline robotics response team of international UAV operators in 100km2 of segregated airspace.

Joseph graduated with BEng (Hons) in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Limerick in 2010. He completed a PhD with the MMRRC in 2014 under the supervision of Daniel Toal and Hammad Ahmad. His PhD research was supported by a scholarship from the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology (IRCSET) and Bord Gáis under the Enterprise Partnership Scheme (EPS).

His PhD research focused on the development of control systems for the flight control of tethered parafoils with applications in Airborne Wind Energy (AWE). Between 2010 and 2014, Joseph has developed and tested real time, embedded control systems for tethered airfoils. This work ranged from control system architecture design with hardware & software development using bespoke solutions integrated with OTS components and subsystems. Joseph also developed and modelled a novel power take off system for pumping mode airborne wind energy, which provides continuous power output from this discontinuous source using multiple synchronous non-reversing generators.

Matija Rossi

Matija joined the CRIS of the University of Limerick 2014. He obtined his PhD, 2018  working on vision and sonar systems for ROV based inspection and intervention operations. His research involved development of sensor (camera, acoustic, inertial, etc.) based approaches for target registration and inspection, ROV positioning and navigation, and advanced visualisation for augmenting the pilot’s perception.

He received both his BSc and MSc degrees in mechatronics and robotics from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, in 2013 and 2014 respectively. During his studies he also attended the Università Politecnica delle Marche, in Ancona, Italy, and the Tallinn University of Technology, in Tallinn, Estonia. 

Last update:Feb 2019

Romano Capocci

Romano was raised in Offaly with parents of Irish and Italian origins. He completed an electrical trade apprenticeship, after which he moved abroad for over four years, gaining work experience in various countries as an electrician. He then returned to Ireland for further studies. He graduated with an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2013.

He then joined the Centre for Robotics & Intelligent Systems in the University of Limerick in 2014. He obtained his PhD working on developing an Inspection-Class Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that will have the capabilities to operate in harsh and challenging environments. His research interests included subsea equipment design and development, navigation control systems, CFD analysis and power system design. 

Last update: Dec 2015

Satja Sivcev

Satja Sivcev was born in Kikinda, Republic of Serbia in 1990. He graduated from the Faculty of Technical Sciences at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia in 2013 where he obtained his Bachelor with Honours in Mechatronics degree. Interested in humanoid robotics Satja's bachelor thesis was titled "Development and construction of anthropomorphic robotic eyes". In 2014 Satja completed his graduate studies at the same university and received his Masters in Mechatronics degree with a thesis titled "Robot stereo vision system for detection and recognition of objects which differ in size, colour and shape" and was elected as the best student of the promotion. During his studies, Satja was granted a scholarship "Dositej Obradovic" - fund for young talents, twice in a row. The scholarship is awarded to best final year undergraduate and graduate students in the Republic of Serbia. In 2014 Satja together with the team of his colleagues won the 1st place in the national robotic competition "Eurobot" and qualified for the European competition where they finished 9th out of more than forty teams.

Satja had his PhD on  "Smart Enhanced Performance ROVs for the High Energy Sites".

Last update: Dec 2015

David Adley

David Adley was a postdoc at the CRIS. He completed an undergraduate (2008) and postgraduate (2012) degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering in Trinity College Dublin. His postgraduate work was based on the vibrational spectroscopy of semiconductor materials.

His research interests include nonlinear control in challenging marine environments. He has an active research interest in artificial intelligence applied to control tasks including novel adaptable model representations, reinforcement learning and trajectory optimisation. His aim is to develop cutting edge research developments into real world application in the marine environment.

Last update: Dec 2015

Emmanuel Pican

Emmanuel's PhD research in the Marine & Mobile Robotics Research Centre was funded by Science Foundation Ireland. He finished his PhD in 2012, his thesis titled: Direct interconnection of offshore electricity generators, where he suggested a new approach on making an energy farm compliant and to rethink the design of the offshore energy devices.

Befor his PhD Emmanuel was working as a Automation Manager and Automation Engineer. Currently, Emmanuel is working as a Lecturer at the Cork Institute of Technology.

Last update: Mar 2016

Liam Miller

Liam studied Computer Science in University of Ulster and has worked in the Irish Times' Computer Department in late 80's and early 90's when the paper went from hot press to digital. He finished his Master's Degree in Computer Science in University of Limerick and was lecturing in Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) for 15 years before retiring.

A passion for the sea Liam developed from early ages, developed furthermore in LYIT where he became engaged in scuba diving. He became a diving instructor and introduced many to the underwater beauty of the seas off Donegal. In 2008 he discovered two shipwrecks off Rutland Island, Donegal, both of which have been under investigation by the Underwater Archaeology Unit of The National Monuments Service for several years since.

Liam started a PhD at University of Limerick in MMRRC with focus on terrain referenced navigation for underwater vehicles enabling lower cost autonomous vehicle operation in complex near seabed and inshore terrains. Without the use of very expensive Optical Fibre Gyro based INS navigation, the approach was to codify and automate a technique similar to an old skilled mariner navigation approach of 'line of sounding', comparing real-time sonar seabed imaged track with stored digital terrain model. At UL Liam engaged with the team in numerous offshore surveys off the north, west and south coast of Ireland and in the Mediterranean with underwater vehicles such as ROV Latis, deployed from numerous vessels. Expeditions tested developed sonar technology response, and high resolution seabed mapping.

Liam was a valued colleague and friend to the research team and his mariner knowledge of sea conditions was invaluable.

Fare thee well sailor, teacher, friend. Fair wind

Hammad Ahmad

Hammad received his BSc honours (2000) in Mechanical engineering from University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Pakistan. He got MSc in Mechatronics (2004) from Technical University Hamburg Harburg  (TUHH ) Germany. He has worked as a researcher in Siemens (research and development) Germany and control group of TUHH. He has worked in the area of robotics, automotive and electrical machines, especially in the design, development and implementation of advanced controls.

He finished his PhD in aircraft modelling and fault tolerant control/control allocation design for commercial aircraft.  He has worked in the areas of aerodynamics, flight mechanics, stability, control and fault tolerant control for commercial aircraft.  He was also Post-Doctoral research fellow in FP7 HIGHWIND project at KU Leuven, Belgium. In Belgium, he was involved in instrumentation, estimation, control and hardware-in-the-loop-testing of an experimental set-up for the launch/recovery of an Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) system.

His research interests include aircraft/ROV modelling, aircraft/ROV stability and control, flight simulation, and optimization (linear and nonlinear programming).

Last update: Dec 2015

Sean Nolan

Seán was born in Monaghan, Ireland in 1974. He graduated with a Diploma in Electronic Manufacturing from Dundalk Institute of Technology in 1996. He subsequently worked as a manufacturing engineer in the semiconductor industry. He graduated from the University of Limerick with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Electronics in 2001.

He then joined the Marine Robotics Research Group at the University of Limerick where he was awarded an M.Eng for work carried out in the area of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle test-bed development in 2003. Seán received a PhD in the area of ultrasonic/sonar sensor design for use on underwater vehicles at University of Limerick in 2007. He won the IMarEST Denny medal for best paper of 2007/2008; ‘A low directivity ultrasonic sensor for collision avoidance and station keeping on inspection-class AUVs’, which was published in the Journal of Marine Engineering and Technology (JMET). Sean worked as a Research fellow in the MMRRC working on the development of Remotely Operated Vehicles and remote marine sensing technologies. He is now based at Trinity College Dublin.

James Riordan

James was born in 1980 and is a native of Farranfore, Co. Kerry. He received the Bachelor of Electronic Engineering in 2002 with the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Limerick, Ireland. 

He was awarded the PhD degree in Computational Ocean Acoustics in 2006 for research conducted with the Mobile & Marine Robotics Research Centre. James  worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow till 2010/11. His research interests include: marine survey operations, real-time imaging-sonar simulation, fractal modelling, multi-resolution model abstraction, mesh optimisation, sonar data processing & visualisation. 

James is cofounder of SONARSIM -

Francis Flannery

Francis completed both a BEng in Electronic Engineering and a research masters entitled "Automating the formal verification of security protocols" in the University of Limerick.

In 2005 he joined the Intel Software R&D group in Shannon. He started in the area of system test of cryptography services and industrial automation protocols for entry level embedded processors:

Francis then moved into specialised firmware development for PKE coprocessors on Intel’s first family of SOCs: He joined the MMRRC in June 2008 as a development programmer to work on Augmented Reality Support Tools for the marine sector. In addition, he is currently pursuing a PhD entitled "An Optimised Parallel Processing Framework for Real-Time Modelling and Simulation of Underwater Systems".  

Francis is co-founder of Sonarsim -

Jonathon Horgan

Jonathan was born in Cork in 1984 but is native of Killarney, Co. Kerry. He graduated with a first class honours Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Limerick in 2005. He subsequently received a PhD research scholarship from the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) and joined the Mobile and Marine Robotics Research Centre at the University of Limerick. 

His work focuses on the uses of machine vision for unmanned underwater vehicle applications including station keeping, mosaicking, feature tracking, intervention class vehicles and navigation & positioning. John is continuing the research part-time as he left MMRRC to take up a position as Vision Research Engineer at Valeo Ireland in Galway

Edward Thurman

Edward was born in the United Kingdom in 1983. He received his Bachelor of Engineering, with 1st Class Honours, in Computer Engineering from the University of Limerick in 2005. 

Edward then joined the Mobile & Marine Robotics Research Centre at the University of Limerick, and was awarded the University of Limerick Advanced Scholars Award, the Marine RTDI Postgraduate Scholarship Award and a PhD research scholarship from the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET). 

His research focuses on the integration and adaptive, simultaneous operation of multiple acoustic survey sensors for an ROV/AUV. He is currently working in Tritech as a software design engineer.

Simon Marr

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Simon gained a BEng(Hons) in Communication & Electronic Engineering at Napier University. He worked at MMRRC as a Marketing Analyst at the University of Limerick working on the development of MMRRC's R&D commercialization strategies. Simon is currently working with Fugro in the UK.

Simon has worked in R&D for the last 5 years, mainly in the field of precise software specification and testing with the Software Quality Research Laboratory under the direction of Prof. David Parnas. Prior to R&D, Simon gained 12 years commercial applications software development experience in the Oil, Gas & Hydro energy sectors. As a manager, Simon was responsible for managing a team who provided support and development services for a large portfolio of applications at Shell and for managing testing programmes for ESB National Grid in Dublin and for The Environmental Agency in the UK government.

Simon is a keen cyclist and achieved a lifetime ambition last year by completing a stage in the amateur version of the Tour de France.

Pepijn Van de Ven

Completed a PhD in MMRRC in 2005 entitled - "Identification and Control of Marine Vehicles using Artificial intelligence techniques , A novel approach."

Levente Molnar

Levente was born in Sighisoara, Romania in 1975. He received the Dipl. Eng. in Electronic Engineering from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Electronics and Telecommunications, Romania. 

He has received the PhD degree in the area of hybrid control architecture development for an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, at the Mobile & Marine Robotics Research Centre, Electronics and Computer Engineering Department, University of Limerick, Ireland. He was a member of the Mobile & Marine Robotics Research Group in the University of Limerick from 2002 - 2007. From there he took up a position working in The University of Southampton, UK as a Research Fellow working in the area of underwater vehicles. 

His research interests include: autonomous mobile robotics, marine robots, motion control, design of guidance, navigation and control systems for autonomous underwater vehicles, behaviour-based control architectures, hybrid control architectures, electronic hardware and sensor integration, real-time embedded control system programming, offshore aquaculture.