From Turlough Hill to Kathmandu

  • Renewable energy scholarship puts research into action for development aid

  • DIT Foundation awards Travel Scholarship to PhD graduate

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Dublin, 22 February 2013: Fintan McLoughlin, who has just completed his PhD in DIT, has been awarded a Travel Scholarship in Renewable Energy by the DIT Foundation. Fintan leaves Dublin this weekend for Nepalwhere he will work with a technical team installing solar water pumping systems in remote areas of the country. The pumps will provide water for communities to grow cash crops as well as food for subsistence.

The annual Graduate Travel Scholarship scheme provides an opportunity for a DIT graduate to spend three months working on renewable energy projects in a developing country. Fintan, who will be based in Kathmandu and working with the international charity Renewable World, said "Working in a developing country is something I have always wanted to do so I'm really looking forward to this challenge. The timing is great because I have just completed my PhD in DIT and I'll be back in time for graduation!"

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Dr. Mike Murphy with Fintan McLoughlin, Scholarship recipient, and Ms Siobhan Broughan, DIT Foundation

Explaining his long-standing interest in renewable energy, Fintan said it was first sparked by a school trip to the ESB pumped hydro station at Turlough Hill. Later, for his Leaving Cert engineering project, he designed a model scale hydro-electric power plant. His PhD research which he has just successfully completed in the Dublin Energy Lab in DIT, concerned 'Characterising Domestic Electricity Demand for Customer Load Profile Segmentation'.

Before setting off this weekend, Fintan met today with Dr. Mike Murphy, Director and Dean of the College of Engineering and Built Environment and Ms Siobhan Broughan,Development Manager of the DIT Foundation. He was also congratulated by President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, who is himself an internationally recognised expert in the field of solar energy.

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Professor Brian Norton with Fintan McLoughlin on the Rooftop Lab, DIT Kevin Street

This is the second year of the Graduate Travel Scholarship which was set up by the DIT Foundation. Funded by an anonymous donor, it aims to give an opportunity to a DIT graduate to put their knowledge and expertise to work in a developing country, specifically in the field of renewable energy. Acknowledging the generosity of the donor, Dr. Murphy said "It is a privilege for DIT to be associated with this Scholarship in Renewable Energy. We are delighted to see one of our graduates getting this opportunity to work towards the provision of affordable renewable energy services in order to improve livelihoods, health and education in a developing country".

Development Manager of the DIT Foundation, Siobhan Broughan said that the Foundation will stay in touch with Fintan and will publicise his experiences over the coming months. "We will be in regular contact with Fintan during his time in Nepal and we look forward to posting his stories and images about his work and travel on our website so that our students, staff and supporters can hear more about his experiences".

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