Tinkering in mechanics leads Brendan to innovative idea

Microelectronics International

ISSN: 1356-5362

Article publication date: 1 April 2005




(2005), "Tinkering in mechanics leads Brendan to innovative idea", Microelectronics International, Vol. 22 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/mi.2005.21822aab.004



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Tinkering in mechanics leads Brendan to innovative idea

Tinkering in mechanics leads Brendan to innovative idea

Keywords: Microsensors, Electronic equipment and components

Tinkering with old engines on an Irish farm in childhood led Brendan Heery to a career he loves. But now his “tinkering” is much more delicate – researching prototype electronic equipment at Whistonbrook Technologies Ltd.

The company specializes in the design and fabrication of small and microsensor instruments and loggers. But it wants to make them even smaller – to thumbnail size – by reducing the number of microchips employed and dispensing with cabling in favour of radio communication. Dublin City University Mechatronics graduate, Brendan joined the company as a researcher, two years ago after it received a teaching company scheme grant in collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire. His project is to investigate micro and single chip instrumentation. The company has now received four government awards for its microsensor research.

Brendon, about to complete his Masters degree and join the company as a permanent employee, will move to a second company set-up in Ireland. He explained: “I have been working on dataloggers which can be used, for example, to measure temperature or measure water quality. The aim is to develop miniaturized sensors by reducing the size of the electronics”.

Whistonbrook loggers store information from sensors collecting chemical or temperature data from physical environments. A water company wishing to monitor the temperature of a river is a possible application. Whistonbrook believes it can eliminate the cabling from this wet environment by getting the sensor logger to communicate by radio since water and cables do not mix. Using wireless avoids the cables getting wet because the instrumentation can be in sealed boxes.

Brendon added: “Or our loggers could be used, for example, in the food industry. If you had a box of fish you needed to keep within a certain temperature, our datalogger could be used to monitor this”.

The business carries out its technological research in two offices in the Luton and Dunstable Innovation Centre at the Spires.

Whistonbrook Technologies was set- up as a part-time venture, six years ago by Technical Director, Dr Steve Edwards and Financial Director, Stephanie Mcintyre. Four years ago it expanded to become a full-time business taking on two new directors, Derek Law and Professor Brian Birch, Professor of Measurement Science at the University of Luton. The company is presently recruiting another graduate to work alongside Brendan in Ireland.

Whistonbrook Technologies can be contacted on 01582 515212 or visit the Web site: www.whistonbrook.com.

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