Having graduated with a 1st class honors in B.Sc. Music, Media & Performance Technology, and holding an award from the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme, Helen is continuing her studies through a PhD at the Interaction Design Center. Following on from her FYP, she is interested in progressing the study of smart fluids by investigating their potential for creating haptic and tactile engaging structures in order to create a programmable technology for a more significant and direct user experience. Exploring the possibility of shape-shifting surfaces aims to provide users with more intuitive technological interaction but also with greater connected experiences. For example whilst GUIs, such as buttons, sliders etc, can easily be developed in any shape or form on the computer, they are still controlled by a mouse or keyboard. The user is forced to adapt the use of these GUIs to comply with the physically restrictive hardware.
Part of the study involved becoming familar with 3D printing techniques and modeling and she has completed exams using Solid Works. Currently Matlab and OpenFOAM is the other modeling software to aid with fluid dynamic and mathematical systems.
Her research interests range from tangible computing, and interactive multimedia to MEMS, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. Through this multidisciplinary project Helen aims to combine various aspects of individual domains (such as fluid mechanics/microfluidcs, chemistry, programming, MEMS, HCI, etc) to find new and creative solutions for interacting with digital information.