Professor and Two Students Travel to Ireland for Internet of Things Conference

News Story: March 30, 2017
                                                Professor Robert McCloud speaks at the IoThon event. 

A professor and two students from Sacred Heart University recently traveled to Dingle, Ireland, to participate in a weekend-long event focused on the Internet of Things, a network of linked devices, machines, buildings and other items that collect and exchange information.

Robert McCloud, associate professor in SHU's School of Computing, accompanied undergraduate students Kristen Lahaise and Nicolas Treglia to IoThon, an economic initiative in Dingle that supports high-tech startups in southwestern Ireland. Established by the Dingle Creativity and Innovation Hub, it focused on creative, high-tech approaches to problem-solving issues in such fields as coastal & marine science, business & tourism, digital media & communications and the performing arts. It took place in collaboration with Dingle businesses and Irish high-tech companies and government agencies.

IoThon challenged participants to produce blueprints for applications that could be developed commercially for the Internet of Things. Organizers brought together technical and creative people to create new synergies by working with each other. It also brought together people from various fields and areas of expertise. “IoThon was an incredible experience and had people from all over the country with knowledge in all fields. I went in expecting a bunch of coders and came out with a much different outlook” said Treglia.

McCloud went to IoThon as a representative of Sacred Heart and its Dingle campus, where SHU offers students educational and cultural experiences ranging from brief durations to full semesters. Like Lahaise and Treglia, he participated in group-based activities and presentations. Lahaise, who is studying exercise science, was on a team with students studying other fields. “I knew very little about the ‘Internet of things’ coming into the conference, but was amazed to learn just how interconnected things are within our world. There are so many ways we can integrate the physical world and technology,” said Lahaise. “I have never brainstormed in this way before, and it showed me how much truly goes into the creation of one idea, and how many different people must play a part. I see tremendous value in this type of event going forward and hope to see some of the ideas from the event spark new start-ups in a community like Dingle.”


                               From left are Nicolas Treglia, Professor Robert McCloud and Kristen Lahaise.