2018 Projects Awarded in the second Call for EDGE Proposals

Flash Report on the results of the second call – published 6th March 2017

HYPE-EWOC: Hybrid Polyoxometalate Electrodes for Efficient Water Oxidation Catalysis

Due to the depletion of fossil fuels and environmental concerns over their use, it is critical that we switch to renewable energy sources. The latter, however, are inherently intermittent, which brings out the necessity of storing the electricity generated from these sources in the form of high-energy-density chemical bonds, such as H2. One promising solution is to generate H2 by electrochemical water splitting. Unfortunately, the development of this technology is hampered by the lack of robust, efficient and economic catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Particularly challenging is the design of inexpensive water oxidation catalysts (WOCs) that are active and stable under acidic working conditions, where proton exchange membranes operate more efficiently.

I aim to combine my extensive knowledge of the OER with state-of-the-art density functional theory (DFT) methods to rationally design highly active, economic, and acid-stable catalysts for this process. To circumvent the common limitations of homogeneous and heterogeneous WOCs, I will tailor cobalt-containing polyoxometalates (Co-POMs) covalently grafted on solid supports, namely hybrid POM electrodes. This strategy is motivated by my recent Nature Chemistry article in which we demonstrate the outstanding electrocatalytic OER performance of Co-POMs in acidic media.

My postdoctoral research will entail the systematic study by means of DFT methods of the effect on the OER activity of the different constituents of Co-POMs. This will enable me to tailor novel POMs with enhanced catalytic activity. Next, I will synthesise and characterise these POMs and test their OER catalytic activity, followed by the modelling of their covalent tethering on solid supports and the study of their binding energies. The functionalisation of the POMs and building of the hybrid electrodes will lead to the final step of this proposal, namely the testing of the OER electrocatalytic performance and long-term stability in acidic media, and post-catalytic characterization.


  • Project Name: Hybrid Polyoxometalate Electrodes for Efficient Water Oxidation Catalysis
  • Researcher: Joaquín Soriano-López
  • Supervisors: Wolfgang Schmitt, Max Garcia Melchor
  • Institution: TCD (AMBER Centre)
  • Duration: 24 Months

OptimusChain: Optimising Data Value Chains

Data is now recognised as an indispensable commodity and it is the basis for modern decision-making. It underlies diverse products and services, and thus all data has quantifiable value. Data value chains have recently been popularised as models to drive data exploitation and data value creation initiatives by identifying the steps involved. However, end-to-end efficiency of these chains has not yet been considered. Thus, data value chains may have non-optimal properties, for example performing redundant data cleaning, or producing insufficiently accurate data. OptimusChain will tackle this gap in the research on the optimisation of data value chains.

The objective of this project is therefore to provide new methods and tools for the optimisation of data value chains, so that data value can be exploited efficiently and the full extent of the possible benefits of the data can be achieved. I aim to improve data value exploitation by directly focusing on the optimisation of the decision-making processes throughout a data value chain. OptimusChain will develop a knowledge-based decision support tool to optimise decision-making within a data value chain. This will require the definition of models, methods, and tools to monitor data value and analyse data value chain processes. It will result in the first tools for end-to-end optimisation of data value chains. OptimusChain will therefore contribute to the Irish national research priority area; “Data Analytics, Management, Security and Privacy”.

This research will build on my Ph.D research on data value chain networks, and my current research on data value measurement, and will benefit from collaborations with colleagues in the ADAPT research centre on information systems capability maturity models and knowledge-driven intelligent systems design.

  • Project Name: Optimising Data Value Chains
  • Researcher: Judie Attard
  • Supervisor: Rob Brennan
  • Institution: TCD (ADAPT Centre)
  • Duration: 24 Months

GreenCloud: Design and Implementation of Reconfigurable Converged Optical-Wireless Networks Comprising ROADMs towards Greener 5G Cloud RAN

Several demanding applications drive the global traffic growth, including high definition video and cloud services. Some of the new bandwidth-hungry applications, such as immersive reality over the augmented social media and holographic video might come in future. As the video contents are gradually being distributed inside the metro networks and end users’ requests are served from the metro networks, the traffic load on the metro and access networks are growing at a rate higher than that of the core networks. To address these new challenges, augmenting the transmission systems’ capacity is no longer sufficient as it will increase the cost and energy consumption linearly.

Since a major portion of the mobile Internet users move during the day, networks (optical and 5G wireless) operators are looking forward to the solutions that can match the dynamic nature of the traffic load and help them reduce cost, save energy and share resources. With the advancement of cloud/centralized radio access networks (C-RANs), the optical metro and access networks experience more pressure to transport more mobile data content. Optical networks in the xHaul (fronthaul and backhaul) are expected to meet this demand of C-RANs. In order to address this, the development of advanced programmable and flexible converged optical-wireless networks will be necessary for future 5G C-RAN.

In this work, we will focus on the convergence of optical-wireless networks by enabling open reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) and implementing control plane based on software-defined networking (SDN) for achieving 5G wireless with high capacity, low cost and power per bit. The SDN controller will be used for fast reconfigurability of ROADMs in the xHaul and switching on/off the radio equipment for savings the network resources and power consumption. Its objective is twofold: i) to minimize the power consumption, and ii) to minimize end-to-end cloud service delay.

  • Project Name: Design and Implementation of Reconfigurable Converged Optical-Wireless Networks Comprising ROADMs towards Greener 5G Cloud RAN
  • Researcher: Md Nooruzzaman
  • Supervisor: Marco Ruffini
  • Institution: TCD (CONNECT Centre)
  • Duration: 24 Months