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Dublin SPIE Student Chapter president Laura Tobin wins early-stage business award

04 September 2014

photo of Laura TobinUniversity College Dublin (UCD) graduate student Laura Tobin has been awarded the university's first CleanWeb Sprint Award for her business idea to use LEDs as an alternative light source for solar simulators.

Tobin, president of the SPIE Student Chapter at UCD and a PhD candidate in optical engineering whose focus is on dye-sensitized solar cells and alternative lighting solutions, received a €1,000 prize to develop her idea into a commercial product or technology.

Judges determined her proposal to utilize more efficient and less expensive LEDs in solar simulators would result in less maintenance because LEDs last much longer than traditional bulbs. In addition, the ability to manipulate light intensity and spectral distribution of LEDs in real time can be applied to photovoltaic testing as well as indoor lighting to allow for responsive, ambient lighting.

Hosted by the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science in May, the one-day competition paired UCD researchers with internal and external technology and business professionals to explore the commercial potential of transforming their research ideas into early-stage business ideas.

Tobin is an SPIE member who is actively involved in optics and photonics outreach and public engagement and is one of some 40 judges for the SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest. She is a co-founder of Dublin Maker and a member of the SPIE Future Leaders Committee.


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