On this page I keep track of articles appearing in the newspaper press and also in general online media.

First the articles related to the press coverage of my work.
It's not easy to have your results picked up by a journalist, especially if you work in mathematics! Nonetheless, you can sometimes prick their interest, especially if you can think of a quirky application or of a biomedical extension of the work.

The second type of articles below are my own press articles.
Here the topics are much more varied, from Applied Maths to Zoology. My article count on this front got a big boost in 2014, when I was selected by the British Science Association to work as a science journalist with Dick Alhstrom at The Irish Times for a month.


Artificial skin could allow robots to feel like we do
Horizon Magazine - 17 Jul 2017
A better understanding of skin tissue could pave the way for smart-transplants.

Working in STEM: Professor of Applied Mathematics
Smart Futures - 13 Jul 2017
My main task is to write scientific articles for international journals. It's a long process! I have to come up with an original idea, test it in theory, then test it with computers and experiments.

Ha sure that fella has gone all soft in the head!
Bright Club Ireland YouTube Channel - 30 Mar 2017
The expression "soft in the head" often comes back to me, as I happen to work in the field of soft solids.
[My first (and last!) attempt at stand-up comedy]

Galway mathematicians have found a way of making Batman's cape
thejournal.ie - 19 Feb 2017
Applied mathematicians from NUI Galway published a formula that works out how much voltage soft conductive materials or 'dielectric' membranes can take before they break.

Scientists at NUI Galway crack formula to Batman's flying wings
The Irish Times - 17 Feb 2017
Caped Crusader's capacity for flight moves a step closer after latest advance in research.

How heading a football over time can lead to brain damage
The Irish Times - 15 Feb 2017
Human body did not evolve to cope with most important organ moving inside skull.

Acoustic waves used to determine softness of brain matter
Acoustics Bulletin - Sep-Oct 2016
A team of researchers have measured how soft brain matter really is.

The Science of Surgery & Forensics
newstalk 106-108 fm - 16 Jul 2016
How can a mathematician help when it comes to surgery or forensic science?
[An interview with Jonathan McCrea at newstalk, about my research in biomechanics.]

FameLab Ireland Final 2016
Famelab YouTube Channel - 07 Apr 2016
Which is the best way to cut open a body? The answer to that question is not obvious, because skin is stretched in our body.
[I came second!]

How soft brain matter really is
Galway Bay FM - 14 Oct 2015
A five minute interview with Galway Bay FM, where I speak of my research on the softness of brain matter.

Soft in the head
Galway City Tribune - 09 Oct 2015
A team of Chinese researchers from Tsinghua University has collaborated with an applied mathematician at NUI Galway to measure how soft brain matter really is.

Meet our Editors: An interview with Michel Destrade
Royal Society Publishing - 07 May 2015
Michel Destrade has served on the Editorial Board of Proceedings A since 2011, and here he talks to us about his career.

Tra bitume e balletti, sfida al ridicolo
La Stampa - 26 Nov 2014
Michel Destrade si occupava di matematica applicata allo studio dei materiali.

Science of stabbing
newstalk 106-108 fm - 14 Oct 2014
New research has revealed how it will be possible to tell a courtroom how much force was used in a stabbing incident.
[on my work with the Irish State Pathologist Office and UCD's School of Mechanical Engineering]

Little pressure needed to stab someone
Irish Examiner - 13 Oct 2014
Pioneering research into stabbing has revealed that the forces required to stab someone are frighteningly low.
[on my work with the Irish State Pathologist Office and UCD's School of Mechanical Engineering]

Stabbing takes very little force
Irish Daily Star - 13 Oct 2014
A frightening new Irish study has revealed that the force needed to stab through skin is "surprisingly low".
[on my work with the Irish State Pathologist Office and UCD's School of Mechanical Engineering]

Concussion risks
The Irish Times - 01 Sep 2014
Concussion, a traumatic brain injury resulting in a disturbance of brain function, most commonly occurs in driving accidents and in some sports.
[an Irish Times editorial written on the heels of my article below]

A sporting chance against brain injury
The Irish Times - 28 Aug 2014
Our skulls may be hard, but what's inside is up to 20 times softer than jelly, which is why researchers are working to better understand brain trauma and how it can be avoided.
[on my work with the International Brain Mechanics and Trauma Lab]

Taking a stab at measuring knife forces
UCD Today - 01 Feb 2014
Knowing how much force was used in a stabbing incident can provide crucial forensic evidence. UCD researchers have developed a formula to work it out.

Human skin strength probed through experiments on corpses
WIRED magazine - 26 Feb 2013
A team of mechanical engineers from University College Dublin has analysed the mechanical properties of skin removed from cadavers to settle a debate that has perplexed anatomists for 150 years.

Experiments on Cadavers Settle 100 Year-Old Puzzle Over Human Skin Strength
MIT Technology Review - 26 Feb 2013
Langer lines map out the pattern of forces within the skin but nobody knew what caused them. Until now.

Studying Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway
NUI Galway YouTube Channel - 19 Dec 2012
Some people say Applied Maths is challenging, but it's not that difficult once you've acquired a taste for it.
[Warning: strong French accent ahead in this promotional video!]

Neuron forest grows out of brain trauma experiment
New Scientist (Blog) - 13 Jul 2012
You can't visit this tropical jungle. It's a forest of neurons snaking through a pig's brain. The brain cells, enlarged and coloured here, are being investigated to give scientists a clearer view of the mechanics of brain matter when it is hit hard.

The mechanics of traumatic brain injury
Physics Today - 03 Jul 2012
Blunt impacts and rapid angular accelerations-due to traffic collisions, sports accidents, falls, or other incidents-can cause traumatic brain injuries, a leading cause of death and disability.

The maths of stabbing
The Irish Times - 13 Oct 2011
Mathematicians and engineers at UCD, NUI Galway and the University of Lyon have been trying to help the State Pathologist's office in looking at ways to quantify various stabbing incidents.

The mechanics of stabbing
The Sunday Times - 09 Sep 2011
"I'm looking at quantifying how much force somebody would need to exert to cause a stab wound."

Making a real difference to the way real life works
Irish Independent - 06 May 2009
A question often asked of a medical witness is "What was the degree of force involved in the stabbing?" The answer may ultimately lead to a conviction or an acquittal.

Poussez pas le bouchon
La Recherche - Nov 2007
Les amateurs de bonnes bouteilles l'ont maintes fois experimente: le bouchon se deloge plus facilement si l'on effectue une torsion en meme temps que l'on tire.

Des chercheurs se penchent sur le tire-bouchon
Cyberpresse - 31 Oct 2007
Une equipe de physiciens franco-italienne a etudie le plus serieusement du monde la maniere ideale de deboucher une bouteille de vin.

Crisp, With a Hint of Calculus
Science - 31 Aug 2007
It's official: A cork will come out of a wine bottle more easily if you twist it as you pull..

How to remove the cork from a wine bottle
The Telegraph - 22 Aug 2007
It is more efficient to remove a cork from a bottle by a combination of twist and pull, rather than pulling alone, according to a team of French and Italian researchers.

La cite universitaire internationale de Paris
France 2 - 20 Jun 2006
Il descend d'un car de touriste, mais sa valise a le poids du savoir...
[hilarious TV news item on my friend Peppe Saccomandi's staying in the Cite Universitaire. I can be seen carrying a "suitcase heavy with knowledge".]


Doing the math: in praise of Hamilton and quaternions.
RTE Brainstorm - 17 May 2018
It's 175 years this week since mathematician William Rowan Hamilton invented quaternions during a stroll across a Dublin bridge.

Exploring the hidden black holes at the centre of our galaxy.
RTE Brainstorm - 18 May 2018
The discovery of black holes at the centre of the Milky Way will have major implications for future research.

What is going on in a baby's brain?
RTE Brainstorm - 14 Nov 2017
Fontanelle, the soft spot in an infant's skull, opens up a new window into the brain activity of newborns.

Meet Ireland's pioneering mathematical women.
RTE Brainstorm - 2 Nov 2017
A Maths Week salute to some of Irish women who lead the way when it came to a career in mathematics.

Your Bat-Cape is Ready, Mr. Wayne (But It Might Electrocute You)
SIAM News - 14 Jun 2017
Electro-active elastomers are soft solids that can deform not only under the action of mechanical forces and moments, but also when subject to an electric current.

Michael A. Hayes, RIP.
IUTAM News - 10 Jan 2017
The scientific community will remember Mike Hayes for his strong influence on the direction and quality of advanced education and research in Mechanics, for his kindness and wit, and for being a gentleman in work as in life.

Ronald Rivlin and the foundations of nonlinear elasticity
Royal Society Publishing - 03 Jun 2015
He was the right person at the right time, when continuum mechanics, field theory and tensor algebra were blooming and in search of applications in Nature and Engineering.

How many presents did my true love really send to me?
Irish Independent - 11 Dec 2014
Over the 12 days of Christmas, how many gifts did my true love send to me? According to our calculations, I would need to give my true love a daily present for a whole year in order to surpass his generosity.
[in collaboration with Dr Rachel Quinlan]

It all adds up at NUI Galway
Galway Independent - 08 Oct 2014
Schools in Galway will welcome NUI Galway experts into their classrooms to deliver interactive workshops during Maths Week 2014.
[I wrote the press release for this news article]

Hard challenges for soft robotics
The Irish Times - 01 Oct 2014
A cutting-edge branch of robotics takes its inspiration from nature's non-skeletal animals and organisms to design flexible, versatile robots made of rubber.
[a feature article I wrote for the weekly Science page]

Scientists call on sporting authorities to take concussion seriously
The Irish Times - 11 Sep 2014
For football and rugby authorities, this is a headache that is not going away.
[an article I wrote while covering the British Science Festival]

Future robots to teach maths and work in nursing homes
The Irish Times - 11 Sep 2014
The next generation of robots is going to have a new mix of talents, capable of teaching students the delights of maths or working as a care giver in a nursing home.
[an article I wrote with Dick Ahlstrom while covering the British Science Festival]

Homer Simpson and his mathematical equations
The Irish Times - 10 Sep 2014
The Simpsons: An (almost) infinite trove of mathematical nuggets.
[an article I wrote while covering the British Science Festival]

So you want to be a music producer? Just switch on your laptop
The Irish Times - 09 Sep 2014
Free software puts artificial intelligence in the mix for music producers.
[an article I wrote while covering the British Science Festival]

Almost 30,000 'citizen scientists' gather data to save bumblebees
The Irish Times - 08 Sep 2014
Planting more flowers in cities could stop the decline of bees, say experts.
[an article I wrote while covering the British Science Festival]

Maths needs to factor in more women
The Irish Times - 01 Sep 2014
Opinion: quotas help shortage of women in science.
[an opinion piece]

A sporting chance against brain injury
The Irish Times - 28 Aug 2014
Our skulls may be hard, but what's inside is up to 20 times softer than jelly, which is why researchers are working to better understand brain trauma and how it can be avoided.
[a feature article I wrote for the weekly Science page; it later prompted an editorial]

Method developed to 'print' replacement tissues using stem cells
The Irish Times - 27 Aug 2014
NUI Galway and start-up Poly-Pico aim to use process to grow tissues for transplants.
[a news article]

First functional organ to be grown inside an animal
The Irish Times - 25 Aug 2014
University of Edinburgh researchers used reprogrammed cells created in a lab.
[a news article]

Breastfeeding mothers less likely to suffer depression, study finds
The Irish Times - 20 Aug 2014
'Mental health of mothers' benefited by breastfeeding, says author.
[a front-page news article]

Trucker turned astrophysicist wins NASA funding for Queen's
The Irish Times - 20 Aug 2014
A major source of funding for a collaboration between Queen's University Belfast and NASA has just been awarded to one of Queen's astrophysicists.
[a news article]

Queen's University scientists take fight to hospital superbugs
The Irish Times - 19 Aug 2014
New natural protein gel could leave medical implants free of infectious agents like E.Coli.
[a news article]

Have you seen the elusive Irish stoat?
The Irish Times - 19 Aug 2014
The Irish stoat is the focus of a new research project just launched by the Animal Ecology and Conservation group at NUI Galway.
[a news article]

Making a Stab at Forensic Biomechanics
Research Matters / NUI Galway - Spring 2014
In recent years, the fields of biomechanics and forensic medicine have merged to form a new discipline: forensic biomechanics.

Global mathematical phenomenon at NUI Galway
Galway Advertiser - 17 Dec 2011
Professor Donal O'Regan of NUI Galway has just written his 1,000th peer-reviewed mathematical article, making him one of the most prolific authors in the history of mathematics in the world.
[I wrote the press release for this news article]

Outstanding student Fionnuala figures highly in maths awards
The Connacht Sentinel - 15 Nov 2011
NUI Galway Applied Mathematics student, Fionnuala Connolly, has been awarded a 2011 Hamilton Award in Mathematics by the Royal Irish Academy.
[I wrote the press release for this news article]