Meet the team working on UV-SINTEC project:

Professor Marcel Jansen

Principal Investigator

Professor Marcel Jansen is the main lead on the project. His expertise is in the field of Plant Sciences with a focus on the analysis of plant UV-B responses. Further details can be found at his research profile.

Dr Alan Morrison

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr Alan Morrison is a senior lecturer at the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department at UCC. Find more details at his Research Profile or on Researchgate.

Uthman Badmus

Postdoctoral Researcher

Uthman is a trained environmental/analytical chemistry researcher whose research interests include the use of analytical techniques for monitoring the impact of environmental parameters on the chemical constituents of marine and terrestrial plants, and the exploitation of changes in such parameters for developing functional foods with enhanced nutritional quality and bioactivity.

Having acquired a BSc in industrial chemistry from Oduduwa University (Nigeria) and an MSc in analytical chemistry from the University of Aberdeen (UK), Uthman acquired a PhD in environmental science from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UK), where he researched the potentials of seaweed as a value adding product for the food and drink industry. Currently, Uthman is a postdoctoral researcher on the UV-SINTEC project.

Find more information at:

Gaia Crestani

PhD Research Student

Gaia earned her B.Sc. in Applied Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Padua, Italy, in 2015. After graduating, she started a M.Sc. in Plant and Microbial Biotechnology at the University of Pisa, Italy, which she finished in 2018.

For her M.Sc. thesis, she investigated the effects of UV-B radiation on Lepidium meyenii Walp., a native Peruvian plant, that grows in the Andean highlands. This work was carried out at at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP), in Lima, Peru.

Currently, Gaia is a PhD student at the University College Cork (UCC), working on UV-SINTEC project. Her research is focused on the responses of the plants under different UV intensities, in terms of secondary metabolites production, changes in the plant morphology and interactions with pests.

Bianca Govi

PhD Research Student

As an Applied Plant Biology graduate from UCC, I am fundamentally fascinated by the role of plants as primary producers and their unique relationship to solar radiation.

In my research master, I pursued the interactions between aquatic monocot Lemna minor and associated microbiota in the context of wastewater remediation and nutrient biorecovery under the supervision of Prof. Marcel Jansen and Dr Niall O’Leary.

Now, as a PhD on the UV-SINTEC project, I am investigating the effects of UV-B radiation on plant morphology and secondary metabolites production, as well as the interaction between UV-B exposure and insect herbivory.

Find me at the accounts below:

Barbara Urbano

Research Assistant

Barbara graduated in 2019  with a BSc in Electrical Engineering at the University Ruhr West, Germany.

In 2021 she received an MSc in NonoEngineering at University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. The title of her thesis: "Fabrication and characterization of ternary organic solar cells for indoor applications".

In July 2021 Barbara joined our team, developing and building LED lamps and measurement units for plant sciences.

Find Barbara on LinkedIn

Sandra Jansen

Research Assistant (Admin)

Sandra Jansen has an MSc degree (including BSc) in Plant Sciences with Computer Sciences from Wageningen University, The Netherlands, with an emphasis on plant physiological research.

Sandra has worked as Research Assistant on several plant sciences research projects in the Weizmann Institute of Sciences (Rehovot, Israel), and in UAPS, Wye College (Kent, UK).

More recently, she has worked in UCC as Administrator for EU COST Action UV4Growth (FA0906).

She is currently working as Administrator (website, outreach) on the SFI-funded project on “Exploiting narrow-band UV-LEDs for Sustainable, Innovative, Technology-Enabled Cropping (UV-SINTEC)”. This project will develop novel UV-LED irradiation technology. The developed UV-emitting systems will be used to characterise pest tolerance, phytochemical content, and architecture in plants.

She is also working as Communications Officer for the EPA-funded research project “Impacts of MicroPlastics (IMP)“, which looks at the impacts of microplastics on the Irish freshwater environment. In this role she is responsible for the project website and outreach.

She is also involved with scientific editing and likes to be creative making graphics for science communication.

Linda O'Higgins

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Phone: 087 625 5067


A marine scientist by training, Linda’s research interests include marine microbial photobiology and biotechnology, sustainable development and the circular biobased economy. Joining the UV-SINTEC team in March 2018, she served as researcher in Dr. Morrison’s group. Her work varied from measuring LEDs to providing the common language interface between Engineering and Plant Science. Her work on the project led to her securing funding of her own to commercialise Omega-3 production from microalgae, for which she has received multiple commercialisation awards.


Linda holds a B.Sc. honours degree in Marine Science (1:1) and a Ph.D. in microbiology from NUIG. Graduating in 2006, she was awarded a U.S. National Academy of Sciences post-doctoral fellowship hosted collaboratively by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and Oregon State University. Research examined climate-driven changes in phytoplankton population structure and ecotoxicology for the development of an early warning forecast system for harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the Northern California Current. Following this, Linda served as a PDRA in microalgal physiology on the EU Interreg project, Sustainable Fuels from Marine Biomass or Biomara project.  This involved applied research focussed on the optimisation of laboratory culture conditions (temperature, light and nutrients) to maximize neutral lipid yields in oleaginous marine microalgae. During a six-year break from full-time research, Linda provided specialist consultancy services to the emerging marine biotechnology sector, providing expert advice and research services to niche start-ups, industry groups and academic institutes on both sides of the Atlantic.

Most recently, Linda served as co-ordinator of the DG EASME-funded project, SIMCelt, focussing on social, scientific and economic aspects of the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive and helping promote transnational cooperation in transboundary zones of the Celtic Seas.

Further details of Linda’s publication record and research interests can be found at Research Gate.

Nikolina Molnar

Research Assistant

Nikolina studied Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, where she graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degree. In her M.Sc. thesis, she designed a system for simulating stimulation protocols for embedded cochlea. During the project, she learned about digital signal processing, gaining experience in processing speech signal. Furthermore, she worked as a Hardware Engineer in an electronics companies in Zagreb, Croatia, gaining experience in high speed PCB design.

Nikolina joined the UV-SINTEC team as Research Assistant in November 2019. Since then, she has been designing LED lamps, which are used by plant scientists for different experiments. More specifically, she is improving uniformity of illuminance of artificial light sources.

Colm Murphy

Research Assistant

Colm was the first researcher hired to work on UV-SINTEC. In his short time on the project he did a lot of work to help automate the measurement process for the LED characterisation. He wrote software to automate the FLAME spectrometer data capture and captured measurement data for the initial batches of LEDs. He also worked on spectral modelling and fitting LED spectral profiles. He is currently employed as a Senior Development Engineer at ApisProtect.

Students and Alumni


Barry Ryan (Summer 2019) – For UV-SINTEC, I explored the use of a genetic algorithm to model the beam profile of a 2D array of LED’s spatially. I also modelled the combination of the spectral content of multiple LED’s. Currently I am pursuing a MSc in Data Science in Trinity College Dublin.



Ross McCormack (Summer 2019) – My role in the UV-SINTEC project was to design PCBs that would be used as current controllers for the LED arrays. I also aided John Maxwell with analysing and interpreting performance data using MATLAB and Excel from LEDs at different wavelengths. I am currently an Automation Engineer with NeoDyne Ltd.



Emily Long (Summer 2019) – Emily worked on the characterisation and automation of LED measurements. She also conducted experiments to calibrate photodiodes and make spectral measurements. She wrote and upgraded Python code to automate data collection and processing of LED spectra. She is currently employed as a Design Verification Engineer at Qualcomm in Cork.


Niamh Hourihan (Summer 2019) – In the UV-SINTEC project, I was responsible for setting up a stepping motor to automatically collect sets of measurements of a light source spectrum using a fibre-optic spectrometer and photodiode to map how uniform the intensity is via surface and contour plots. The stepping motor circuitry was refined to fit into a single PCB for future use. I am currently working in Intel Shannon as a software engineer on the Firmware team in Quick Assist Technology.


John Maxwell (Summer 2019) – John worked on the design and implementation of an instrument to measure LED beam profiles. He designed the electronics, wrote the software and integrated the measurement system with a PostgreSQL database. He also worked with Emily on the measurement, characterisation and calibration of photodiodes. He is currently working as an Electronic Design Engineer at Cypress Semiconductor in Cork.



Destinee Hung (MIT visiting student, Summer 2019) – Destinee was a visiting undergraduate student from MIT where she is studying Chemical Engineering. During her summer at UCC she assisted in making measurements of LED beam profiles and conducted several experiments on phosphors for generating broad spectrum light of different colour bands.



Ben O’Tuama (Summer 2020) – I worked on constructing an analog interface to manually control the spectral intensity of the LED tile using an actuator such as a potentiometer or pushbutton. I also helped with the mathematical modelling of light uniformity for luminous flux and spectral intensity of LEDs. I also worked on the data processing on a micro-controller to program a feedback control loop for automatic adjustment of LED intensity (still in progress). I am currently in 4th Year of a 5 Year Integrated Masters Program for Electrical and Electronic Engineering in UCC.



Aoife Fitton (Summer 2020) – During my time with UV-SINTEC my work revolved around the LED tile design and the PCB layout of these structures. I’m currently in my fourth year of studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering at UCC.



Seán Cahill (Summer 2020) – While part of the project I worked on developing a miniature, coarse optical spectrometer. This spectrometer was supported with some post processing to increase the resolution of the sensor. It was a continuation of work that I had completed for my BE Final Year Project. I also worked on developing a current controller device for powering the LED array lamps, aiming to provide unique currents and voltages to the various LEDs used in the lamps. I am currently working with the precision converter group in Analog Devices as a graduate applications engineer.



Ben Honohan (Summer 2020) – I am currently in my final year of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in UCC. As part of my third year summer work placement I worked on the optical Modelling of LED light uniformity using MATLAB and Python scripts. For my Final Year project I am continuing my work in the area of LED modelling using Python.

Undergraduate Projects

Ben Honohan (BE FYP 2020 – 21) – This is a continuation of the work I did for UV-SINTEC over the summer as an intern. I am further developing the optical modelling software to improve the user interface and add additional optical elements, such as lenses, reflectors and diffusers. The final aim is to be able to optimise the LED lamp layout to maximise flux and spectral uniformity.



Seán Cahill (BE FYP 2019 – 20) – I worked on developing a low-cost miniature optical spectrometer that can be used as a feedback element for monitoring the multichannel LED output spectrum.



Feargal O’Sullivan / John Gardiner (BE FYP 2020 – 21) – We are working on using UV-C LEDs in an integrated lamp design for use in sterilisation and disinfection applications. The technology being developed is complementary to the work being done on UV-SINTEC, though not directly connected.

MEngSc Projects

Lucas Jansen (2018 – 19) – Genetic Algorithm for Spectral Fitting: Lucas wrote a comprehensive genetic algorithm in Python to fit a discrete number of LED spectra to a desired input spectrum. This allows the LED lamp to closely replicate a target spectrum.



Yi Hui Gan (2018 – 19) – UV LED reliability testing: Yi Hui worked to develop an accelerated aging chamber for evaluating the lifetime of LEDs. This project was co-supervised by Prof. Peter Parbrook at UCC.



Qushen Dai (2019 – 20) – Multichannel current source with current monitoring: Qushen worked on the design and layout of a printed circuit board incorporating a 5 channel programmable current source and current monitoring for feedback control. He also implemented software on a microcontroller to interact with the board for adjusting the current output of each channel. He is currently working with Huawei in Dublin.

ME Projects

Eoin Crowley (2020 – 21) – Benchtop multichannel programmable current source: I’m building a benchtop multichannel constant current controller for LED lighting. I’m currently in my final year of the electronic and electrical integrated masters in UCC.


UV LED for Crops Research Group

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland, T23 TK30