Maynooth University

NUIM has 26 Academic Departments which are organized into three Faculties: Arts, Celtic Studies and Philosophy; Science and Engineering, and Social Sciences.

Building on a tradition of scholarship and excellence in all aspects of its teaching and learning, and research activities, within the liberal arts and sciences tradition NUI Maynooth is committed to being a first class research-led centre of learning and academic discovery. The Biomedical Engineering Research Group is a research group within the Department of Electronic Engineering at NUI Maynooth and has a strong focus on neurorehabilitation technologies especially in the area of brain computer interfaces, wearables, assistive technology, signal processing, sensing and serious gaming.

NUIM led by Dr Thomas Ward is part of “INSIGHT Ireland’s Big Data and Analytics Research Centre”. This €88 million centre is funded by a combination of industrial partners and Science Foundation Ireland. The goal of the centre is to conduct high impact research in data analytics with an emphasis on improving decision making for societal benefit. Dr Ward and his team are involved in two research strands relevant to iDEATE – the development of neural-derived cognitive training systems of utility in dementia and related conditions and the information technologies for wearable and ambient living.

The functional brain monitoring laboratory for the Biomedical Engineering Research Group is well equipped for monitoring of brain function both in controlled and home environments. Equipment comprises dual site, self-built dual wavelength NIRS system capable of BCI performance; a self-built 12 channel diffuse optical tomography system wavelength system; TechEN – CW4 – Continuous Wave 32 – LASER Diffuse Optical Tomography System – 32 source/detector pairs; NeuroPulse MS-24R EEG Amplifiers – Basic EEG amplifiers; 32 channel Biosemi Active 2 EEG system with active electrodes; 2 x 16 channel G.Tec USB-based EEG amplifiers; Neuroelectric Enobio 8 channel EEG system for ambulatory EEG monitoring; general purposes physiological measurement system comprising a Biopac MP100 which includes ECG, PPG, Respiration, EMG, Evoked potentials and EEG; An electronics workshop for prototyping, design and build including PCB and 3D printing.

  • Key Contacts

    Dr. Tomas Ward ( is Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering at NUIM (since 1999) and leads the Biomedical Engineering Research Group. Dr. Ward holds B.E., M.Eng.Sc. and Ph.D (Biomedical Engineering) degrees from University College, Dublin. His current research lies in the area of connected health with an emphasis on rehabilitation technologies. Current projects range from cognitive rehabilitation technologies utilising brain computer interfaces, cloud-based sensor processing and denoising, distributed computing for semantic web technologies, agent-based approaches for virtual therapy and music processing for restoration of movement and function. Dr Ward has authored more than 180 peer-reviewed publications and has supervised to completion 18 research students (10 PhD). His research team comprises 4 PhD students and 3 post-doctoral researchers. Dr Ward has managed many national and international research projects both in fundamental and applied research and is the Irish National Delegate for the European COST Action TD1006 – Robotics for Neurorehabilitation. Recently Dr Ward has launched a publicly available, free sensor platform for mobile health applications called Sensormonkey and has led the development and licensing of a mobile (Android) patient health management system to an Irish SME – ADA Ltd in 2011.