We are a multi-disciplinary research centre

About NetwellCASALA

Population ageing is wrought with challenges, but it also offers many opportunities - at NetwellCASALA our multidisciplinary research and development activities are focused on developing more integrated community-oriented services, more sustainable home and neighbourhood design, and more age-friendly technologies.

Working closely with our business partners, members of the community, health services, local and national government, other academic establishments and ageing affiliated agencies, we are actively translating ideas into practical solutions that improve the lives of older people and those who care for them, whilst also creating new business opportunities and informing public policies.

NetwellCASALA is a joint venture between Dundalk Institute of Technology, the Health Service Executive of Ireland and Louth County Council. We have established links with a global network of stakeholders, placing us at the forefront of understanding of ageing and age-friendliness. Our knowledge, insight and experience have enabled us to be highly influential in the development of collaborative stakeholder engagements, including: the Great Northern Haven development, Age Friendly Ireland Initiative, and the establishment of Cúltaca or service brokers who work independently and directly with older people. We also work with industry to achieve product innovation, business competitiveness, and market leadership in the emerging ambient assisted living (AAL) sector. For further information on our projects click here.

Our activities involve an array of disciplines including the social and behavioural sciences, health and medical sciences, computer science, engineering, design, marketing and business administration. We work across the three inter-related and mutually reinforcing strands of communities, environment and technologies. We are in a unique position of being able to provide our partners with a complete concept-to-trial, product and service development environment through the NetwellCASALA Living Lab.

We are witnessing the emergence of a new "Silver Economy" and our in-depth understanding of this marketplace, combined with a commercial acumen allows us to offer valued consulting expertise, abilities to optimise your research and development functions, and/or license emerging products. Contact us today to discuss how we might help you.

The Living Lab

The Living Lab

A living lab is defined as "a user-centred open-innovation ecosystem operating in a territorial context, integrating concurrent research and innovation processes within a public-private-people partnership". A living lab seeks to involve all stakeholders as co-creators and co-designers in the research. The NetwellCASALA living lab provides an array of environments that offer an opportunity, at every stage of the development cycle, to work with older people, carers, engineers, scientists, healthcare professionals and service providers in both realistic test environments and directly in the community. The NetwellCASALA Living Lab is a member of the European Network of Living Labs.


The Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) is a high-tech immersive virtual reality system which the team at NetwellCASALA use to develop and test new technological, environmental and architectural concepts and designs before they are fully realised. The CAVE is a cube shaped room which offers a multi-person, multi-screen, high-res 3D video and audio interactive environment. As the user moves and interacts within the display boundaries, the correct 3D perspective is displayed in real-time to achieve a fully immersive experience.

Meet the team

Rodd Bond Director

Rodd is the founder and director of NetwellCASALA and an architect by background. Rodd has a wide range of interests including creating and sustaining healthy communities and homes; the inter-relationship between environment and peoples’ health and wellbeing; organic design methods and community decision-making frameworks. Rodd is past President of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce and continues to hold a strong interest in local policy and business. Rodd has secured over €10m funding for NetwellCASALA since 2006. Away from the office, Rodd is known to enjoy a game of golf.

[email protected]
+353 (0) 42 9370675

Gordon Boyle Software Developer

Gordon is a Software Developer at NetwellCASALA. He received a BSc (Hons) degree in Commercial Computing from DkIT in 2006 along with a MA in Music Technology in 2008. Before joining NetwellCASALA Gordon worked as a freelance developer and an assistant lecturer in the Department of Creative Media at DkIT. Gordon is involved in the H2020 ProACT project along with design and devlopment for the ThinkTech project.

[email protected]

Sarah Brock Postgraduate Student

Sarah Brock is a MSc student on the DCU-DkIT Postgraduate Programme, based in NetwellCASALA. Her supervisors are Dr Lucia Carragher (NetwellCASALA) and Catherine O’Connor (Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Studies). Her research studies are part of a larger project, The Changing Lives Initiative, which focuses on ADHD in childhood and the Incredible Years Programme. Her research explores primary school teachers and early years educators’ knowledge and attitudes of ADHD and the influence of information and awareness sessions on this level of knowledge. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies (2017) and was awarded the President’s Prize for Academic Excellence (2017). She currently delivers classes on the Special Needs and Research modules to students on the Early Childhood Studies Degree in Dundalk Institute of Technology.

[email protected]

Dr. Lucia Carragher Research Fellow

Lucia is a Research Fellow in NetwellCASALA leading projects concerned with the social aspects of ageing. She has a background in both quantitative and qualitative methods and analysis. Her relevant research and teaching interests lie broadly in the areas of ageing, community care, dementia, quality of life, and informal learning and well-being. She has successfully supervised students to MSc and PhD level and is currently supervising two MSc and one PhD student.

[email protected]
+353 (0) 42 9370677

Karen Coan Research Assistant

Karen is currently working at NetwellCASALA as a Research Assistant on the MAESTRO project under the EU Ambient Assisted Living programme. Karen has an honours degree in International Business Communications from the University of Ulster and a Postgraduate Diploma in Export Marketing from McMaster University in Toronto. Karen has 15 years’ experience in marketing and commercial project management. Her passion lies in community development and is particularly interested in developments aimed at improving the lives of people as they age. She is very involved in community development in her local village and has enjoyed volunteering at Meals and Wheels and Good Morning Louth befriending services.

[email protected]

Breda Connor Administration

Breda joined NetwellCASALA in 2007 and worked with Rodd in setting up the Centre. She has a Diploma in Project Management and has previously worked as a Junior Systems Analyst for the Revenue Commissioners. In her current role as Senior Programme Administrator she is responsible for office administration, diary management, events and the day to day running of the Centre.

[email protected]
+353 (0) 42 9370497

Jason Devine Research Assistant

Jason Devine is a Research Assistant at NetwellCASALA with extensive experience in Local Government, Small Business Support and Public/Private partnerships. Jason has a range of qualifications including a Business Studies Degree (Hons) with additional training in Social and Digital media and a National Craft Certificate in Engineering.

[email protected]
+353 (0) 42 9370497 Ext:2108

Yohanca Diaz Postgraduate Student

Yohanca has a background on Nursing and an MSc in “Ageing, Health & the Environment”. She is currently undertaking a PhD studentship as part of the Eastern Corridor of Medical and Engineering Centre (ECME) project. Her study is focused on exploring multi-disciplinary working practices in cardiac care to in-home older patients, and the impact that telemonitoring has on healthcare staff working practices and on system outcomes. The findings of her study will yield valuable information from health professionals at hospital and community level and how telemonitoring tasks are handled [or not] at the operational level and what this means for policymakers charged with planning for the needs of a growing older population living with chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease. Yohanca is registered with the Teaching Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. She is currently working as an Adult Education Tutor in O’Fiaich Institute of Further Education and as a PhD student has been invited to provide lectures to undergraduates in DkIT.

[email protected]

Dr. Julie Doyle Research Fellow

Julie is a Research Fellow in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at NetwellCASALA. Julie received a BSc (Hons) degree in Computer Science from University College Dublin in 2002 and a PhD in Human Computer Interaction from UCD in 2006. Julie joined NetwellCASALA in January 2011 and leads HCI research that crosses the fields of ambient assisted living, falls prevention, emotional wellbeing and telehealth. Her current research is examining the effectiveness of various types of feedback to convey health and wellbeing information to older adults; how to increase older adults’ awareness of their own health and ultimately support them in self-management of their health with the goal of enhancing quality of life. Julie is Principle Investigator on the H2020 ProACT project and Co-Principle Investigator on the SpONSOR and Maestro projects. She is also leading the design of the Alone platform under the ThinkTech project.

[email protected]
+353 (0) 42 9370115

Dr. Oonagh Giggins Research Fellow

Oonagh Giggins is a research fellow and project manager on the Eastern Corridor Medical Engineering (ECME) project in NetwellCASALA in DKIT. Oonagh graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) with a 1st Class Honours BSc degree in Physiotherapy, and was awarded with the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapist (ISCP) prize for clinical placement. She received her MSc in 2011, and her PhD in 2014, both from UCD. Oonagh was awarded an Industry Fellowship grant from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and undertook a one-year fellowship with Novartis, in their Global Service Centre in Dublin. Her current research interests are in personal sensing and the use of novel technologies in rehabilitation, healthcare and clinical trials.

[email protected]

Ann Marron Cultaca Service Broker

Ann R.G.N. S.C.M. Care of the Elderly. Ann has nursing experience in acute hospitals, extended care facilities, private nursing homes and the community. Ann has worked as one of two lead Cúltaca (service brokers for older people) in NetwellCASALA since September 2007.

[email protected]
+353 (0) 42 9370360

David McQuaid Postgraduate Student

David is currently undertaking a PhD in Human Computer Interaction at NetwellCASALA, supervised by Dr Julie Doyle. His research focuses on designing digital behaviour change interventions to support older adults managing cardiac conditions. He currently lectures in Programming and Computing at Dkit.

[email protected]

Orla Moran Postdoctoral Researcher

Orla is a Postdoctoral researcher on the Changing Lives Initiative with NetwellCASALA. This research involves a process and cost-effectiveness evaluation of the Incredible Years Parenting Programme for behaviours consistent with ADHD in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Orla has a B.A. (hons) in Psychology from UCD and completed her PhD in the area of Contextual Behavioural Science in 2017. She has worked as a senior postgraduate demonstrator and tutor wherein she taught research and critical thinking skills to undergraduate psychology students. Orla has also worked as an Assistant Psychologist for the organisation ACT Now Ireland, where she assisted in the delivery of workshops and training in mindfulness-based approaches to both professionals and clinical populations and contributed to resources and articles.

[email protected]

Stuart Quinn Finance Manager

A business studies graduate from the College of Commerce, Rathmines, Stuart is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant. He joined NetwellCASALA in April 2007 as Finance Manager having worked as a Senior Internal Auditor in DIT for over three years. Stuart has responsibility for all financial matters in relation to NetwellCASALA including complying with the reporting requirements of all stakeholders. His previous positions include roles in the Civil Service, the Food Industry and a three year spell as an entrepreneur.

[email protected]
+353 (0) 42 9370673

Patricia Sheridan Research Assistant

Having worked in administrative roles for over 20 years, Patricia returned to full-time education in 2007 and completed a FETAC Level 5 in Nursing Studies in Cavan Institute. She undertook a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Intellectual Disabilities nursing which she finished in 2012. Patricia was awarded a scholarship by DkIT to undertake a Master of Science by research degree as part of her role as Enterprise Intern within the School of Health and Science. She completed the degree in 2017 and is currently working as a researcher with the ProACT project in NetwellCasala.

[email protected]

Suzanne Smith Projects Coordinator

Suzanne earned a B.Soc.Sc. from UCD and worked in mental health, substance abuse and health education in the U.S. for fifteen years before returning to Ireland. In addition to experience teaching healthcare in the adult education sector, Suzanne has an extensive background in intercultural and anti-racism training and research. After completing a Higher Diploma in Business at DkIT in 2012, she joined NetwellCASALA as part of a European research team exploring Social Innovation in Ageing initiatives. Suzanne completed an MSc at DKIT, in conjunction with the Cavan and Monaghan Age Friendly Alliance, exploring barriers experienced by older people to accessing and using general practice out-of-hours (GPOOH). Suzanne is currently working on ProACT, an EU Horizon 2020 funded research project aiming to develop technology to support older people with multiple chronic health conditions to self-manage their health and wellbeing.

[email protected]

Michael Wilson Postgraduate Student

Michael is currently undertaking a PhD in Human Computer Interaction with NetwellCASALA, supervised by Dr Julie Doyle. His research project focuses on the user-centred design of applications that support older informal carers in the self-management of their health and wellbeing, specifically in the area of stress management, mindfulness-based interventions and sleep quality. Michael has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and German from University College Dublin (2004), a Master of Arts degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Dundalk Institute of Technology (2009) and a Graduate Diploma in Digital Media from Dublin Institute of Technology (2013). He currently lectures in both Human Computer Interaction and English Language in Dundalk Institute of Technology.

[email protected]

Yiyang Sheng Postgraduate Student

Yiyang is a PhD in NetwellCASALA, supervised by Dr. Julie Doyle and Dr. Rajesh Jaiswal. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree (2009) and Master of Research in Computer Science degree (2017) from University of Liverpool. Currently, he just start his research project at Feb, 2018 and his research project focuses on Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) for self-managed home-based health care plans for old adults with cardiac conditions.

[email protected]