Dr Alan McGibney

Group Lead for IoT Systems and User Interaction


Alan was awarded his PhD in Electronic Engineering in October 2008. His core research expertise lie in the areas of design and optimisation of wireless communication systems, wireless sensor networks for building automation, indoor localisation and software architectures. More recently, his focus has been on reconfiguration, reliability and management of infrastructure for the Physical web, Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical Systems.

Within Nimbus Centre his main duties include:

  • The definition, refinement and leadership of the research and innovation strategy and alignment with the overarching Institute strategy
  • Supervision, performance management and development of researchers and team members
  • Promote and Implement research excellence and maximise innovation impact through multi-disciplinary projects
  • Lead funding acquisition, in conjunction with group members and PIs in the Centre
  • Alan has a successful track record in managing and developing research proposals both at a national (EI, IERC) and European level (FP7, H2020).

From November 1st 2015 he has lead the technical management for the EU funded H2020 TOPAs (#676760) project, which investigates the reduction of the gap between predicted and actual energy use across blocks of buildings.

Previously he has been CITs technical lead in the EU FP7 SCUBA project focusing on Systematic Engineering for Wireless Building Automation Systems. In national funded programmes he was the technical lead in the SFI funded ITOBO project responsible for the deployment of large scale wireless embedded networks for Optimised Building Operation. He is also responsible for the system architecture definition and integration in the IERC EMWINS project which supports model based fault detection and diagnosis.

His research and interaction with key industry players has resulted in the development of formal design, deployment, management and verification methodologies for wireless embedded systems which have been encapsulated into cloud based tools and services covering the complete lifecycle of wireless sensor networks (known as WiSuite).

He has also been one of the lead developers of the Nimbus Centre NICORE integration and computational platform, which is a scalable, distributed and extensible platform that enables the collection of sensor data from a large number of subsystems; provides computing resources to process those measurements into meaningful quantities and finally make this processed information available to business applications built on top of the platform.


PhD Electronic Engineering, Cork Institute of Technology 2008

Overall R & D

Alan’s current research focus is on the convergence of digital technologies such as IoT, Blockchain and Machine Learning to support digital transformation. The objective is to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds through enabling technologies that support the deployment, integration, management and verification for large-scale distributed applications in industrial sectors such as Smart Cities, Industry 4.0 and Energy. He leads EU funding acquisition and has held scientific and technical management roles in H2020 programme projects including H2020 TOPAs (creating an IoT based Open Building Management System), and INSPEX (Context-Aware Interaction for Visually Impaired and Blind). He is currently co-PI on the SEAI funded project called DigiBlocks which is focused on the application of Distributed Ledger Technology as a governance structure for future Smart Energy Communities.

ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0665-2005

INSPEX: Make environment perception available as a portable system J Foucault, S Lesecq, et al, Smart Systems Integration; 13th International Conference and Exhibition on Integration Issues of Miniaturized Systems, 2019

MAllEC: Fast and Optimal Scheduling of Energy Consumption for Energy Harvesting Devices V Cionca, A McGibney, S Rea, IEEE Internet of Things Journal 5 (6), 5132-5140, 2018

Towards a portable smart spatial exploration system for environment perception S Lesecq, O Debicki, J Foucault, L Ouvry, M Correvon, G Dudnik, J Barrett, …2018

Assistive Smart, Structured 3D Environmental Information for  the Visually Impaired and Blind: Leveraging the INSPEX Concept. S Lesecq, et al, FedCSIS Communication Papers, 73- 82, 2018

Generating models for Model Predictive Control in buildings C Fauvel, K Witheephanich, A McGibney, S Rea, S Lesecq, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute Proceedings 2 (15), 2018

Roshany-Yamchi, K. Witheephanich, J. Manuel Escano, A. McGibney, S. Rea. 2017. Selective Distributed Model Predictive Control for Comfort Satisfaction in Multi-Zone Buildings. ICSTCC 2017 – 21st International Control on System Theory, Control and Computing, Sinaia, Romania

Marfievici, P. Corbalan, D. Rojas, A. McGibney, S. Rea, D. Pesch. 2017. Tales from the C130 Horror Room: A Wireless Sensor Network Story in a Data Center. In Proceedings of the 1st ACM International Workshop on the Engineering of Reliable, Robust, and Secure Embedded Wireless Sensing Systems (FAILSAFE), pp.23-30

McGibney, A.; Pusceddu, D.; Rea, S.; Pesch, D.; Geron, M. & Keane, M. (2012), A methodology for sensor modeling and placement optimization to support temperature monitoring., in George J. Pappas, ed., ‘BuildSys@SenSys’ , ACM, , pp. 88-90 .

McGibney, A.; Beder, C.; Klepal, M. (2012), MapUme Smartphone Localisation as a Service – a cloud based architecture for providing indoor localisation services., International Conference on Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation (IPIN).

McGibney, A.; Guinard, A. & Pesch, D. (2011), Wi-Design: A modelling and optimization tool for wireless embedded systems in buildings., in Chun Tung Chou; Tom Pfeifer & Anura P. Jayasumana, ed., ‘LCN’ , IEEE Computer Society, , pp. 640-648 .

Guinard, A.; Aslam, M. S.; Pusceddu, D.; Rea, S.; McGibney, A. & Pesch, D. (2011), Design and deployment tool for in-building wireless sensor networks: A performance discussion., in Chun Tung Chou; Tom Pfeifer & Anura P. Jayasumana, ed., ‘LCN’ , IEEE Computer Society, , pp. 649-656 .

Beder, C.; McGibney, A. & Klepal, M. (2011), Predicting the expected accuracy for fingerprinting based WiFi localisation systems., in ‘IPIN’ , IEEE, , pp. 1-6 .

McGibney, A.; Klepal, M. & Pesch, D. (2011), ‘Agent-Based Optimization for Large Scale WLAN Design.’, IEEE Trans. Evolutionary Computation 15 (4), 470-486.

Aslam, M. S.; Guinard, A.; McGibney, A.; Rea, S. & Pesch, D. (2011), Wi-design, Wi-manage, why bother?, in Nazim Agoulmine; Claudio Bartolini; Tom Pfeifer & Declan O’Sullivan, ed., ‘Integrated Network Management’ , IEEE, , pp. 730-744 .

McGibney, A.; Guinard, A. & Pesch, D. (2011), Wi-Design: A modelling and optimization tool for wireless embedded systems in buildings., in Chun Tung Chou; Tom Pfeifer & Anura P. Jayasumana, ed., ‘LCN’ , IEEE Computer Society, , pp. 640-648 .

McGibney, E.; Barton, J.; Floyd, L.; Tassie, P.; Barrett, J. (2011), The High Frequency Electrical Properties of Interconnects on a Flexible Polyimide Substrate Including the Effects of Humidity., IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, vol.1, no.1, pp. 4-15.

INSPEX- Integrated Smart Spatial Exploration System http://www.inspex-ssi.eu/

 The INSPEX objective is to develop a portable/wearable, multi-sensor, miniaturised, low power spatial exploration system. The INSPEX system will be used for real-time, 3D detection, location and warning of obstacles under all environmental conditions in indoor and outdoor environments with unknown static and mobile obstacles. INSPEX use applications include mobility for the visually impaired, safer human navigation in reduced visibility conditions (smoke, dust, fog, heavy rain/snow, darkness or combinations of these), small robot/drone. The INSPEX system will adapt obstacle-detection capabilities common in autonomous cars for portable and wearable  applications including guidance for the visually impaired and blind, robotics, drones and smart manufacturing. It will be used for real-time, 3D detection, location and warning of obstacles under all environmental conditions. These include smoke, dust, fog, heavy rain/snow, and darkness, and in indoor and outdoor environments with unknown stationary and mobile obstacles.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement no 730953. 

This work was supported in part by the Swiss secretariat for education, research and innovation (SERI) under grant 16.0136 730953.

SFI Centre for Research Training in Advanced Networks for Sustainable Societies: “ADVANCE CRT” http://advance-crt.cs.ucc.ie/

DigiBlocks (SEAI RD 2018, 18/RDD/262)


Current Projects:

Tharindu Ranathunga (student): Blockchain for Trusted IoT ecosystems.

Georgi Nikolov (student): Dynamic uplink data rate estimation, prediction and network selection in a vehicular mobile channel.

Yasantha Chamara Samarawickrama (student): Dependable wireless networking for industrial environments