Samantha Finnigan | Doctoral Trainee

Samantha Finnigan

I am a postgraduate researcher in Open Lab, my research interests are in and around the areas of sustainability, IoT, built-environment monitoring and grassroots, data-led auditing. My PhD project examines how sensor technologies can be built up into "sensor kits" which can be used to evidence problems, or negotiate changes in the lived environment. I helped develop firmware, software and documentation for an open-source sensor technology, BuildAX, in-house at Open Lab. These sensors contain temperature, humidity, light and PIR/movement sensors. I'm now looking at deployment contexts for these kits, for example to log & track humidity issues in residential housing, or used for reducing energy use by facilities managers (to make a case for funding replacement of LED lighting, or turning off heating in a building by tracking occupancy).

I earned my BSc in Computing Science (with Industrial Placement) at Newcastle University in 2013. As part of this I took a one-year placement at IBM (UK) Hursley Labs in Hampshire, where I first became interested in using sensor technologies to explore sustainable goals. My undergraduate dissertation attempted to use the room-occupancy sensors developed as part of the TEDDI project to enrich per-appliance energy-monitoring data gathered from a student household.

Following the completion of my degree, I worked in the group as a Research Assistant on the SiDE project, working on the ONSiDE participatory platform, and in particular the Skype Seniors project, before starting my PhD studies in September 2014.
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