Top awards for researcher developing method of testing surgical scenarios for congenital heart disease

Monday, August 26, 2019 Press Office
Press Release

Shane McHugo, a postgraduate researcher in GMIT and Enterprise Ireland’s Medical and Engineering Technology (MET) Gateway, has won two prestigious national awards for his research work on the replication of surgical procedures for the treatment of congenital heart disease, in collaboration with Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin.

Shane, from Ballinakill, Co Galway, won the accolade ‘Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Award Winner 2019’ and went on to represent Ireland at the ‘Present around the World (PATW) Regional Final for Europe, Middle East and Africa’, which took place in Athens during the summer. He was the only Irish representative and was selected by an international panel of experts.

Shane also went on to be joint winner of ‘International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Young Professional Award Winner 2019’, hosted by National Standards Authority Ireland (NSAI)), and will travel to Shanghai later this year to present at the World Assembly.

Congenital heart disease is the most common type of birth defect which affects the heart with 500 to 600 babies born in Ireland each year with the condition. Shane’s PhD work focuses on assessing a number of different surgical procedures within an advanced bio-simulator in an attempt to optimise clinical results. The full development of this bio-simulator replicating congenital heart defects will provide surgeons and researchers next generation technology to test various surgical options and assess their clinical outcomes.

Shane’s supervisors on his PhD project are Professor Colin McMahon, Paediatric Cardiology Consultant, UCD, and Dr Liam Morris, GMIT’s GMedTech and MET Centres as a co-Principal Investigator.

Professor Colin McMahon says: “This innovative collaboration between the Paediatric Cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery department in Crumlin children’s hospital and GMIT shows real promise in progressing knowledge of children’s congenital heart disease. Shane has done a wonderful job with this project.”

Dr Liam Morris says: “Shane’s awards further demonstrate the value of our research being carried out within GMIT for simulating surgical procedures within patient specific cases”.

Shane McHugo joined the research staff of GMIT in 2015, undertaking postgraduate study in Biomedical Engineering, having completed his undergraduate B.Sc. in Production Management degree in the University of Limerick. Supported by the GMIT research and development fund, the congenital heart disease research programme was established by GMIT’s Dr Liam Morris, Dr Patrick Delassus and Dr Eugene McCarthy from GMIT’s GMedTech Centre, in conjunction with clinical partners Professor Colin McMahon, Paediatric Cardiologist, and Mr.Lars Nölke, Cardiothoracic surgeon, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

Read about Shane McHugo’s work, see: and LinkedIn
For information on the Institution of Engineering and Technology, see:
For information on IEC-NSAI


Issued by Regina Daly, GMIT Communications Officer.
Email:  Tel. 09- 742826 / 087-9618355 (m)