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MIRA researcher appointed adjunct professorship from Ireland's Institute of Technology in Carlow

Vrkljan, Brenda 1Published: ​January 31, 2020 | By ​Summer Shepherd

Brenda Vrkljan, professor in McMaster University’s School of Rehabilitation Science and member of the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA), has been appointed Adjunct Professor in Design and Ageing by the department of Humanities at the Institute of Technology Carlow, Ireland.

Vrkljan researches aging, driving safety and community mobility – including the Candrive study that tracked close to a 1,000 older drivers across Canada. She integrates, and is an active advocate for, ‘design thinking’, a formal user-centred, transdisciplinary method of solution-focused thinking, into research practices.

“By bringing IT Carlow’s expertise in collaborative design and user-centred methods, we are capitalizing on our respective strengths in health and evidence-based approaches. I am very excited about this research partnership and the innovation that will result,” said Vrkljan.  

In line with a Memorandum of Understanding signed between IT Carlow and McMaster University in December 2018, Vrkljan will contribute to the enhancement of research and teaching within postgraduate programs in Product and Industrial Design.

“Ireland and Canada have rapidly aging populations and the need for interdisciplinary collaborations through design are paramount to tackle complexity,” said Dr. P.J. White, research leader at designCORE, a research centre at the Insitute of Technology Carlow. “Professor Vrkljan brings with her world class research experience in aging, and we are delighted with the announcement.”

The head of the Department of Humanities at IT Carlow, Dr. Eileen Doyle Walsh, said “The appointment allows us to build on our partnerships with other influential academics, which will grow our research capacity and increase our potential for future collaborations and impact.”

Vrkljan will work directly with White on growing research in design and aging initiatives between Ireland and Canada.

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