Hello and welcome to another boring website. My name is Rob (Robert) O’Connor and I’m using this as a collection space for thoughts and musings on projects (i.e. dumping ground). I live in Waterford (Ireland) with my wife and children. There’s a few aspects to my professional life, so in no particular order of merit or preference …

My main job is working as a lecturer in the Department of Computing & Mathematics at the South East Technological University (SETU). At present, I teach computer science and programming at undergraduate levels. In the past, I’ve also specialised in media tools with a special emphasis on audio production. I’m the Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing, which might sound fancy, but in all honesty that means a large part of my working day involves editing spreadsheets and solving problems. 

I’m heavily involved in academic podcasting at SETU. I host The Machine, a computer science education podcast and 9Plus, a series that looks at researcher across the Institute. I produce and work with the hosts of other podcasts at WIT including The Nerve, WinWin, Viking Sport and Student Life & Learning. The guiding principle behind all of these is to present potentially dense topics in an accessible format. Sometimes, it’s easier to listen to a 30 minute conversation than read through a long PDF. 

Acrojunk live (2006?)

Music has always played a huge part of my life and I would says strongly defines my identity. Even though I haven’t gigged in while (last seen with a guitar in Whelans in March 2020!), I have written, recorded and released music under my own name and with the bands Acrojunk (now defunct) and Fighting Spiders (COVID killed my involvement with that band ☹️). I have a heap of unreleased material written and am always threatening to unleash a solo album (because the world needs another 40-something man telling you his thoughts through song.) I also work as a musician with some theatre groups, most notably Waterford Spraoi. Back in the deep mists of time, I used to DJ in some local clubs and pubs, which brings me onto the final part of my professional life.

Broadcasting from Oxegen music festival. Sexy ‘tache (2008)

For 17 years, I presented Irish Beats on Beat 102-103, a radio show that focus on the contemporary Irish music scene. There’s a huge amount of brilliant material released by Irish artists every month, most of which doesn’t get much recognition. Airtime is finite resource, but I always did my best to play as much high quality music to as large an audience as possible. If one listener a week discovered a new act, then I considered it a successful show. Due to time pressures, I finished up on the radio in March 2023. Irish Beats continues with a new host and is broadcast every Sunday from 8-10pm every Sunday on Beat 102-103.

I’ve been posting shows to my personal MixCloud profile. BTW I’m not some sort of xenophobic music nationalist! I listen to a wide variety of music from all over the world, but on the radio I focused on homegrown sounds.

Besides all that, I volunteer at my local Coder Dojo. I like to run and keep relatively fit. I regularly complete 5 and 10k distances and have done a few half-marathons in my time. I’ve never run a full marathon though and don’t think I want to either! I’m *love* food and am happiest at weekends cooking up a storm in the kitchen, listening to records and getting lost in my own head. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and playing video-games, especially those of the science fiction & fantasy variety.

I’ve been threatening to do a PhD for years and am thinking of ploughing the podcasting work into a doctorate, as it ties together many aspects of my professional life. We’ll see how that goes ….

I am interested in research opportunities around podcasting, especially from an academic or outreach perspective. I’m contactable at robert.oconnor@setu.ie for SETU-related matters. I also have my DMs open on Twitter/X for everything else @roboconnor_irl 

I am not a prolific academic publisher, but that’s something I’m trying to work on. My OrcID is 0000-0002-9601-8453