Dr Rebecca Beck

Trinity Centre for Bioengineering,
Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute,
Trinity College Dublin,
152-160 Pearse Street,
Dublin 2

Email: beckr@tcd.ie


Biographical Information

Dr Rebecca Beck is a Research Fellow and Project Manager for the Dystonia Research Group – a joint research initiative between the Neural Engineering Laboratory, Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Neurology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin.  

Dr Beck is interested in the junction between engineering and medicine, in particular, bringing engineering to bear on solving problems in medicine and rehabilitation, with a specific focus on electrophysiology.

Dr Beck attained her B.Eng. with first class honors in Electronic Engineering in 1999 from University College Dublin.  She obtained her Ph.D. in 2003 for her thesis ‘Conduction Velocity Estimation from the Surface Electromyogram’, also from University College Dublin.

A significant part of the preparation for her Ph.D. was conducted in the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands.  She has also worked as a visiting scientist at The Newman Laboratory of Biomechanics and Rehabilitation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, USA; as a biomedical researcher at The Signal Processing Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, Switzerland; and in The National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin.

While at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin, Dr Beck secured funding for a range of projects addressing clinical needs, including access to assistive technologies for patients and staff.  Dr Beck secured an initial grant of €490,677 (and subsequently over €400,000 additional funding) enabling her to establish and manage ‘Try-It.ie’, a multi-awarding winning on-line library of assistive technology which served 30 disability agencies at nearly 100 locations throughout Ireland (2007-2011).

Summary of Other Experience & Qualifications

  • Research Fellow – VERVE Project, Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering (2014): The project focused on the use of virtual reality in assessment and treatment of freezing of gait in Parkinson’s Disease, one strand of VERVE, a multi-centre EU-funded project.
  • Clinical Research Manager – (2005– 2007): Managed a collaborative project between University College Dublin and the National Rehabilitation Hospital to facilitate the establishment of a dynamic academic research focus at the hospital.
  • Expert Evaluator – European Commission (2005– 2009)
  • Lecturer – (2004-2005) – Full-time temporary lecturer at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University College Dublin (2004-2005). Lectured two courses (Computer Architecture & Electrical Machines), managed related laboratories and supervised student research and final year projects.
  • Biomed. Eng. Postdoctoral Researcher & Strategic Coordinator – School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University College Dublin (2003–2004): Responsible for the development and promotion of Biomedical Engineering in University College Dublin.
  • Co-ordinator and Lecturer – week-long Rehabilitation Engineering module for the All-Ireland M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering (2013); also taught and organised aspects of the shorter modules of previous years (2006, 2007 & 2009-2012).
  • PRINCE 2 – Project Management, Registered Practitioner (2007).
  • Certificate in Principles of Management, UCD (2004).
  • Mother of four children (born: 2006, 2008, 2010 & 2014).



Personal Awards

  • The National University of Ireland, Travelling Studentship (doctoral) in Engineering & Architecture (2000-2003).
  • Finalist, Engineers Ireland, Biomedical Engineering Medal (2003).
    Electronic and Electrical Eng. Departmental Scholarships, UCD (1999-2000 & 2000-2001).

Awards for ‘Try-It.ie’ under the management of Dr Beck:

  • Winner of the inaugural Neurological Alliance of Ireland Innovation Award, (2010). This award recognises excellence and innovation in neurological service delivery in Ireland.
  • Finalist ACCESS-IT@home, at the international ACCESS-IT Awards, London, (2010). The ACCESS-IT@home award recognises ICT based projects, products or services that advance independent living for people with disabilities or elderly.
    Finalist in the Irish Healthcare Awards, (2010).


Publications in International Reviewed Journals

  • Beck R.B.J., O’Malley M.J., Stegeman D.F., Nolan P., Connolly S., Zwarts M.J., Houtman C., ‘Tracking Motor Unit Action Potentials in the Tibialis Anterior during Fatigue’, Muscle & Nerve, 32: 506-514, 2005
  • Beck R.B.J., Houtman C.J., O’Malley M.J., Lowery M.M., Stegeman D.F., ‘A New Technique to Monitor Conduction Velocities and Amplitudes of Individual Motor Unit Action Potentials using Surface EMG’, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 52 (4): 622-629, 2005.
  • Beck R.B.J., O’Malley M., van Dijk J.P., Nolan P., Stegeman D.F., ‘The effects of bipolar electrode montage on conduction velocity estimation from the surface electromyogram’, Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology, 14 (4): 505-514, 2004.
  • Darbellay G.A., Duff R., Vesin J-M., Despland P-A., Droste D.W., Molina C., Serena J., Sztajzel R., Ruchat P., Karapanayiotides Th., Kalangos A., Bogousslavsky J., Ringelstein E. B., Devuyst G., ‘Solid or Gaseous Circulating Brain Emboli: Are They Separable by Transcranial Ultrasound?’, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 24: 860-868, 2004.


Published Articles in International and National Journals

  • Beck R.B., Benefits of an On-Line Library of Electronic Assistive Technology on AT Services in Ireland, Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe, Florence, Italy, Sept. 2009.
  • Beck R, An Electronic Assistive Technology Library, Journal of the Health Management Institute, June 2009.
  • Beck R.B., O’Malley M.J., Houtman C.H., Stegeman D.F., ‘Can the Electrical Activity of individual Motor Units be Monitored using the Surface Electromyogram?’, Quantitative EMG Congress, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, June 2004.
  • Beck R.B., O’Malley M.J., Houtman C.H., Stegeman D.F., ‘Can the Electrical Activity of individual Motor Units be Monitored using the Surface Electromyogram?’, International Society of Electromyography & Kinesiology, Boston, June 2004.
  • Beck R.B., O’Malley M.J., ‘Analysis of Global Conduction Velocity Estimation from the SEMG’, International Society of Electromyography & Kinesiology, Boston, June 2004.
  • Duff R.B., Nolan P., Rybansky M., O’Malley M., ‘Factors Affecting the Surface EMG Power Spectrum During Fatigue’, ISEK, XIVth Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, Vienna, pp. 175-176, 2002.
  • Rybansky M., Duff R., ‘Algorithms used by EMG Models for Muscle Structure Generation and Their Effect to Resulting EMG Signal’, 16th Biennal International EURASIP Biosignal Conference, Brno, Czech Republic, 2002.
  • Duff R.B., Rybansky M., Nolan P., O’Malley M., ‘A Simulation Study to Investigate the Sensitivity of the Electromyogram to Conduction Velocity Changes of Individual Motor Units’, Proc. 23rd IEEE EMB Conference, Istanbul, vol. 2, pp. 1111-1114, 2001.


Conference Presentations

Please note the 1 & 3-6 of the above listed abstracts were also presented by Dr Beck at the corresponding conferences.

  • C. Fearon, S. Wächter, R.B. Beck, J. S. Butler, J. Williams, S Kelly, B. Magennis, R.B. Reilly, T. Lynch, Ambulatory Electroencephalography and Virtual Reality Environments in Freezing of Gait in Parkinson’s Disease, Irish Neurological Association, 2014.
  • Beck R., Langan AM, Try-It.ie: A Library of Electronic Assistive Technology, Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland Conference – Visible and Valued, Kilkenny, Ireland, April 2009.
  • Beck R.B., Try-It.ie: A Library of Electronic Assistive Technology, Recent Advances in Assistive Technology and Engineering, Coventry, UK, 2009.
  • Beck R.B., Hands-on Assistive Technology (workshops), Getting Connected – Connecting Clinicians and Skills in Acquired Brain Injury. A Clinical Exchange of Best Practice in Neurorehabilitation, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin, March 2010.
  • Beck R., O’Malley M., Connolly S., ‘The Multichannel Surface Electromyogram – A New Clinical Tool?’, The British Society of Clinical Neurophysiology, Newcastle, March 2004
  • Beck R.B., ‘Surface Electromyogram: Potential Impact of Engineering on Clinical Practice’, Engineering and the Neurosciences, Irish Neurology Diaspora Meeting, Dublin, November 2004.
  • Beck R.B., O’Malley M., Stegeman D.F., ‘Monitoring the Electrical Activity of Motor Units in the Tibialis Anterior from the Surface Elelectromyogram’, Bioengineering In Ireland Conference 10, Limerick, pp. 40, January 2004.
  • Duff R., Reilly R.,de Chazal P., Nolan P., ‘Quantification of the Effects of Transient EEG Arousals on the Respriatory System’, Proc. of the Irish Signals and Systems Conference, June, 2000, pp. 503-510.


Book Chapter

Beck R. ‘Muscle Fiber Conduction Velocity’, Wiley Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., ed. M. Akay, ISBN: 978-0-471-24967-2, 2006.


Ph.D. Thesis

Beck R.B., ‘Conduction Velocity Estimation from the Surface Electromyogram’, UCD, 2003.


Reviewer for following Journals


  • IEEE Transactions in Rehabilitation Engineering.
  • Muscle & Nerve.
  • Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing.
  • Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, ASME.