Brendan has won many local and national accolades for his science and technology learning initiatives as well as his volunteering activities over the last decade. He was Galway Science Person of the Year in 2012 and in 2006; a recipient of the Galway Mayoral Community and Social Award, and presented with both the Technology in Schools Award and Technology in the Community Award by the Information Technology Association of Galway (ITAG). In 2017, Brendan was presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award by the Mayor of Galway city, councillor Noel Larkin.
Veteran member of the Galway Science and Technology Forum, he has contributed in making the Galway Science and Technology Festival the most board-based of its type in Ireland. Brendan is co-founder and curator of the NUIG-basedComputer and Communications Museum of Ireland; co-founder of the volunteer Coderdojo computer coding club in Galway City and a member of the ethics board of the National Aquarium of Ireland.
In 2015 he was appointed lead mentor for Africa Code Week, a learning initiative organised by the German-based SAP corporation in conjunction with the Galway Education Centre. Last year (2016) it introduced more than 426,000 youth across 30 countries to basic coding and represents the largest digital literacy initiative ever organised on the African continent. Under this programme, Brendan has created training materials for participants as well as Train-the-Trainer workshops to teachers in seven African countries
Brendan is a master teacher for Refugee Code Week that is also coordinated by SAP and the Galway Education Centre in partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency(UNHCR). Established in 2016, the initiative has developed course content and provided teams of IT volunteers from across three continents to upskill teachers from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries in delivering coding programmes to young refugees and the youth of host nations from eight years to twenty years of age. He himself has taught in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt.
In November 2013, the TULCA Festival of Visual Arts commissioned and unveiled the ‘Speedie Telstar’ sculpture in honour of Brendan's work in promoting and safeguarding technology heritage. The sculpture is a replica of Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite which began the era of modern global communications when it was launched into space in 1962.
In his role as Education and Community Outreach Officer at DERI from 2004 to 2013, Brendan worked extensively with a wide range of communities to engage and empower them in exploiting the potential of digital technologies for learning, cultural, heritage, social and economic purposes. His remit included schools, colleges, active retired associations, NGOs, asylum seekers, travellers, sports clubs, youth clubs, businesses and the corporate sector.
His vision is to help transform Irish people (particularly youth) from being a nation of digital users into a nation of digital creators and to make Galway a digital hub of international pre-eminence.