Covid, masks and the case for funding engineering research

Posted in Research on September 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“One of the more surprising aspects of the Covid crisis – for me at any rate – is the fact there has been so much disagreement about the wearing of facemasks and the mode of transmission of Covid 19. Yes, it’s a new virus but it strikes me that given the threat that pathogens pose to mankind, one would have thought that the underlying physics of sprays and aerosols, not to mention the transport of particles through multilayer membranes might be very well understood at this stage, especially given the computing power at our disposal. But apparently not …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 11 September]

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Engineer’s body warns of shortage of skills in sector

Posted in Governance and administration on March 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The organisation representing engineers here has issued a strong warning about the impact a shortfall in skills within the profession will have over the coming years. Engineers Ireland said the supply of third-level engineering graduates and professional engineering apprentices is simply insufficient to meet the needs of a growing Irish society …” (more)

[Will Goodbody, RTÉ News, 6 March]

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Construction begins at Limerick IT’s new campus as funding of €11.6m confirmed

Posted in Governance and administration on September 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Construction work has started on Limerick Institute of Technology’s new €14m engineering campus. The development, which is expected to create around 100 permanent jobs and 134 construction jobs, will see the Moylish-based IT open a new engineering-focused campus beside Tesco at Coonagh Cross, with the first students expected a year from now …” (more)

[Limerick Leader, 14 September]

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Engineering body concerned at number of students sitting Leaving Cert STEM subjects

Posted in Teaching on August 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The representative body for engineers in Ireland has raised concerns over the number of students sitting STEM subjects in this year’s Leaving Cert, saying 2018 has not seen a marked increase for the first time in several years. Results obtained from the State Examinations Commission has shown that almost one-third of Leaving Certificate students sat the higher-level mathematics paper in 2018, a figure that has more than doubled when compared to 2011 …” (more)

[, 15 August]

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Are engineers prone to terrorism?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In his most recent column Sean Moncrieff notes the curious fact that a high proportion of ISIS terrorists are from an engineering background. I’ve heard this argument before and the subtext is that engineers are unsophisticated nerds, with systemising mindsets, who seek simple and simplistic solutions to complex problems …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 18 December]

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Engineering in the Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on November 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“About 6% of those studying Engineering for the Leaving Cert are female. Why is this? First, Engineering is probably not offered in many all-girl schools. Second, the Leaving Cert engineering syllabus is bloody awful. I’m an engineer and I find it boring …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 29 November]

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Limerick IT secures permission for €14m campus

Posted in Governance and administration on July 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Planners have cleared the way for the Limerick Institute of Technology to open a new engineering campus. In a move which will see 100 permanent jobs and 134 construction jobs, the Moylish-based college is to open a new engineering-focussed campus beside Tesco at Coonagh Cross …” (more)

[Nick Rabbitts, Limerick Leader, 12 July]

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LIT granted full planning for Coonagh Campus development

Posted in Governance and administration on July 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The decision by An Bord Pleanala to grant Limerick Institute of Technology full planning permission for construction of a new engineering-focused campus at Coonagh on the Northside of the city has been broadly welcomed …” (more)

[Andrew Carey, Limerick Post, 12 July]

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Why we need to get rid of STEM

Posted in Research, Teaching on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“On the surface, ‘STEM’ is a harmless acronym, a handy and catchy way of promoting disciplines that, let’s face it, are pretty important in this technological age. But, to an engineer like me who has worked in a science faculty for my whole career, the idea of lumping science and engineering together, along with maths and ‘technology’, seems a bit … simplistic …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 23 June]

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How I teach: making a pact with the devil

Posted in Teaching on May 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Here’s how I’d like to teach engineering to college students – it’s the way I was taught: 1. Give lectures in which I chart a course through the subject, explaining key ideas, deriving key equations, and using worked examples to enhance understanding and model the problem-solving process …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 2 May]


Third Level Education: Engineering and Technology

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

IrelandNoel Rock (Dublin North West, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the drop in the number of students applying for third level courses in engineering and technology; her further views on the future impact it will have on the economy; and if she will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 21 March]

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NUI Galway renames engineering building after first female engineering graduate

Posted in Governance and administration on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway have renamed their engineering building this week after the first woman in Ireland and the UK who earned an engineering degree. The Engineering building was renamed the Alice Perry Engineering Building this week. Alice Perry earned a degree in engineering in 1906, graduating from Queen’s College Galway …” (more)

[Sorcha O’Connor, Independent, 22 March]

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Women ‘put off’ engineering careers

Posted in Governance and administration on March 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Old-fashioned attitudes and schools that fail to offer crucial subjects are putting women off careers as engineers. The first female director general of Engineers Ireland said the statistics were ‘stark’ as just one in every 10 engineers was a woman …” (more)

[Anne-Marie Walsh, Independent, 7 March]

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Institutes of Technology – Waterford IT

Posted in Governance and administration on March 3rd, 2017 by steve

IrelandDavid Cullinane (Waterford, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if capital funding will be made available to progress the building of an engineering block at WIT; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 2 March]

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NUI Galway to name iconic building after first woman to earn an engineering degree

Posted in Governance and administration on March 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A ceremony to mark the official naming of the Alice Perry Engineering Building will take place at NUI Galway on Monday next March 6 to honour the woman first woman in Ireland or the UK to have received a degree in engineering …” (more)

[Galway Advertiser, 2 March]

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Number of engineering degrees may be reduced

Posted in Teaching on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A possible reduction in the number of engineering degrees offered in Irish colleges is to be considered in a review for the Higher Education Authority. The effectiveness of current engineering education is to be examined, with recommendations about new apprenticeship models, professional development for working engineers, and teaching methods …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 27 February]

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Stem education critical for country’s future

Posted in Teaching on November 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The importance of a knowledge economy to Ireland’s future is hard to measure, but it should not be underestimated. While we may not know with any certainty what the new jobs in 20 or 30 years will be, our education system has to prepare for them now. The subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) are rightly seen as critical to meet this challenge …” (more)

[Michael Duffy, Irish Times, 15 November]

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STEM, science and engineering

Posted in Teaching on November 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“It’s that time of year when we’re all in marketing mode. Open Days are taking place, it’s Science Week, and for many it’s a case of STEM, STEM, STEM. As a lifelong science nerd who, during the deep recession of early 1980s Ireland, chose to study chemical engineering (the most molecular of the engineering disciplines) I’m always interested in the relationship between these two disciplines and especially in how we promote them to school-leavers …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 14 November]

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Athbheochan nuálaíochta amach romhainn, in Éirinn agus fud fad an domhain – leis an innealtóireacht i gcroí-lár ár dtodhchaí uile

Posted in Research on November 7th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Alt é seo as: Engineers Journal, iris ag Cumann na nInnealtóirí. Article from Engineers Journal, 1 Nov. 2016. Na sleamhnáin den chur i láthair ag Fionnbarra Ó Brolcháin, tá siad le fáil anseo. Agus an léacht ar YouTube – the lecture and the discussion that followed on YouTube. Fionn Murtagh looks at the role of engineering in Ireland’s sustainable innovation future in a globalised economy …” (more)

[Fionn Murtagh’s Blog, 6 November]


Failure to recruit more female engineers ‘harming economy’

Posted in Governance and administration on October 26th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A lack of women entering the field of engineering is harming the economy, according to the President of the Royal College of Engineering. Professor Ann Dowling said a lack of gender diversity is damaging to the pharma, food, IT and biomedical engineering sectors, which are all vital components of Ireland’s export-driven economy …” (more)

[Sean Duffy, Independent, 26 October]

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