Friday, 15 July 2016

Fun and Learning at UCD festival

Just before I went on annual leave I was very happy to take part in the inaugural UCD Festival on Saturday June 18th last. One month later I now get to give you a sample of the many 'treats' experienced by those attending - food, music, debates, talks, chats and memories of yesteryears in UCD.
Some of the crowds attending UCD Summer Festival 2016

With over 235,000 alumni in 165 countries, 31,802 students from 120 countries, 3,500 staff and over 250,000 people living locally the UCD Festival had some activity for everyone interested enough to attend.

There was a special welcome there from UCD President Professor Andrew Deeks - 'the Festival is intended to engage, connect and inspire pride in all of us with a connection to this great institution and I hope that you will enjoy'.

The lectures and panel discussions from the College of Engineering and Architecture were really topical - Water and the Housing Crisis, two very active subjects of particular relevance to Irish society currently.  Next week in fact a new report on dealing with the Housing Crisis will be published by Government and the future of water charges is now in the hands of a new Government Commission.

A big social topic this year is the issue of the Housing Crisis. Speaker to this topic was Father Peter McVerry on the housing and homelessness issue organised by the UCD School of Architecture.

Father Peter McVerry who spoke on Housing Crisit with UCD President Prof. Andrew Deeks
and Dean of Architecture Prof. Hugh Campbell

Sir Ciarán Devane UK based inspirational leader spoke on 'Leadership for Impact'. Also in O'Reilly Hall was another topical debate 'Women in Leadership' involving Dr Rhona Mahony Master of Holles St Hospital, Miriam O'Callaghan RTE Presenter and lawyer, Senator Alice Mary Higgins and UCD Vice President Professor Orla Foley. This discussion was chaired by Dr Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain of UCD School of Mathematical Sciences.

Women in Leadership Debate: Senator Alice Mary Higgins, Miriam O'Callaghan RTE, Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shuilleabhain UCD,
Dr. Rhona Mahony, Master of Coombe Hospital and UCD Vice President Professor Orla Feely

The presentations were excellent as was the audience engagement later on in terms of questions on highly topical subjects of great public and political concern. A further topic of great interest to civil engineers was an exhibition on 'Bridges of Dublin' in the Richview based School of Civil Structural and Environmental Engineering.

Other highlights included 'Remembering Maeve Binchy', the Growth of Food Nutrition, Life After Sport, Campus Woodland Walks and a host of Village Markets offering food spread around the campus.

Each college had their own combination of food music and entertainment to welcome back their alumni. The UCD College of Engineering had a number of events. I was privileged to be asked to chair the Discussion on 'Water - An Engineer's Perspective'. Our panel of experts were Michael Phillips former Dublin City Engineer, Damien Owens Registrar of Engineers Ireland and UCD Professor of Water Engineering Micheal Bruen.

Shown below are the speakers and a couple of slides they each presented.  The presentation was video'd and can be seen here.

Great credit is due to Rebecca Patterson, Marketing and Engagement Manager for College of Engineering and Architecture for organising the Engineering aspects of the Festival.

PJ Rudden introducing the Speakers at Water Debate

Engineers Ireland Registrar Damien Owens presenting on Water debate
Water usage 
Michael Phillips on planning future water supply to Dublin Region
Most of our rain falls on the West coast but most people live on East coast

Route of Submarine Pipeline linking Sutton to Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant

Professor Micheál Bruen on water and climate change

Climate Change
Racing Car built by UCD Mechanical Engineering Students!


  1. You can always find this place packed on a weekend night and sometimes they host parties that you can't get into, but other than that happening every once in a while this is the place to be. The San Francisco venues have nice upstairs and down stairs area.

  2. Thanks For sharing this wonderful article