Research Pillars


Research Area

This research pillar group is broadly concerned with consumer experience and undertakes research in all aspects of this subject area. The group disseminates research at both a national and international level and engages in collaborative projects.


Key Themes

The pillar addresses research in the following areas: consumer behaviour, consumer experience measurement, emerging issues and trends, services marketing, consumer mobility, consumer image and identity, consumer profiles/types, consumer experiential value and satisfaction, self-service technology usage and experiences and consumer co-creation and experience.


Current Research - Seed Funding

The research aim is to explore the co-creation experience from consumer and service provider perspectives at tourism attractions and at events.

The research seeks to:

  • understand the nature of the co-creation process, within a tourism and event context, between the producer and the consumer
  • investigate the motivations of customers to co-create experiences
  • identify the support mechanisms that service providers embed in the co-creation process to facilitate successful customer engagement
  • explore the consequences of the co-creation process for both the service provider and customer.



Dr Ruth Craggs; Dr Jennifer Lawlor; Dr Gerard Dunne; Dr Deirdre Quinn.

Research Area

The Healthy Societies Research Pillar explores the ways in which tourism, hospitality, sport, leisure and events can act as a catalyst to create healthier societies in the 21st Century.


Key Themes

  • Position the pillar as a centre of interest for healthy societies by targeting conferences, academic papers and encouraging dialogue with policymakers and practitioners
  • Channel both undergraduate and post graduate research to identified needs and challenges to healthy societies
  • Develop respectful regular working relationships with a number of external partners
  • Develop an industry policy seminar series
  • Continue to build on strengths of Community Engaged Learning and Research and the Access Programme in TU Dublin
  • Leverage teaching activities and module delivery to research-based teaching, dissemination and outputs.


Current Research - Seed Funding

(This project is currently on hold due to Covid 19 restrictions)

Exploring older male perceptions of physical leisure activity (PLA)/leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and contribution to mental health using different methodologies

Based on consultation with Men’s Health Forum Ireland (MHFI), a knowledge deficit was identified in the understanding of older male (>65 years) perceptions of physical leisure activity (PLA) and leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and contribution to mental health. The team comprises two academics, two PhD students and is supported by the MHFI proposal to co-create a framework of primary research to explore perceptions of PLA/LTPA and mental health in older males using a variety of methods.  The methods used will provide validation for use within the PhD process employed by the two PhD students who are respectively researching older populations and their engagement with PLA/LTPA, and outdoor adventure activity (OAA).  The outcome of the research will provide MHFI with a rich understanding of older men’s health, and their perceptions of PLA/LTPA and mental health. It will also provide the PhD students with an increased understanding of different research methods and application to this cohort. 

Outcomes will include a presentation to MHFI and a joint conference paper whilst providing a potential basis for further funding.  These outcomes will enhance research outcomes validating them for the PhD students. The proposed project is underpinned by the Sustainability Development Goal 3: Good Health and well-being for all at all ages.


Areas of current research activity on destinations among individual researchers include:

Dr Alan Dunton (

  • Skill Acquistion
  • Sport Science
  • Athletic performance
  • Transfer of Training

Dr Catherine Gorman (

  • Aging, quality of life and activity
  • Ageing, adventure activities and leadership
  • Healthy campus
  • Sustainable practise in sport and leisure
  • Civic engagement as a pedagogy
  • Intergenerational connection and health

Dr Vincent O'Flaherty (

  • Children in Sport including child welfare, role of family, how and why children get involved with sport
  • Athlete identity construction and deconstruction
  • How elite athletes balance sport and education (secondary and 3rd level)
  • Transitions (amateur to professional, injury, deselection, retirement, alternate career)
  • Barriers in sport and the consequences – age, gender, race, ethnicity, socially disadvantaged groups, etc.
  • Human behaviour in sport – obesity, wellbeing, choice of physical activity, disadvantaged communities, commitment to elite level sport etc.



See individual staff profiles for links to related papers


Pillar Team

Dr Alan Dunton (

Peter Griffin (

Dr Catherine Gorman (

Dr Vincent O'Flaherty (

Colin Fowler, Mens Health Forum ( 

PhD Students:

Angela Harnett

Joseph Tierney

Research Area

The Culture & Heritage research pillar at the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management at TU Dublin provides a forum for discussion, networking and collaboration for those involved in research in the areas of culture & heritage. Key objectives of the research pillar include:

  • The continuous development of culture & heritage research as a diverse and innovative area of study
  • Facilitation of collaborations, partnerships, knowledge exchange and pathways in the areas
  • Enhancement of the potential for culture & heritage research as a cross-disciplinary and collaborative field of enquiry.


Key Themes

  • Culture, Heritage & Tourism
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Heritage Interpretation
  • Festivals & Events
  • Heritage & Commemoration
  • Religious Tourism
  • Food Tourism



Dr Theresa Ryan - Pillar Co-ordinator (

Dr Catherine Gorman (

Dr Bernadette Quinn (

Dr Deirdre Quinn (

Dr Detta Melia (

Dr Ann Conway (

Dr Kevin Griffin (


Current Post-Doc Researchers:

Dr Ana Maria Fernandes currently works on the HERA funded FESTSPACE project ( Ana was awarded her PhD in Human Geography by the State University of Campinas, São Paola, Brazil in 2017. During her PhD studies she had a doctoral internship at the University of Barcelona, Spain (2013-2014). Between 2013 - 2020 she was a Professor at the Tourism, Geography, and Visual Arts Faculties of the Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas. Her main teaching and research areas are: tourism; events; urban regeneration; cultural heritage; and policies to promote the image of cities.


PhD students

Danielle Lynch (PhD title: Deconstructing the relationship between place and festival making using the dramaturgical perspective)

Qian Luo: (PhD title: Exploring the Intrinsic Motivational Factors Impacting Community Participation in the Tourism Development of Intangible Cultural Heritage in an Ethnic Community in China)

Charlotte Salter-Townshend (PhD title: Growing Audiences: the evolution of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, as a visitor attraction



For all related papers please visit staff profile pages.

Research Area

This research group focuses on undertaking research on all aspects of services operations and services management. Through this research the group actively collaborates with industry, academia, policy makers and various other stakeholders in the development of innovative solutions to current operational and managerial challenges both nationally and internationally.

  • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality/Artificial Intelligence
  • Business Development
  • Small Firm Dynamics
  • Change Management
  • Global Hotel Operations
  • Human Resource Management/People Management /Talent Management
  • Innovation Management
  • International/Cross Cultural Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Mergers
  • Operations Research/Operations Optimisation
  • Organisational Culture
  • Quality Management and Benchmarking
  • Service Delivery
  • Service Technology/Self Service Technology
  • Strategic Management



Dr Ann Conway; Colin O’Connor; Dr Deirdre Quinn; Dr Detta Melia; Dr Geraldine Gorham; Jennifer Hussey; Dr Jennifer Lawlor; Dr John Ryan; Juliet Ryan; Mary O’Rawe; Rachelle O’Brien; Dr Ralf Burbach; Dr Ruth Craggs.



Publications forthcoming.

Research Area

The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) provides a space for lecturers to exchange ideas regarding T&L related research activities such as , conferences, funding opportunities, PhD supervision and publications.

  • Complete conference papers/ journal articles related to the field of T&L 
  • Investigate sources of T&L funding and potential T&L fellowships 
  • Investigate potential opportunities for PhD supervision related to T&L 
  • Share T&L related conferences on the SoTL matrix. 


Key Themes

T&L related research initiatives including: 

  • Action Learning 
  • Flipped classroom activities 
  • Internationalisation of the Curriculum 
  • Assessment feedback 
  • Computer based exams for undergrad accounting 
  • Using augmented reality to enhance T&L.



Dr Fiona Faulkner; Dr Anne Hurley; David Rickard; Qi Wang; Mary O’Rawe; Jennie Hussey; Dr Ziene Mottiar; Geraldine Gorham; Louise Bellew; Daniel King; Dr Kevin Griffin; Patrick Horan; Dr Denise O’ Leary; Dr Deirdre Ryan; Dr Ann Conway



Niamh O'Meara & Fiona Faulkner (2021) Professional development for out-of-field post-primary teachers of mathematics: an analysis of the impact of mathematics specific pedagogy training, Irish Educational Studies, DOI: 10.1080/03323315.2021.1899026 

Ryan, D., Faulkner, F., Dillane, D. & Flood, R.V. (2021) Communities of practice as a solution for the implementation gap in internationalisation of the curriculum, Higher Education Research & Development. Available at: 

Ryan, D., Faulkner, F., Dillane, D. & Flood, R.V. (2019) A situational analysis of the current level of lecturers’ engagement with Internationalisation of the Curriculum in Ireland’s first Technological University, Irish Educational Studies. Available at: 

Faulkner, F., Ryan, D., Hurley, A., & Wang, Q. (2017) ‘A Comparison of the Progression of International Students to First Year Undergraduate Studies by Entry Route in an Irish Higher Education Institution: Part One - A Quantitative Study’, Irish Journal of Academic Practice: Vol. 6: Iss. 1, Article 7. 

Research Area

This research group undertakes innovative research in all types of destinations. We engage in collaborative work with communities, businesses, academics, policy makers and other stakeholders.

Key Themes

  • Coastal tourism
  • Destination development
  • Role of entrepreneurs
  • Destination marketing
  • Sustainable destination development
  • Food tourism
  • Use of technologies in destinations
  • Events led destination regeneration



Dr Ruth Craggs; Dr Gerard Dunne; Dr Kevin Griffin; Dr Denise O’Leary; Dr Ziene Mottiar & Dr Theresa Ryan.

PhD Students

Michelle Bermingham– Food tourism Leaders

David Proctor - Football tourism and destination marketing

Tran Nien Tuan - The impact of volunteer tourism

David Nacipucha – Innovation and coastal tourism destinations

Una Ruddock – Ecovillages as Sustainable Destinations

Building Relationships in Destinations

  • Students in Action (DELTA prize winner, 2018)
  • Awarded seed funding for Identifying indicators of destination development and performance (project ongoing)



Recent Conference papers:

Mottiar, Z and Ryan T (2019) An examination of the role of placemaking in tourism on the entrepreneurial ecosystem 
Tran, T, Burbach R., O’Leary, D. (2018) The Socio-cultural Impacts of Volunteer Tourism on Residents' Quality of Life. A Model from the Literature. EuroCHRIE Conference, Dublin, Ireland, Nov 2018. 

Recent Journal papers:

Proctor, D., Dunne, G., Flanagan, S. (2018) In League? Destination marketing organisations and football clubs in the virtual space. Journal of Sport and Tourism 
Mottiar, Z (2018) The Roles of Social Entrepreneurs in Rural Destination Development Annals of Tourism Research 

Destination Focused Journal:

International Journal of Islands Research launched October 2020 as a collaborative project by the Observatory on Tourism for Islands Economy OTIE, Leeds Beckett University and Technological University Dublin.