TU Dublin Wins European Accolade For Innovation In Engineering Education

24 Sep, 2020

The School of Civil and Structural Engineering at Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) has won the Francesco Maffioli Award of Excellence for its Creative Design Studio Framework and its extraordinary contribution to engineering education.

The European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) established the Award in honour of its former President Prof. Francesco Maffioli of the Politecnico di Milano.

Una Beagon, Patrick Crean and Dr Aimee Byrne were part of the team which designed the Creative Design Studio Framework to develop and enhance both technical and professional skills in engineering students, preparing them for life in engineering practice and in society as a whole.


Dr Aimee Bryne and Patrick Crean

Speaking about the Creative Design Studio Framework Assistant Head, School of Civil and Structural Engineering, Una Beagon said, “The Design Studios allow students from all years of our programmes to use their technical knowledge to work on the kind of complex and difficult problems they will face in their careers. With guidance from academics who have significant industry experience, they build upon and contextualise their studies. The Studios complement the School’s Problem Based Learning (PBL) techniques by providing our students with the ‘creative space’ within the curriculum to explore real-life projects and scenarios.”

Speaking at the virtual award ceremony, Prof. John Mitchell, Chair of the judging panel and University College London (UCL) Vice-Dean Education and Co-director UCL Centre for Engineering Education, recognised the innovation in their approach: “The committee was impressed with the integrated, whole curriculum approach of the instructional design and the potential that this approach has to bring approaches more typically seen in disciplines such as architecture.”

Congratulating the team, the President of Technological University Dublin, Professor David FitzPatrick, said, “As a new type of University for an evolving world, TU Dublin introduces our students to a range of educational experiences which enhance their learning and provide them with opportunities to solve real-world problems. The Creative Design Studio, developed by the School of Civil and Structural Engineering, is a prime example of our unique approach to education which equips our graduates with the knowledge and skills required to secure fulfilling employment while playing an active, responsible role in society.”

Accepting the SEFI Francesco Maffioli Award of Excellence on behalf of the team, Una Beagon said, “I would like to thank all my colleagues in the School of Civil and Structural Engineering and in TU Dublin who continually strive to create a student-centred experience for our engineering students, preparing them with the skills needed to solve the challenges of the future.”

Editors' Note

  • SEFI Francesco Maffioli Award of Excellence for Developing Learning and Teaching in Engineering Education

The SEFI Francesco Maffioli Award, launched by SEFI (European Society for Engineering Education), to commemorate its late President Prof. Francesco Maffioli (Politecnico du Milano), is given by SEFI, to individual teachers, or a team of teachers, of higher engineering education institutions members of SEFI, in recognition of open-minded development of curriculum, learning environments or tools, novel didactics, methods or systems in engineering studies.

  •  SEFI

The European Society for Engineering Education -SEFI- is the largest network of engineering education institutions and educators in Europe. It is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) established in Belgium in 1973. SEFI’s aims and objectives are to contribute to the development and to the improvement of engineering education in Europe, to reinforce the position of the engineering professionals in society, to provide services to our members, to promote information about engineering education and improve communication and exchanges between teachers, researchers and student, to develop cooperation between educational engineering institutions and establishments of higher technical education, to promote cooperation between industry and engineering education actors, to be a link between our members and international organisations, and to promote the European dimension in higher engineering education.

SEFI serves as a European Forum to its members, composed of institutions of higher engineering education, academic staff and teachers, students, related associations, and companies in 47 countries.

The objectives of SEFI are encountered through a series of activities such as the Annual Conferences, Ad hoc seminars and workshops organised by SEFI’s special interest groups, Taskforces on specific topics, the organisation of the European Engineering Deans Conventions, Publications (incl. the European Journal of Engineering Education), European projects, Position papers…

A large part of SEFI’s activities is dedicated to the cooperation with other major European associations and international bodies the European Commission, the UNESCO, the Council of Europe, or the OECD.