CREATE run a series of workshops to foster a community of education research within TU Dublin. For more details on any of our workshops please contact Edward Conlon at



We were delighted to hear about new research projects being undertaken within the CREATE research group at our recent workshop.  Our PhD students Sandra Ireri Cruz Moreno and Deborah Keogh presented on their progress and initial findings.

We were also joined by Rani Dujardin who presented on initial work as part of the TRAINeng-PDP project in which TU Dublin is a partner. 


Diana Martin

Congratulations to Dr Diana Martin who is the 2022 recipient of the Glen Earthman Dissertation Award, conferred by the International Society for Educational Planning for her PhD thesis entitled Towards a Sociotechnical Reconfiguration of Engineering and an Education for Ethics. The award is given each year to one doctoral dissertation in the field of education that examines the planning and program implementation on the international, state, regional, local and individual school or building levels. The award is named after Glen Earthman, Professor Emeritus in the Educational Leadership Department, Virginia Tech, who served as the first Director of the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities in the US.

Diana received her award on 12 October 2022 in a special session taking place during the 52nd annual ISEP conference, where she will also present her research findings. More details about the award can be found at:

Diana has conducted her doctoral research at TU Dublin as part of the CREATE group, under the supervision of Professor Brian Bowe and Mr Eddie Conlon, with Dr. Kevin O’Rourke and Prof. Carl Mitcham as examiners. The study examined how ethics is implemented and evaluated for the purpose of accreditation in 23 engineering programmes in Ireland. The project benefitted from the support of Engineers Ireland, with special thanks to Damien Owens.


About the Project

This research aims to extend existing work which examines beginning undergraduate students’ problem solving and procedural skills, in the context of the introduction of the ‘Project Maths’ curriculum in second level education in Ireland in 2008. One of the aims of ‘Project Maths’ was to change the emphasis of second level mathematics education from a focus on rote learning and procedural skills to real understanding and problem solving. Work carried out by Faulkner et al (2021) demonstrates that students problem solving skills on entry to third level education have not improved in the lifetime of the Project Maths roll out. This recent work therefore called for a qualitative investigation into what challenges students may be having, when they engage with both procedural skills in mathematics and problem-solving skills. This PhD aims to carry out such an investigation using a pre-approved diagnostic test (Faulkner et al 2021) along with a ‘thinking-aloud’ method of data collection. This method asks students to verbalise their thoughts while they work through an exam paper or set of tasks (Nielsen 2012). The research aims to continue to collect yearly quantitative data to keep a longitudinal record of students’ performance in the diagnostic test. The project will include

-         Examining existing trends in beginning third level students’ mathematical performance with a particular focus on lower attaining students.

-         Investigating students problem solving and procedural skills.

-         Using qualitative methodologies to determine students challenges when engaging with mathematics.

-         Build large databases of students’ performance for statistical analysis.

-         Implementing an intervention to support student mathematical learning.

-         Determining how the findings compare/contrast to national and international research.

-         Use the research findings to inform policy and practice in mathematics education and in turn to improve the provision of mathematics education for beginning undergraduates.

Student requirements for this project

Ideally, the candidate will have some experience teaching mathematics at second level and have a sound grasp of basic mathematical principles at that level. Teaching experience up to Leaving Certificate level would be advantageous, but applications from those who have taught service mathematics at third level or provided mathematics support are also welcome. Applicants must have a minimum of a second class honours grade 1 with some mathematical content and a postgraduate teaching qualification would be helpful though not required.

The position will be based in TU Dublin Tallaght Campus but will also involve travel to City Campus and possibly Blanchardstown Campus.

To apply, interested candidates should send an expression of Interest ( including their curriculum vitae, an unofficial academic transcript, and a brief statement of interests, indicating preferred research directions (in English) to  and  and arrange for two recommendation letters to be sent to the same email address. Informal inquiries should be directed to the prospective supervisors (Dr Fiona Faulkner, Lecturer of Mathematics, Dr Paul Robinson, Lecturer of Mathematics or Mr Ciaran O’Sullivan, Lecturer of Mechanical Engineering). 

Funding Notes
Student Stipend: €18,500 per year for 4 years
€2,000 per year budget for travel and materials included
Fees: €4,500 per year paid by the project.

Dr Darren Carthy, pictured with Dr Malachy Mathews and Dr Una Beagon, all of whom were supervised by Prof. Brian Bowe (also pictured). (Dr Diana Martin - missing from photo) 

Congratulations to Dr Darren Carthy who was conferred with his PhD in Engineering Education at a recent ceremony in TU Dublin.  As the first in-person graduation ceremony since 2019, the CREATE team celebrated four PhD graduations in Engineering Education from 2021/22, all supervised by Professor Brian Bowe.

The topics included:

Development of a Situational Judgement Test and an assessment of its efficacy as a stimulus of metacognitive behaviour in engineering students: Carthy, D. (2021) – Dr Darren Carthy

A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study into the impact of BIM on the Social Dynamics of the AEC professional in the Workplace: (Mathews, M. 2021) – Dr Malachy Mathews

A Phenomenographic Study of Academics Teaching on Engineering Programmes in Ireland: Conceptions of Professional Skills and Approaches to Teaching Professional Skills: Beagon, U. (2021) – Dr Una Beagon

Towards a Sociotechnical Reconfiguration of Engineering and an Education for Ethics: A Critical Realist Investigation into the Patterns of Education and Accreditation of Ethics in Engineering Programmes in Ireland:  Available: Martin, D. (2020).  -Dr Diana Martin




Bringing Together Researchers in Engineering and Technology Education in TU Dublin.

CREATE (Contributions to Research in Engineering and Applied Technology Education) is a research group based in the City Campus of TU Dublin. Over the last number of years we have made a significant contribution to research in engineering and technology education through original research conducted by post-graduate researchers and staff. 

Our members have published widely in a range of publications covering three main thematic areas:

  • Professional skills
  • Spatial awareness and mathematics education
  • Engineering ethics

In order to expand our community and open up a dialogue with engineering and technology education researchers in other parts of TU Dublin we are holding a Research Symposium on May 19th on the Grangegorman Campus. The symposium will run between 12 pm and 4pm. We will facilitate research contributions from researchers across TU Dublin. This will be a great opportunity for researchers to familiarise themselves with ongoing work across the University.

We are inviting abstracts from researchers working in the three thematic areas above and original research in other areas which, in our view, makes, or has the potential to make, a significant contribution to the field of engineering and  technology education research.

Contributions should be based on completed original research or work in progress which is focused on theoretical or methodological issues with the aim of providing a basis for an empirical investigation in one of the thematic areas.  We will also consider papers focused solely on theoretical and methodological issues which aim to contribute to debates in engineering and technology education research.

Researchers should submit an abstract of no more than 300  words by March 21st .

The abstract should clearly set the research question to be addressed in your contribution, your approach to addressing the question, any data used in the study and your key findings. Those at the early stage of their research, and who may not yet have collected data, should clearly set out the theoretical and methodological issues and challenges their contribution will address.

Submitted abstracts will be reviewed by members of CREATE and a decision communicated by April 8th

Contributors will be required to give a 15 minute presentation and answer questions for 5 minutes.  Full papers will not be required but abstracts will be compiled and published in Arrow.

We welcome contributions from research students and staff.

Abstracts should be submitted to clearly indicating the Thematic Area addressed in the abstract.

The Symposium will be followed by a social event nearby.


For more information contact

Eddie Conlon,

Una Beagon or

Gavin Duffy

During the last two years several researchers have successfully completed PhDs in Engineering Education within the CREATE research group in TU Dublin.

In this seminar two researchers, Una Beagon and Diana Martin, will reflect on their experience of completing a PhD in Engineering Education. Una and Diana focused, respectively, on professional skills and engineering ethics.

This short seminar, on February 2nd, will allow them to reflect on their experience of completing their research and provide some lessons for others embarking on PhD projects in Engineering Education and other related areas. We hope they can give key pointers to new and current researchers.

Una and Diana will speak for 15 minutes each allowing plenty of time for discussion and questions.

Dr Una Beagon works as an Assistant Head of School in Civil & Structural Engineering and completed her PhD part time.

She focussed on Academic Conceptions of Professional Skills and the differing approaches to teaching them in engineering programmes in Ireland. She used phenomenography as her research approach complemented by an online survey of nearly 300 engineering academics in Ireland. Her outcomes can be impactful both in top down and bottom up approaches: to influence policies and to engage academics in reflecting on their own understanding of professional skills in engineering programmes. More information about her work can be found at Una Beagon Publications or by contacting Una at

Dr Diana Martin works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Philosophy & Ethics group in the department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences of the Technological University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Diana completed her doctoral research project full time. Her project focused on the area of engineering ethics education and benefited from the support of Engineers Ireland. In her research, Diana used a critical realist lens to conduct a mixed methods study that examined the implementation of ethics in 23 engineering programmes in Ireland and their evaluation for the purpose of accreditation. The study can serve as guidance to engineering educators and programme leaders interested in integrating ethics in their teaching approaches or in the curriculum of their institution. More information about her work can be found at or by contacting Diana at 

A recording of the event can be accessed here: Research Seminar_ Successfully Completing a PhD in Engineering Education_ Some Lessons