UCD engineering graduates were to the fore in the 'Young Europeans' campaign by the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) in the mid-1980s. Designed to showcase Ireland's highly-educated cohort of engineering and science graduates, the campaign was very influential in the development of Ireland's profile within the technology sector internationally. Professor Liam Murphy, one of the Merrion Street graduates featured in the campaign, recalls 'I'm not sure we realised at the time how widespread the picture would become. But it was great to be a part of something which helped to raise awareness of the quality of Ireland's high-tech workforce!'
The economic reality of Ireland in the mid-1980s saw many of the most highly-skilled graduates leave the country in search of opportunity. This famously included many of the graduates from the iconic IDA advertisement. However, subsequent years saw many emigrants of the 1980s return to Ireland, bringing the skills and experience they had acquired abroad and contributing to the transformation of Ireland's industrial base.