UCD College of Engineering & Architecture Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality Diversity & Inclusion

UCD established the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group (EDI) in 2015 with the objective of embedding these principles into all aspects of university decision making, policy, and strategy development to promote an inclusive and diverse work and study environment for all. The College of Engineering & Architecture has supported this work through its participation on the EDI Group and its subcommittees since 2015 and is committed to creating an environment where everyone is treated fairly regardless of gender, age, race, disability, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, civil status, family status, or membership of the travelling community.

Athena Swan

The College has received an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of their commitment to improving gender equality across the six schools. The award is shared by the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy and the five schools of engineering; Biosystems & Food Engineering, Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Mechanical & Materials Engineering.

Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) is a charter that aims to improve the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine). This Bronze Award affirms that our college;

  • is aware of gender equality issues in the schools and the college structure
  • has identified the particular challenges we face, and
  • has a plan for the future

Our plan includes seventy actions that will be implemented in the next 3-4 years, with a number of initiatives already underway.

For instance, the review identified student concerns about gender discrimination and other dignity and respect issues. Some were about staff/student interactions, while others reflected student/student interactions. Four actions specifically address these concerns:

Intercultural Sensitivity / Dignity & Respect Training - Students: Introduced as part of Orientation for new undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Dignity and Respect Presentation September 2020

Inclusive Teaching Pilot Study:  14 module coordinators have volunteered to participate and modify their modules according to inclusive teaching principles and develop strategies to be shared with other academics in engineering and architecture.

Unconscious Bias / Intercultural Sensitivity / Dignity & Respect Training – Staff: Under development and intended to be introduced in 2020.

Survey & Focus Groups – Students: A short student survey will be distributed in early 2020, to better identify the range of problems students are experiencing in order to develop more targeted solutions.

The review also identified that, among other things, the employees had concerns regarding the lack of opportunities for career development as well as workload distribution. Among the actions proposed, the following have been completed to date;

Career training for early-career academics and research staff: Workshops developed by the College Research team are being held each semester for research staff and early career academics on research skills and career development.

Fixed-term Committee Membership and Leadership: Guidelines developed and distributed to all staff on fixed terms for committee membership and tenure of leadership roles. These guidelines are intended to ensure these opportunities are available for employees of any gender, or academic grade. It includes guidance and templates on obtaining expressions of interest from staff when roles become available. You can download the guidelines at the end of this page.

Other actions which are currently in active development include:

Workload Model: Develop a simple and transparent workload model template, to be implemented at school-level, with mechanism for tracking gender balance and workload distribution to be reported annually to the College Executive for monitoring.

A series of training workshops are being developed for staff on Unconscious Bias, Intercultural Sensitivity and Dignity & Respect from an external provider. Workshops will be mandatory and delivered on a school-by-school basis. It is anticipated that this training will be delivered starting in autumn 2020, barring any delays due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Dr. John Healy
Vice Principal, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
Chair, Athena Swan


Inclusive Teaching & Learning Case Studies in Engineering, Architecture & Affiliated Disciplines

This publication is the result of successful ongoing collaboration of colleagues across the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture. The case studies presented here focus on the implementation of Universal Design for Learning in these specific disciplines and is the result of the Inclusive Teaching Pilot born out of the College's Athena Swan Action Plan.

In this publication you will find six case studies describing the key changes made to teaching, learning and assessment in nominated modules as a result of this pilot project. We plan to add to these case studies as the pilot expands its reach in the coming years and those changes put on hold due to Covid are implemented. Our goal in providing these studies is to demonstrate real world evidence-based examples of inclusion in these disciplines. The case study authors provide numerous practical and replicable approaches which other educators could easily embed in their own teaching to embed inclusion. You will find rubrics, activities, assessment briefs and many other items which you are free to adapt and use in your own teaching. We encourage you to look at all of these case studies as you’ll find useful take-aways in each one.

UCD's Top Ten Tips to support IDAHOBIT and greater LGBTI Inclusion in your College/Schools/EDI Committees: https://www.ucd.ie/equality/newsandevents/idahobit17may/ 

Core Meeting Hours 

This policy, initiated by UCD HR in 2017, aims to facilitate the embedding of core meeting hours across the University, as part of a range of actions to support a family-friendly working environment. Here in the College of Engineering and Architecture, the core meeting hours are defined as the hours between 10:00am and 4:00pm, Monday to Friday (agreed by College Executive in 2015 in support of Athena SWAN college initiatives). They do not represent the working day, but rather are a subset of the working day. Meetings include all University, College and School level meetings, seminars, workshops etc. which employees are either required or invited to attend. They do not include timetabled teaching or assessment.  The university policy on core meeting hours can be found here.

November 18 is the International Day of LGBTQIA+ People in STEM

The Pride in Stem organisation has published the following statement on their website available at https://prideinstem.org/lgbtstemday/

November 18 has been selected to celebrate and highlight the work and barriers of LGBTQIA+ people in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM).

Among their many struggles, we see that 28% of LGBT+ people have at some point considered leaving their jobs because of a hostile workplace or discrimination towards them. 2o% of trans people had often considered leaving (2019 Exploring The Workplace For LGBT+ Physical Scientists), which is an abysmally high number. One in three physicists in America has been urged to stay in the closet to progress in their career. Half of the transgender or gender non-conforming physicists were harassed in their own departments (2015 American Physical Society survey). Gay and bisexual students are less likely to follow an academic career (2018 Coming out in STEM: Factors affecting retention of sexual minority STEM students). To these statistics, we need to add barriers and issues specific to other underrepresented groups, which create a much bigger challenge for people with intersectional identities. 

The change of date from July comes after the result of an open survey and months of discussion. The date is symbolic of the 60th anniversary of American Astronomer and gay activist Frank Kameny’s US Supreme Court fight against workplace discrimination. This is a fight that continues today, not only in the US but in so many other countries worldwide. 

We hope that November 18 comes to represent all the people who continue to make the world of STEM a better and more inclusive place!

Schools update 

School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy: Visiting Professor and Global Architecture Initiative  

Dr Nkatha Gichuyia is visiting through the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy’s EDI initiative to bring scholars to UCD who are from countries that are not well represented amongst staff in architecture, landscape, planning and environmental policy. It also dovetails the Global Architecture Initiative in the discipline of architecture. This provides academic support and leadership on materials covering Africa, South-East Asia, South and Latin America and the Middle East. Amongst other events, Dr Gichuyia will be leading a seminar in APEP on informal settlements and urbanism.  

Dr Samantha Martin-Mcauliffe, EDI Rep, School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy’s


If you have concerns or have experienced harassment on any of these grounds, there are resources available to help.

Students are advised to contact our College Student Advisor, Dr Julia Maher at julia.maher@ucd.ie or the UCD Student Counselling Service at https://www.ucd.ie/studentcounselling/contact/servicedeliveryupdatecovid-19/

Staff and students can avail of the Dignity & Respect Policy (http://www.ucd.ie/equality/support/dignityrespect/) which outlines the informal and formal routes to address any issues. There is also a Dignity & Respect Panel, whose members can provide non-directive and non-judgemental support and information to employees and students experiencing harassment on a strictly confidential basis. They will provide information on the range of informal options and supports available and also explain the formal procedures.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

College & Programme Office (1st year Engineering): Sue Philpott
Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy: Dr Samantha Martin-McAuliffe
Electrical & Electronic Engineering: Dr Giacomo Severini
Mechanical & Materials Engineering: Prof Lizbeth Goodman
Civil Engineering: Ms Beini Chen
Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering: Dr Eoin Syron
Biosystems & Food Engineering: Dr Fionnuala Murphy

Principal of the College of Engineering & Architecture

Professor Aoife Ahern (Committee Chair)

Head of School Architecture Planning & Environmental Policy

Associate Professor Eoin O'Neill

Head of School Biosystems & Food Engineering

Professor Colm O'Donnell

Head of School Chemical & Bioprocessing Engineering

Professor Eoin Casey

Head of School Civil Engineering

Associate Professor Amanda Gibney

Head of School Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Professor Peter Kennedy

Head of School Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Professor Ken Stanton

Vice Principal Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Dr.John Healy

Director of College of Engineering And Architecture Office

Sue Philpott

Senior Marketing Manager

Katie O'Neill

Student Representative



Committee Support: Valerie Kendlin, College of Engineering and Architecture Office


UCD College of Engineering & Architecture Athena SWAN Action Plan 2019-2022 PDF|343 Guidance Document on Fixed terms for Committee Membership and Leadership Roles PDF|49.7kb