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.
College Dignity and Respect Presentation 2019

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


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 Colleen Blaney Doyle at colleen.doyle@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

  • Prof Aoife Ahern, College Principal
  • Associate Prof Eoin O'Neill, Head of School, Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy
  • Prof Colm O'Donnell, Head of School, Biosystems & Food Engineering
  • Prof Eoin Casey, Head of School, Chemical & Bioprocessing Engineering
  • Associate Prof Amanda Gibney, Head of School, Civil Engineering
  • Prof Peter Kennedy, Head of School, Electrical & Electronic Engineering
  • Prof Ken Stanton, Head of School, Mechanical & Materials Engineering
  • Dr. John Healy, Vice Principal Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Ms Sue Philpott, Director, College Of Engineering And Architecture Office
  • Ms Katie O'Neill, Senior Marketing Manager
  • Joshua Climax, Student Representative
  • Ms Valerie Kendlin, Administrative Support
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