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UCD names new Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Monday, 12 February, 2024

Professor Aoife Ahern

(opens in a new window)Professor Aoife Ahern, Principal of theUCD College of Engineering and Architectureand Dean of Engineering has been appointed as the new Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at UCD. She will hold this new role concurrently with her role as College Principal.

As Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Professor Ahern will work across the University to ensure that the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded in all aspects of the University’s strategy, policy, processes, systems and functions.

She will also make certain that the University culture, structures, environment, governance, and support services continue to create an environment for students and employees where diversity is celebrated, and everyone is treated fairly and equitably regardless of their gender, age, race, disability, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, or civil status.

“I am delighted to welcome Aoife to this important position for UCD. She has a strong track record of leadership and delivery in initiatives related to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and I look forward to continuing progress for UCD in this area under Aoife’s leadership,” said UCD President,(opens in a new window)(opens in a new window)Professor Orla Feely.

Speaking on her appointment, Professor Aoife Ahern said: “I am excited to take on this role, and look forward to leading on equality, diversity, and inclusion in the University.  I want to use my experience to create a community in UCD with EDI at the centre, where all members of the community are valued, listened to, and treated equally.”

Professor Ahern has served as College Principal for the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture, and the Dean of Engineering since 2019.

As College Principal, she has successfully led the largest engineering and architecture College in Ireland, growing and diversifying student numbers in both disciplines, overseeing continued collaboration with Chang'an Dublin International College of Transportation (CDIC) and significantly increasing research funding at the College.

From 2020-2022, Professor Ahern chaired the University’s Covid-19 Committee. This forum enabled the entire UCD community to consider the impact of Covid-19, and supported the University Management Team (UMT) and the UCD community to work together to implement appropriate interventions to safeguard the community, while ensuring the continuation of teaching and research throughout the pandemic.

As chair of the University’s Dignity and Respect Oversight Committee, Professor Ahern has led the implementation of UCD’s Bullying and Harassment Policy, and Sexual Misconduct Policy for students and employees.

She also chaired the working group that formulated the UCD Menopause Policy which was launched in 2023. This policy was the first of its kind in a Higher Education Institution in Ireland. It includes training for employees and managers on managing menopause in the workplace. 

Professor Ahern is currently leading an industry-funded research project to consider gender roles in engineering, with a focus on the retention of women in the engineering sector.

In 2023, she was appointed by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD to the NUI Senate for a five-year term.

She will take up her new role from 1st February 2024.

By: Dominic Martella, Head of External Communication, Media Relations and Content, UCD University Relations

UCD College of Engineering and Architecture

Room 122 & Room 126, UCD Engineering and Materials Science Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
T: +353 1 716 1868 | E: eng.arch@ucd.ie