Education was a major preoccupation for the government and for Irish society during the 1960s. The 1965 OECD Report Investment in Education was followed in 1966 by the announcement by Donogh O'Malley, Minister for Education, of free secondary education and the introduction of grants for third-level students. Education and science were seen as essential for Ireland's growing economy. The 1960s graduates could hope for jobs in Ireland.

Having approved the transfer of UCD to Belfield, the government fast-tracked funding for the UCD science building, the first major government investment in university buildings since the foundation of the state. 1964 saw the start of the move to Belfield, with the departure of chemistry from Merrion Street and physics from its home in Earlsfort Terrace. The other science departments in Merrion Street left for Belfield soon afterwards. The space released for engineering facilitated an expansion that matched national ambitions for industrial and economic growth under Taoiseach Seán Lemass, who had often spoken on this subject in the building.

A degree in agricultural engineering was established in the department of mechanical engineering in 1961 and the first graduates in the discipline qualified in 1964. Professor Patrick Leahy established the part-time Master of Industrial Engineering programme in 1967 to cater for the growing needs of industrial enterprises in the country. Among the first graduates of this programme in 1969 were Don Godson and Brian Kearney, who went on to become CEO of CRH and founder and CEO of Project Management, respectively. The first academic computer in the country was installed in UCD in 1962, and later that year the country's first public course in computing was given in the building by Professor L. Brendan D'Alton in collaboration with IBM. The decade also saw a significant increase in the number of research postgraduate students in engineering. The degree of Master of Engineering Science (M.Eng.Sc.) was established, and students won research scholarships from university, government and industry.

The last link with the teaching staff of the RCScI was severed in 1967 with the retirement of George Ring, lecturer in electro-technology, who had graduated from the RCScI in 1920, worked on the teaching staff of that college and transferred to UCD in 1926.

Above: Students on the front steps

Above: Students in Merrion Street at work and at play in the early 1960s