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Aoife Ahern

Professor Aoife Ahern

Principal, UCD College of Engineering and Architecture and UCD Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Prof Aoife Ahern

Professor Aoife Ahern has a degree in civil engineering from Trinity College Dublin and a PhD in civil engineering from University College London, where she was in receipt of a British Council Chevening Scholarship and a UCL scholarship. She was appointed as a lecturer in the UCD School of Civil Engineering in 2003, prior to which she was a lecturer in Civil Engineering in Trinity College Dublin for four years. In the School of Civil Engineering, she served as Head of School from 2015-2019, overseeing the School’s increased international collaborations, significant growth in faculty numbers, and launching the first joint programme, a degree in civil engineering with the University of Chang’an, which would later lead to the establishment of the joint College – the Chang’an Dublin International College. 

Her research interests are in two main areas: creating opportunities and infrastructure for sustainable travel; and critical thinking in education. She has been involved in both national and international projects in both areas. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland, and a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering.

In 2019, Aoife was appointed to the role she currently holds, as Principal of the College of Engineering and Architecture, and Dean of Engineering. As College Principal, Aoife has successfully led the largest engineering and architecture department in Ireland, growing and diversifying student numbers in both disciplines, overseeing the continued collaboration with CDIC, leading to the launch of two additional joint programmes (one in mechanical engineering and one in urban planning) and led the College to significantly increased levels of research funding.

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

Aoife was appointed by Minister Simon Harris to the NUI Senate in 2023 for a 5-year term.

Aoife also chairs the University’s Dignity and Respect Oversight Committee and has done so since 2021. As chair of this group, she has led the implementation of UCD’s Bullying and Harassment Policy, the Sexual Misconduct policy for students and employees, and has worked with the EDI unit to produce the annual Dignity and Respect report. The UCD Dignity and Respect Service, launched in 2022, reports to the Dignity and Respect oversight group, and conducts the data monitoring of the service.

Aoife also initiated the UCD Menopause Policy, chairing the working group that formulated the policy. The policy was launched in 2023, the first of its kind in a Higher Education Institution in Ireland. The policy includes training for employees and managers on managing menopause in the workplace which is being launched in the University in 2024.

Aoife was appointed as Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in February 2024. 

Email: (opens in a new window)aoife.ahern@ucd.ie

Phone: (353 1) 716 1829

UCD President's Office

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.