This year’s UCD Festival included a very special panel discussion around campus architecture and the development of UCD at Belfield. The event forms part of a celebration of space and place at UCD, called BELFIELD 50, which is unfolding through 2020 and 2021.
As Ireland’s first purpose-built coherently modern campus, Belfield fundamentally changed the spatial identity of Irish universities. UCD commissioned the foremost modern architects of the period, national and international to design a ground-breaking educational environment at Belfield, that sought to differentiate itself from the traditional quadrangles of older Irish third-level environments.
This new campus, designed by a young Polish architect Andrzej Wejchert who won UCD’s international architectural competition in 1963, modified a distinguished old suburban landscape – a series of eleven separate demesnes – to create a designed place for learning, sport and university life.
The UCD Intel Masters Scholars is a programme that rewards Creativity and Innovation, something that this global pandemic is asking a little bit of us all as we adapt to the new normal.
Since 2016, Intel has supported 49 UCD master’s student bursaries and co-supported a number of PhD students through the programme, with one of the highlights of the year being the annual live event run by the students themselves.
Created to promote Engineering and Science in UCD and the UCD Intel Masters Scholarship programme, in previous years the Scholars have organised a panel of speakers from UCD and Intel to discuss an interesting topic.
They were naturally disappointed when they were advised that this year’s event would not go ahead, well not in the format first envisaged. Since then, and under the tutelage of Dr Kevin Nolan, Assistant Professor in UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, along with UCD Foundation, they have put much thought and initiative into seeing how they might rise to the challenge and overcome this obstacle and perhaps have an alternative virtual event.
The end result is a very special online series called Message in a Bottle, a video series where the panel members and scholars have recorded short but very personal videos detailing their career paths.
You can see some examples below, while the full playlist is available on YouTube.
Its doors may be closed for now, but Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) – a creative alliance between the National Library of Ireland and UCD, housed in the historic Newman House on St Stephen’s Green – continues to inspire literature lovers with a wealth of online resources.
Its latest offering is RadioMoLI, an on-demand digital radio station for Irish literature.
There are dozens of interviews, lecture and readings available, with new recordings added weekly. Whether your literary tastes incline towards fiction, non-fiction or poetry, there’s something for everyone on RadioMoLI. What better soundtrack to accompany your pandemic baking or gardening?
Whether working at home alone and in isolation or cooped up with family members or housemates, we could all do with a boost to our mental health as we adapt to the limitations, challenges and anxieties of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thankfully, help is at hand! As part of its Feeling Better Project, the Contextual Behavioural Science Research Lab in UCD School of Psychology is releasing a series of videos to promote positive mental wellbeing during the crisis.
The videos – available on YouTube – cover a range of topics, including managing worry, staying grounded in the present moment, connecting to what’s important and practising self-compassion.
The sports technology start-up Output Sports has developed a single wearable sensor that enables athletes to track multiple components of their performance and share their training data with their coaches via an app.
The value of the company’s Output // Capture technology is underscored by current circumstances, in which athletes have had to adapt their training programmes to comply with social distancing requirements. Many are now training at home and being coached remotely.
Among the athletes using the system are Paralympic swimmer Nicole Turner and Leinster Rugby’s Adam Byrne and Dave Kearney.
Output Sports was founded in 2018 as a spinout from the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science and is headquartered at NovaUCD in Belfield.
The COVID-19 pandemic will have significant and lasting impacts, not least in the world of business. “We are looking at an entirely new world,” according to Andreas Hoepner, Professor of Operational Risk, Banking & Finance in the UCD College of Business.
In an Irish Times article, Prof. Hoepner and his colleague Prof. Brian Fynes assess the huge operational risk businesses are exposed to as a result of the pandemic, consider the outlook for companies that are focused on effectiveness versus those focused on efficiency, and discuss the importance of strategic supply chain management at this time.
The College of Business has also launched the UCD Business Impact Podcast, in which thought leaders from academia and industry will discuss the most compelling issues facing society from a business perspective. In the first episode, Ireland’s leading expert on corporate governance Prof. Niamh Brennan discusses the financial implications of the COVID-19 crisis.
Being critically ill in hospital and without the comfort of
visits from family and friends can be an incredibly scary and lonely
experience. This is especially true for older people, who may not have
smartphones or other digital devices that would enable them to remain connected
to their loved ones.
UCD alumna Suzanne Stewart experienced first-hand the
emotional distress caused by COVID-19 when her partner was hospitalised with
the illness, but thanks to digital communication technology she was able to
keep in touch with him while she remained isolated at home. This relieved her
own anxiety, and was – she believes – an important factor in expediting her
Along with friends Ciara Close and Emma Farrell – whom she
met at UCD while studying for the Smurfit MBA in 2019 – Suzanne has launched a
crowdfunding campaign to source 100 digital tablets for hospitals and nursing
homes, to enable families to remain connected during this difficult time.
UCD Alumni from around the world have been sharing special video messages of support for our students, friends and fellow alumni as we all work through the COVID-19 pandemic together. That deep-rooted concern and compassion for one another is what makes the UCD community truly great.
Michael Moloney studied experimental physics at UCD School of Physics and was awarded the Thomas E. Nevin Medal when he graduated. He is currently CEO of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) based in Washington D.C.
The people of Ireland are not showing signs of behavioural fatigue in the face of the restrictions imposed on us to ‘flatten the curve’ and contain the spread of COVID-19.
This is according to ongoing research by Professor Liam Delaney of UCD School of Economics and his colleagues in the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) Behavioural Change Subgroup.
In an Irish Times article Prof. Delaney and co-author Pete Lunn of the ESRI look at how we’re adapting to the stresses and challenges of having our freedom curtailed, our social lives diminished, and our normal routines disrupted. Notwithstanding the inevitable worry and anxiety, a majority of the population are supportive of the restrictions, acknowledging our collective responsibility and the impact our behavior is having in limiting the spread of infection.
Researchers at I-Form – an advanced manufacturing research
facility based in UCD’s O’Brien Centre for Science – are using 3D printing to
produce face shields for healthcare staff in Dublin battling the spread of
Responding to a request from Tallaght University Hospital, and in
the face of a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), the team
at the SFI-funded facility worked with engineering colleagues at UCD to
optimise existing designs for rapid production. Over the course of a single
weekend in the lab they produced 300 face shields, and they are now scaling up
I-Form is also donating face shields to other hospitals and to
COVID-19 testing centres in the greater Dublin area.
The researchers are now investigating the possibility of producing
other critical items of PPE, including goggles and ventilator-related technology.
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