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22 September 2020

SEFI Francesco Maffioli Award recognises exceptional teaching and learning innovations in higher education and was awarded to Una Beagon and her team from TU Dublin Faculty of Civil Engineering and Built Environment for their Creative Design Studio Framework.

The School of Civil and Structural Engineering at Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) has won the Francesco Maffioli Award of Excellence for its Creative Design Studio Framework and its extraordinary contribution to engineering education. SEFI established this Award in honour of its former President Prof. Francesco Maffioli of the Politecnico di Milano.

At the photo – Una Beagon demonstrating the stability of a timber structure produced at a Creative Design Studio

Dr Aimee Byrne
Patrick Crean

Una BeagonPatrick Crean and Dr Aimee Byrne were part of the team which designed the Creative Design Studio Framework to develop and enhance both technical and professional skills in engineering students, preparing them for life in engineering practice and in society as a whole.

Speaking about the Creative Design Studio Framework Assistant Head, School of Civil and Structural Engineering, Una Beagon said, “The Design Studios allow students from all years of our programmes to use their technical knowledge to work on the kind of complex and difficult problems they will face in their careers. With guidance from academics who have significant industry experience, they build upon and contextualise their studies. The Studios complement the School’s Problem Based Learning (PBL) techniques by providing our students with the ‘creative space’ within the curriculum to explore real-life projects and scenarios.”

Creative Design Studio Framework complementing core skills development at TU Dublin

Speaking at the virtual award ceremony, Prof. John Mitchell, Chair of the judging panel and University College London (UCL) Vice-Dean Education and Co-director UCL Centre for Engineering Education, recognised the innovation in their approach: “The committee was impressed with the integrated, whole curriculum approach of the instructional design and the potential that this approach has to bring approaches more typically seen in disciplines such as architecture.”

Congratulating the School, the President of Technological University Dublin, Professor David FitzPatrick, said, “As a new type of University for an evolving world, TU Dublin introduces our students to a range of educational experiences which enhance their learning and provide them with opportunities to solve real-world problems. The Creative Design Studio, developed by the School of Civil and Structural Engineering is a prime example of our unique approach to education which equips our graduates with the knowledge and skills required to secure fulfilling employment while playing an active, responsible role in society.”

Accepting the SEFI Francesco Maffioli Award of Excellence on behalf of the team, Una Beagon said, “I would like to thank all my colleagues in the School of Civil and Structural Engineering and in TU Dublin who continually strive to create a student-centred experience for our engineering students, preparing them with the skills needed to solve the challenges of the future.”

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