What gives an engineer from the University College Dublin an edge? Just ask Aness Al-Qawlaq, a third-year Electronic Engineering student at the university. “I chose to study at UCD because it is the best engineering university in Ireland and has a global degree that is recognised worldwide,” explains the Jordanian-Palestinian student.
Attracted to UCD’s reputation in employability and industry connections, Al-Qawlaq had to make quite the adjustment when he first arrived in Ireland. Getting lost on campus, navigating Irish weather, Gaelic names and public transport are some of the challenges he faced as a newcomer.
Now an active member of the university’s student body, his experience includes being a part of the university’s team for a design competition under Engineers Without Borders UK, running for Robotics Officer, and teaching Android and Web Development to hobbyists. Needless to say, Al-Qawlaq is precisely the kind of well-rounded engineer that UCD is known for producing.
Prestige and employability
As one of the top 1% universities worldwide, it’s hardly surprising that the university has maintained its impressive position as Ireland’s number one university by the QS World University Graduate Employability Rankings for five years in a row. It topped the national score in the Partnerships with Employers indicator, which is something that UCD actively cultivates to ensure its graduates meet in-demand skills in different sectors.
For a sustainable future to be viable and within reach, it requires the combination of engineering science, technology, design, planning and environment. These qualities are embodied in UCD’s College of Engineering and Architecture— the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in Ireland — comprising five Schools of Engineering and the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy. The engineering programme exemplifies why UCD’s employability ranking is well-deserved — 91% of its graduates go on to secure employment or continue their studies within six months of graduation.
So what can students expect when they join this prestigious College? For one, they can rest easy knowing that their qualification adheres to the highest industry standards. Courses are accredited by Engineers Ireland, one of the country’s largest professional bodies, which means that an engineering degree from UCD is widely accepted within the sector.
At UCD, students can gear up for their future careers early on. Recruitment activities and career fairs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) start early, while internships typically begin in January or February, with the recruitment process commencing as early as April. Exposure to affiliated sectors is vital to the College’s graduate success from the moment students walk through. UCD’s doors. Academia at UCD is closely connected to employers and employees in affiliated sectors to ensure that students’ skills and knowledge remain relevant to the industry to enhance their career readiness.
The ME degrees in Engineering all incorporate a Professional Work Experience (PWE) for a period of six to eight months to merge their academic and career interests with real-world experience. The College has two Internship Managers dedicated to preparing students ahead of the UCD Careers Network’s Career and Skills Consultants.
To date, students have landed opportunities in prestigious global companies across a wide range of sectors, including, ICT, biopharmaceutical, civil, manufacturing, electronic, energy and power, biosystems and food, chemical and bioprocessing, as well as mechanical and materials.
Career network and support
Career support in UCD is all-encompassing in many different forms. Students undergo a transformative learning experience where soft skills are enhanced alongside academic knowledge. Cian Walker, who is pursuing an ME in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering can attest to this. “I would consider my ability to speak publicly as a skill which was enhanced here in UCD. I would also consider professional practice skills, such as email responses, time management and team-cooperation skills as ones which I have gained since joining UCD,” he reflects.
Walker’s professional development typifies the capabilities of UCD engineers. Students’ preparedness for the industry is further aided by UCD Careers Network, where individuals are empowered with confidence and the right attitude to thrive in a globally-oriented workforce. Students can make an appointment with a Career and Skills Consultant for a one-on-one session to discuss anything career-related. The Network connects the dots between a student’s study period and their future careers through services such as mock interviews, CV assessments, and job application guides.
Study in a research-intensive university
Robust faculty research flourishes across the board in the College. Its researchers have won the prestigious ICE Publishing Awards in civil engineering, developed novel space systems for Ireland’s first satellite, and pioneered a € 2 million-endowed farming project with net-zero emissions in sight, among many other achievements.
Students enrolled in the College can choose a world-class education from a wide range of undergraduate and taught masters programmes that contribute to interdisciplinary research and training. This was what Aliaa Karam learned firsthand in her undergraduate Biomedical Engineering programme. “During the past three years I have highly enjoyed studying at UCD and have gained valuable knowledge in mathematics, biomechanics, biomaterials, medical device design, human anatomy and physiology, cell biology, tissue engineering, and bioinstrumentation,” says the Egyptian student, who hopes to apply that knowledge, into future medical research. “I have also had the opportunity to participate in five research projects throughout my degree, which I have found to be extremely interesting and have allowed me to confirm my passion for research,” adds Karam, who is planning on starting her PhD next year.
With strong industry links and extensive support, engineering at UCD equips students with the right tools, facilities, and far-reaching opportunities for students to soar in their careers. If you’re interested in joining this top-ranked engineering faculty, click here.