Professor Gerry Byrne receives Honorary Doctorate from DIT

Dublin, 03 December, 2005 Professor Gerald Byrne, Dean of Engineering at University College Dublin, was today (Saturday, 3rd December, 2005) conferred with an honorary Doctorate from the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Professor Byrne, who qualified as a mechanical engineer in 1975 from DIT, was honoured by the Institute for his outstanding contribution to engineering in Ireland and was conferred with the award in front of hundreds of students and their families at the Institute?s Annual Faculty of Engineering Graduation held in St Patrick?s Cathedral.

With over twenty years of professional and academic experience, Professor Byrne is renowned throughout Ireland and internationally as one of Ireland?s most distinguished engineers.   A Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering, he is also the only Irish engineer to be elected as an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK).   His reputation is reinforced by his extensive list of publications, his teaching and mentoring of young engineers, his energetic involvement in the Institute of Engineers of which he is a former President, and his participation in conferences and research seminars. 

According to the President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, ?DIT was privileged in awarding Professor Byrne a Doctorate of Philosophy, honoris causa in recognition of his outstanding contribution to engineering and technological innovation.?  Describing Byrne as ?an engineer by instinct, by qualification and by accolade?, Professor Norton made the point that, ?Gerry Byrne?s trajectory from apprentice to internationally celebrated Professor of Engineering provides a clear illustration of why our education system must strive to ensure that each rung of the ladder leads our students to another opportunity.?

Professor Norton added that ? as a graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology, and as an academic colleague, Gerry Byrne is without doubt a standard bearer for our graduates here today who are setting out on their own careers.? 

The ceremony was the sixth annual conferring of honorary degrees by DIT. Nominations for the Institute?s honorary degrees can be submitted by any member of staff in DIT to the Honorary Degrees Committee. Candidates are chosen on the basis of academic distinction; service to the community; service to business or industry; service to education; cultural, artistic or sporting achievement. Previous recipients of Honorary Doctorates from Dublin Institute of Technology have included the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern; educationalist, Salters Sterling; sports star, Sonia O?Sullivan; Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson; the Former Provost of Trinity College, Dr. Tom Mitchell; BBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Orla Guerin; former Ireland football manager, Brian Kerr and most recently, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Niall Mellon and former Secretary General of the European Commission, David O? Sullivan.

In all, over 4,000 students graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology this year. Today?s ceremony saw hundreds of students graduate from programmes as diverse as Civil, Structural, and Mechanical engineering, Transport Technology, Manutronics Automation and Electronic and Computer Systems. DIT has a long and proud tradition of excellence in engineering education. Throughout the last century, thousands of engineers, technicians and apprentices have received their education at the Institute?s Bolton Street and Kevin Street Campuses.

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