Winning Projects Selected for DIT Michael O’Donnell Memorial Fund

Students to benefit from innovative approach to engineering education


6th May 2010

Two projects that take highly innovative approaches to engineering education have been selected by DIT Foundation and the College of Engineering and Built Environment for funding from the Michael O’Donnell Memorial Fund. The DRIVE Project will involve DIT engineering students designing and building motorised Go-Karts while the Voluntary Mathematics Tuition Programme will see students tutoring local secondary school pupils. The projects will receive combined funding of €10, 000 from the Michael O’Donnell Memorial Fund.

According to Dr Mike Murphy, Dean of the College of Engineering and Built Environment, the winning projects will allow students to improve both their engineering and personal skills. ”Both involve inventive, engaging and practical ideas that will allow students to develop attributes essential for engineers such as design, analysis and problem solving while working in groups to the deliver the projects that will promote the importance of effective team-work and communications skills.”


DIT engineering students (l to r) Colm O’Reilly, Zane Flaiani, Sean Fanning and Colm Quigley.  The students are involved in the DRIVE Project which has been  selected for funding from the Michael O’Donnell Memorial Fund.

Students involved in the DRIVE Project, will be designing, constructing and testing components for use in motorised Go-Karts. The aim is to introduce group and project based engineering teaching practices that will expose undergraduate students to a formal conceive-design-manufacture-process.  The Voluntary Mathematics Tuition Programme will see DIT engineering students providing free one-to-one mathematics tuition to pupils in post-primary schools in north inner –city Dublin, while at the same time honing their own mathematics capabilities as they will be continually revisiting and explaining maths topics.

The Michael O’Donnell Memorial Fund was launched in 2007 to support engineering teaching and research activities in Dublin Institute of Technology. The fund was established following a substantial legacy from the estate of the late Michael O’Donnell, former principal of Bolton Street College of Technology and the first acting President of DIT. The Fund is managed by DIT Foundation, a registered charity that promotes and supports the development of DIT.


Pictured at the announcement that the Voluntary Mathematics Tuition Programme is to receive funding from the Michael O’Donnell Memorial Fund are (l to r) Dr Mike Murphy, Dean, College of Engineering & Built Environment, Ms Siobhan Broughan, Development Manager, DIT Foundation and project co-ordinator Mr Micheal Carr, School of Civil and Building Services Engineering.

The Voluntary Mathematics Tuition project will be co-ordinated by Michael Carr, Eddie Conlon and Jim Kelly of the School of Civil and Building Services Engineering. Kevin Delany and Michael Hall of the School of Mechanical & Transport Engineering will co-ordinate the DRIVE project.  The project co-ordinators will be awarded the title Michael O’Donnell Teaching Fellows.

The Teaching Fellows will be selecting undergraduate engineering students to participate in the projects. These students will be awarded the titles of Michael O’Donnell Scholars and will be supported through the Michael O’Donnell Fund. The winning Scholars will be announced in September 2010.

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