Building & Civl Dept form alliance with Galway TechnoTeachers

Friday, August 23, 2013 Press Office
Press Release

A new collaborative working group has been established between the GMIT Department of Building & Civil Engineering and the award-winning Galway TechnoTeachers Association, with the aim of raising awareness of programmes, subjects and innovative developments in the changing construction sector and the industry opportunities presented to graduates.

The teachers’ group met in GMIT recently with a view to developing a mutually beneficial alliance that would promote construction and technology engineering at third level as well as second-level subject areas of Construction, Technology and Design & Communications Graphics (DCG) directly to students, parents and teachers. They were taken on their first tour of the GMIT Department’s state of the art facilities and given demonstrations in its numerous laboratories.

Last Friday (10 May) the first school visit took place when thirty-five students from the Bish (St Joseph’s Patrician College) and the Secretary of Galway Techno Teachers Seamus Calahan attended the first information talks and rotating lab demonstrations in Structures, Hydraulics, Concrete, Surveying and Architectural Technology. They also got to see the new E car which is on loan to GMIT School of Engineering from Electric Ireland.

Members of the Galway Techno Teachers Association, who were recently awarded the prestigious 2013 ASTI Outstanding Teachers Team Award, were very complimentary about the first formal meeting of the group:

Individual members said:

“The Building and Civil Engineering department of the GMIT is a centre of excellence that rivals any engineering department in any college in the country.” -Eugene Flynn, St Jarlaths College, Tuam.

“The best tour of a Building and Civil Engineering department I ever had. Friendly, professional and informative.” -Brendan Joyce, St Pauls, Oughterard.

“Any student thinking of a future in Engineering should first take a visit to the Civil engineering department of the GMIT" “Don scolaire atá ag iarraidh cúrsa innealtóireacht a dhéanadh, mholainn dóidh cuairt a thabhairt ar an roinn innealtóireacht atá i GMIT chun fís don todhchaí a fheicéal agus abheith páirteach leis." -Míchéal Ó Gríofa, Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna.

Mary Rogers, Head of Dept of Building & Civil Engineering, says it’s important that parents and pupils are kept informed of the changes and innovations in this sector: “The Department of Building and Civil Engineering has already introduced modules in Building Information Modelling (BIM) into several of its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in recognition of its global importance. We in education are currently facing a huge challenge to ensure that our graduates are fully conversant with BIM and the BIM process in order to meet the challenges and lead in the use of new technologies to improve our efficiencies in construction processes.”

“The use of new technologies allows companies to export the service rather than the graduate to the world-wide market. BIM studies have been embedded in our Architectural Technology programme since 2006 and the new B. Eng. Hons in Civil Engineering has included BIM processes in their final year, evidenced in the high quality achieved in their project work. The Quantity Surveying and Construction Management programmes have also embraced the new technologies and processes and it is our aim that all Built Environment students leave this Institute competent in BIM processes. We are also currently offering a BIM certificate through Springboard and have a student undertaking a Masters by Research in BIM. Many of our recent graduates have entered the marketplace with the correct profile of sustainable construction, technological and IT skills ensuring employability even in these lean times.”

“We are delighted to have developed a mutually beneficial alliance with the Techno Teachers in Galway and their students. We will be opening our doors to engage in a practice of furthering knowledge through practical laboratory sessions for second level students and promoting awareness to students and their parents of the opportunities available for those interested in the Engineering and Built Environment sectors as a rewarding career.”

Seamus Calahan, St Joseph’s Secondary School Galway, commented that “through these links students who are already under extreme pressure from the Leaving Certificate can make more informed decisions about their future career choices. It is also hoped that this relationship between the secondary teachers and the college can help to reduce the numbers dropping out of third level courses due to making incorrect choices."