IT Sligo has scooped top prize for innovation in engineering education at the prestigious Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards.
It took the Engineering Education ‘Best in Class 2013’ accolade at the organisation’s annual award ceremony in Dublin for a pioneering initiative that introduces an innovative practical dimension to online engineering courses.
The ‘Online Labs’ project beat off competition from three short-listed entries from other third level colleges in Ireland.
John O’Dea, President of Engineers Ireland presented the prize to project technician, Ross McMorrow, who was joined at the ceremony by IT Sligo colleagues, Úna Parsons, Head of the Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Andrea Martin, a Communications lecturer in the Dept. of Mechanical & Electronics Engineering, and Brian Mulligan, Programme Manager, Centre for Online learning
Ross said: “I am delighted to receive this honour on behalf of IT Sligo and our School of Engineering & Design. This award is further affirmation of the consistently top quality standards and innovations that our online lecturing staff bring to their material and online teaching methods year on year.”
Developed by staff at the School of Engineering & Design, ‘Online Labs’ enables engineering distance learners to conduct PC-based practical elements of courses by remotely controlling a computer suite at the Institute from home.
IT President, Professor Terri Scott, said: “I extend my warmest congratulations and thanks to all the staff involved for investing so much knowledge and personal commitment to the project’s success.
“By coincidence, the triumph coincided with our annual conferring ceremonies, which is the Institute’s the most auspicious time of year, and it was gratifying to note that online students were well to the fore among the 2,000 new graduates who received their degrees last week.
“They can all go out into the world of work, confident in the knowledge that they have internationally recognised degrees taught by progressive and research-driven staff, as exemplified in this ‘Best in the Class’ prize.”
Commenting on the awards, Engineers Ireland Director General and Chartered Engineer, John Power, said, “Engineers make a phenomenal contribution to the economy and the society at large, from input in heavy construction projects to microchip design. Engineers take basic designs and turn them into reality.
“Education is vital in developing a skilled workforce to advance Ireland as a centre of excellence in engineering. I congratulate IT Sligo for its investment and success in making engineering accessible to a wider reach of students.”
The online lab is one of several IT Sligo online learning innovations developed with the aid of EU-INTERREG funding.
IT Sligo delivers more than 40 varied internet programmes to around 1,100 students worldwide.
Online Labs project technician Ross McMorrow with the ‘Best in Class’ award which IT Sligo won at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards. Sharing in the celebration are IT Sligo lecturer, Stephen Reid, Professor Terri Scott, President of IT Sligo, and Úna Parsons, Head of the Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering.
106 jpg IT Sligo staff with the ‘Best in Class’ accolade, won at the annual Engineers Ireland Excellence Award. Pictured are Stephen Reid, lecturer, Úna Parsons, Head of the Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, project technician Ross McMorrow, Brian Mulligan, Programme Manager, Centre for Online Learning and Andrea Martin, lecturer.
Online Labs project technician Ross McMorrow with the ‘Best in Class’ award.