Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs
Senior Leadership Team
Professor Lisa Looney is DCU Vice President for Academic Affairs and Registrar and a member of the DCU senior management team. As well as the substantial regulatory and policy responsibilities attaching to this position, she leads the formulation and implementation of the university Teaching and Learning strategy. Working with senior colleagues, and supported by the constituent units of Academic Affairs, Professor Looney has overall responsibility for the regulation and development of courses and programmes, examinations and assessments, and all matters relating to students' studies. Lisa is also Executive Sponsor of both DCU Futures and the Student Information System programme: two very significant transformational projects underway in the university. She is a Board member of ECIU university (a European University in which DCU is a member), current chairman of the Board of the CAO and a member of the Irish University Association (IUA) Registrar’s group.
Prior to taking up this role, Prof Looney was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computing (2017-2020), Dean of Graduate Studies (2011-2016), and a founding member of academic staff in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in DCU.
In her role as Executive Dean, Lisa led a Faculty with a very strong research profile – it is home to three large Science Foundation Ireland-funded research centres; Insight (Data Analytics), ADAPT (next generation digital content) and I-Form (additive manufacturing). She prioritised strategic curriculum renewal with a particular emphasis on innovation in master's programmes (including transnational and online delivery), grew academic staffing, championed initiatives on student engagement and in infrastructure development to support challenge-based learning. She has a track record in internationalisation and has been a champion for women in STEM over a number of decades.
As Dean of Graduate Studies in DCU, Lisa and was particularly active in the European Universities Association Council for Doctoral Education. She was instrumental in drafting the Irish National Framework for Doctoral Education, and led the development of Ireland’s Framework of Good Practice for Research Degree Programmes published in 2019.
Lisa’s disciplinary background is mechanical engineering, and her research expertise includes areas of materials processing, particularly biomaterials. She is a very experienced doctoral supervisor and research examiner. She undertook her PhD in the Netherlands as a sponsored fellow of the European Commission and has a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin. She has also lived and worked as a researcher in New Zealand.
Dr Monica Ward is the DCU Dean of Teaching and Learning. She oversees and advises on a wide range of matters pertaining to taught programmes and provides institutional leadership in the consistent pursuit of excellence in teaching and in assessment, leading and providing strategic academic input into related strategic initiatives in the areas of digital learning innovation and student profile/programme portfolio development, among others. As Chair of the University Standards Committee, she has particular responsibilities regarding academic quality assurance and governance and related alignment of practice with policy, including consistent application of DCU Marks & Standards as they relate to the University’s portfolio of taught programmes.
Prior to taking up this role, she was the Assistant Head for Teaching Excellence in the School of Computing at DCU. Her areas of interest include Computer Assisted Learning (particularly Computer Assisted Language Learning), Educational Technologies, Computer Science Education and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
Associate Professor Joseph Stokes, is currently the Dublin City University Dean of Graduate Studies, with responsibility for strategy, policy and regulation relating to graduate research in the University, and for providing support to DCU's doctoral and research master's students and their supervisors. Prof Stokes leads the Graduate Studies Office, and chairs the DCU Graduate Research Studies Board. He is a member of the Irish Universities Association (IUA) Deans of Graduate Studies group, and is a regular contributor to meetings of the European Universities Association Council for Doctoral Education (EUA- CDE). He was awarded the degrees of B.A. and B.A.I. in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from Trinity College Dublin in 1997 and began his PhD studies that year in DCU. He attained his PhD in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from Dublin City University in 2002, graduated March 2003. From 2012 to 2017, he was Head of School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in Dublin City University. He is an Associate Professor in Surface Engineering and Tribological Coatings, research active in this area since 1997. His professional achievement includes the production of coated and free-standing engineering components using the HVOF (High Velocity Oxy-Fuel) process, other processes include Atmospheric Plasma and Flame Thermal Spray (Thermal Spray facilities), including Tribological Assessment. He is an active member of the Centre for Medical Engineering Research (MEDEng) and the National Centre for Plasma Science and Technology (NCPST).
Professor Blánaid White is Dean of Strategic Learning Innovation in Dublin City University. She leads DCU Futures, a €20 million education transformation project, which aims to radically reimagine the university curriculum and reconceptualization of university teaching. DCU Futures introduces new areas of study, new ways of learning, and embeds the transferable skills students will require to thrive in a yet to be defined workplace. As part of DCU Futures, DCU is introducing 10 new undergraduate programmes and specialisms, all of which will incorporate challenge based learning, deep embedding of industry and innovative assessments.
Previously, Blánaid has held the roles of Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Science and Health and Head of School of Chemical Sciences. She graduated with a BSc in Chemistry with German in 2001, and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry in 2005.
An analytical chemist by trade, Blánaid is a principal investigator in the National Centre for Sensor Research and the DCU Water Institute. A primary focus of her research is the development and application of innovative technologies for investigative and regulatory monitoring of known and emerging contaminants in food, soil and water, and the pursuit of research to inform and support national and international policy and decision making.
Ms Pauline Mooney was appointed to the role of Academic Secretary in 2016. In this capacity Pauline provides strategic administrative support to the VPAA/Registrar, assuming responsibility for and/or contributing significantly to the implementation of major strategic initiatives that lie within the VPAA/Registrar’s remit, as well as to the formulation of University policy. She is also responsible for the Academic Secretariat and Academic Systems units. Pauline is a member of Academic Council, Education Committee and the Student Information System (SIS) Steering Group.
Pauline holds a BA (Hons) in Modern History and Irish and an MA (Research) in History from St Patrick’s College, Maynooth (now Maynooth University). Working continuously within the Higher Education sector, she held positions in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and in the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (now subsumed within QQI) before joining DCU in 2001. Pauline has occupied a number of management and leadership roles within DCU including that of Faculty Manager in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and subsequently in the Faculty of Science and Health. In 2014 she assumed the role of Senior Project Manager (Student Experience) within the DCU Incorporation Project, a role she occupied until her appointment to her current role.
Dr Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl is Dublin City University’s Director of Micro-Credential Strategy and Innovation. Dr Nic Giolla Mhichíl leads the OVPAA's DCU Studio unit, established in 2021 as an innovation, production and development unit focused on driving and delivering learning opportunities at scale and in line with DCU’s T&L strategy. Dr Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl provides key strategic leadership in the areas learning innovation, micro-credentialing, short form, digital and flexible learning space at institutional national and European levels.
Mairéad has been influential in shaping both national and European policy, working closely with the European Commission and UNESCO in the area of Micro-Credentials and is a regular keynote speaker and invited panellist at major conferences both nationally and internationally. She is currently a member of the National Steering Committee of the Micro-Creds projects, and she is micro-credential lead on behalf of the ECIU University Alliance. Her interests in micro-credentialing draw on her deep knowledge of the EHEA and Recognition Tools.
Mairéad has attracted significant national and international funding to DCU for her research, teaching, and learning initiatives including multiple Erasmus+ awards as PI and is currently leading the DigiAdvance project working with leading Universities across Europe and SMEs under the Digital Europe Programme. Mairéad has a keen interest in digital transformation and implementation in Higher Education and is Chief Co-Editor of the International Journal of Technology in Higher Education. She is a former Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, where she Lectures and supervises students. Mairéad was also a Tech Impact Scholar with the University of Notre Dame in the US and has served on numerous national and European committees for Teaching and Learning.
Professor Mark Brown is Ireland's first Chair in Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL). The NIDL has a mission to be a world leader at the forefront of new digital models of education and includes the Teaching Enhancement Unit, Open Education Unit and the Ideas Lab.Mark coordinates the Digital Learning Research Network which includes over 50 DCU staff with a research interest in the area and who produce a broad range of scholarly outputs related to blended, Online and Digital (BOLD) education. More detailed biographical information, including a summary of Mark's research outputs by year, is available from his personal NIDL webpage.
Ms Phylomena McMorrow currently holds the post of Director of Registry and was appointed to this role in 2009. Phylomena has 30 years’ experience working in higher education and has held various leadership and management roles within Dublin City University. The experience she has gained within higher education was during a time of significant change and challenges.
Phylomena has a strong background in academic administration leadership, operational management, regulatory and policy development and managing change. Phylomena has chaired a number of University Working Groups and is currently a member of several University Committees including the University Standards Committee, Academic Council and the Space Planning and Management Committee. Phylomena has a Bachelor of Business Studies degree from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Strategy, Innovation and Change from University College Dublin.