Annual Report 2001 - School of Electronic Engineering

annual report 2001

school of electronic engineering

Unit Report

First graduates from the European M.Eng. in Electronic Systems degree programme.
The European B.Eng/M.Eng in Electronic Systems programme is a five-year degree programme where students may graduate at Bachelors level after 4 years and Masters after 5 years. The five graduates spent 18 months of their programme studying and working in France and four of them were also awarded the French Diplôme d'Ingénieurs, the national French professional engineering qualification.

Change in Head of School
Mr Jim Dowling took over as Head of the School from Professor Charles McCorkell, who had held the position for over 20 years.

Approval of new B.Eng degree programme in Digital Media Engineering
Under the chairmanship of Dr Noel O'Connor, the new B.Eng degree programme in Digital Media Engineering was approved by the DCU Accreditation Process in February 2001 and the first cohort of students were admitted in September 2001.

Undergraduate programmes
The School has continued to develop its undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes in accordance with its planned growth to 540 places to be accommodated in the new purpose built facility (expected completion in mid-2002) for the Faculty of Engineering and Design. A new degree programme in Digital Media Engineering has commenced and has already attracted considerable interest; 18 students have registered even though the programme was too late for inclusion in the CAO Handbook.

This year also saw the introduction of a Common Entry route to three undergraduate programmes: Electronic Engineering, Telecommunications Engineering and Digital Media Engineering. This effectively allows CAO entrants to delay their choice of programme until they have completed their first year's study.

The other programmes offered by the School successfully continue to provide graduates mainly for Irish industry and postgraduate study.

Developments in On-Campus and Distance Learning Taught Postgraduate programmes
Following initiatives taken during 2000/2001 it will now be possible to:

  • qualify with a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, or Masters.
  • receive an award under the headings of Electronic Systems or Telecommunications (first set of Telecommunications graduates this year)
  • take required taught courses by distance learning mode (RACeE programme)
  • mix on-campus and distance learning modes (most popular with part-time students)
  • register as part-time or full-time
  • join the programme at the beginning of the first or second semesters
  • receive comprehensive participation planning information on the WEB (with personal -referrals this is now the most popular initial information point for applicants)
Management of the programmes will be facilitated by a pilot version of a Virtual Community System (VCP) that has been developed by David Molloy from EE. It is designed to provide:
  • access for lecturers to extensive student information, module management support and communication facilities.
  • access for students to a range of personal and programme operational information, including personal registration data, programme calendar etc
  • login and security for module notes, assessment material etc.
  • facilities for gathering survey opinions and student self-assessment
  • many other features.

More information on the VCP can be found at

Research Activity
Research activity within the School continues to thrive with the further development of the Research Institute for Networks and Communications Engineering (RINCE). RINCE has completed its second of three years HEA PRTLI funding. The capital equipment procurement process is providing first class facilities for the research projects and the research student recruitment programme has proven very successful.
Details of the activity are included later in this report.

New Staff
The School was pleased to welcome new staff members: Dr Pascal Landais joined the School Academic staff as a Lecturer and Mr Billy Roarty took up a position as Technician within the School. The Faculty Administration Office welcomed Ms Marian Scullion as Secretary.
Professor David Cameron returned to the School from extended sabbatical leave in Finland.
There were no resignations from the School during the year.

International Links
The School continues to develop and expand its international links through its participation in collaborative research programmes and EU programmes such as SOCRATES, ALFA and TEMPUS.

New Building Programme
The School continues to participate in the design process for the new building to house the Faculty of Engineering Design, the new Research Institute for Networks and Communications Engineering (RINCE) and two other National Research Centres (NCSR and NCPST). Mr Jim Dowling and Mr John Whelan are the representatives for the School and RINCE on the Users Group Working Party.