Donegal County Council Partner with Atlantic Technological University to Offer Civil Engineering Work Placements

Donegal County Council Partner with Atlantic Technological University to Offer Civil Engineering Work Placements

News, Student News, Staff News / Thursday 24 November 2022

Final Year BEng Civil Engineering Students will work one day per week on a range of Donegal County Council projects with this new partnership announcement

Atlantic Technological University (ATU) together with Donegal County Council announced the launch of their Civil Engineering Work Placement partnership on Friday with county council staff marking the launch with a visit to the civil engineering laboratories in the Letterkenny campus.


This partnership will provide significant experience to students studying BEng Civil Engineering in ATU Donegal where they will gain on-the-job training one day per week during the winter semester of their final year. This work placement is made possible by the support of Donegal County Council engineering staff who organise placements throughout the county – including road construction projects, local area offices and the National Roads Office.


Donegal County Council Chief Executive, John McLaughlin says “We are delighted to expand our partnership opportunities with ATU. They play a vital role in in providing a skilled workforce for a wide range of industry and Services in the North West. ATU will help transform third level education in Donegal and the Northwest Region.”


Donegal County Council Director of Services, Bryan Cannon says “Civil Engineering is a key qualification that will be required as part of the Skills base needed to deliver the National Development Plan. There will be many and varied infrastructural Projects in the North West in the coming years and Donegal County Council is keen to play its part with ATU in developing young engineers that will play a part in delivering the NDP for Donegal and the North West.”


Head of Faculty of Engineering & Technology, Thomas Dowling adds “We are excited to work with Donegal County Council as partners in this new initiative. Work placement is an important element of the programmes we provide here at ATU Donegal.”



Photo Caption: Representatives from Donegal County Council, ATU Donegal Civil Engineering Lecturing team and ATU Donegal Civil Engineering students celebrating the recent partnership announcement.
Back row (l-r): Eleanor Diver, Lecturer; Thomas Dowling, Head of Faculty of Engineering & Technology ATU Donegal; Anne Boner, Head of Department of Civil Engineering & Construction, ATU Donegal; Michael Carr, Lecturer; Bryan Cannon, Director of Roads and Transportation, Donegal County Council; Damian McDermott, Senior Engineer, Donegal National Roads Office; David McElwaine, Senior Executive Engineer, Donegal County Council; Paul Hannigan, Head of College, ATU Donegal; John McLaughlin, Chief Executive Donegal County Council; Fergus Towey, Senior Executive Engineer, Donegal National Roads Office; Jamie Corry, A/Executive Engineer, Donegal National Roads Office; Emma Coyle, Lecturer; and Brendan Kelly, Technician.
Front row (l-r): ATU Donegal Civil Engineering students Niall McMenamin, Declan Sharkey, Jordan O Domhnaill, Dominic Boyle, William Gallagher, Andrew Cunningham, Rory Hirrell, Daibhead MacDaibheid, Amy McGonigle.


Student reflections from the work placement so far include:

“Work placement has helped enhance my team working and IT skills.  I can now apply these improved skills in my college work and final year project.”


“As a student of civil engineering, to see the work of a civil engineer be appreciated by a member of the public gave me a reminder of the real-life impact civil engineering has in society. An occurrence I had not seen before, to see a civil engineer be thanked for public service was inspiring and reassured me of the importance of this work.”




“Seeing in practice the on-site testing carried out on construction projects, that I only read about in class notes, made it easier to understand civil engineering materials, design, and procedures.”




“Practical surveying skills gained in my first and second year have been developed with use of the GPS and total station surveying equipment on this work placement.  I think the latest technology can be incorporated into the modules more.”



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