Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.04
Liaison Thomas Adams
Submission Date July 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

National University of Ireland, Galway
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Thomas Adams
Student Researcher
Civil Engineering
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:

Name of the campaign:
Community Engaged Building Engineering projects

A brief description of the campaign:

Community engaged learning and teaching are academic approaches that seek to engage and accredit students, within the curriculum, for working in partnership with civic and civil society organisations to act on local societal challenges. Over the last 12 year, 300+ community engaged building engineering projects have been completed by second year undergraduate (Level 8) civil engineering, energy systems engineering and project & construction management students in NUI Galway. The projects are based around the student groups developing solutions for real-world problems identified by civic society organisations. The projects are framed by a research orientation, commitments to civic engagement, building university-community and city-university partnerships, and partnerships with other official agencies. Such framing means that community users can provide real learning problems for students and community partners can benefit from the results.

∙ Contact: Prof Jamie Goggins
∙ Contact e-mail: jamie.goggins@nuigalway.ie

A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

The 300+ community engaged building engineering projects completed by NUI Galway students between 2014 and 2021 related to a number of SDGs. Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11) was associated with the great majority of projects (96%), followed by Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3, 58%) and Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7, 46%). Industry Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9) and Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10) were each associated with approximately 10% of the projects; while Life on Land (SDG 15), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12), Climate Action (SDG13) and No Poverty (SDG1) were directly related to 0.5-3% of the projects. A wide range of projects carried out between 2014 and 2021 included:
· The restoration of the Mill Wheel at Thoor-Ballylee, WB Yeats home (2021, in partnership with local historical society) - directly relating to SDG 11, 3, 12;
· A renovation design of a 1940’s Bungalow in order to transform it into a social inclusion café (2021, in partnership with local social enterprise centre) - directly relating to SDG 11, 10, 7;
· Transitional Refugee Shelter – Thermal Performance (2021, in partnership with university buildings office) - directly relating to SDG 10, 1;
· Design of student accommodation made of recycled shipping containers (2020,
in partnership with university student union) – directly relating to SDG 11, 9, 3;
· Design of ventilation strategy for new charity offices in Galway (2020, in partnership with the local charity group) – directly relating to SDG 11, 3;
· Design of Derrigimlagh board walk extension (2019, in partnership with the local chamber of commerce) – directly relating to SDG 15, 3;
· Energy and accessibility audit of Craughwell GAA Club (2019, in partnership with
the local sports club) – directly relating to SDG 11, 7, 3, 10;
· Electric vehicle feasibility for Údarás na Gaeltachta (2019, in partnership with the regional authority) – directly relating to SDG 7, 11;
· Development of flood defence system in the Spanish Arch area in Galway City (2018,
in partnership with the fire and rescue services) – directly relating to SDG 11, 9;
· Development of an awareness campaign for Galway Bay Search and Rescue (2018,
in partnership with the national lifeboat institution) – directly relating to SDG 11, 3, 10;
· Light, heat and fire safety evaluation of St. Patrick's Brass Band clubhouse (2017,
in partnership with the local music band) – directly relating to SDG 11, 7, 3;
· Retrofit of Ability West 'Clochatuisce' facility (2017, in partnership with the local charity group) - directly relating to SDG 11, 9;
· Design, structural analysis and cost analysis of bridges in the Greenways Project (2015, in partnership with the county council) – directly relating to SDG 11, 15, 3;
An investigation and assessment of accessibility and fire safety to the theatre (2014,
in partnership with the city theatre company) – directly relating to SDG 11, 10, 3.
The community engaged building engineering projects have been driven by Quality Education (SDG 4) and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17). ‘Learning by doing’ engineering education enhanced students’ learning and engagement, as community partners/users could provide real learning problems and contexts for students, and benefit from the results. In fact, , the majority of community partners found the students’ reports very useful and an average of 86% of community partners who completed our annual surveys since 2014 expressed that they would carry out the recommendations suggested in the students' reports.

Working in collaboration with community organisations enables students to use and enhance skills, competencies and knowledge in a real world capacity, which leads to an enlarged and more fulfilling educational experience (Randles and Harmon, 2015). Through community engaged engineering projects, students can (i) develop the ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems in their field of study in a real world context; (ii) select and apply relevant methods from established engineering practice by critically using appropriate sources of information to pursue detailed investigations and research of technical issues in their field of study, (iii) recognise the importance of non-technical – societal, health and safety, environmental, and economic – constraints, and (iv) develop the ability to communicate effectively information, ideas, problems and solutions with engineering community and society at large. In fact, community engaged engineering projects can help fulfil all seven programme outcomes required by Engineers Ireland, which is the education standard required for the registration of Chartered Engineers in Ireland.

Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
NEAR Health

A brief description of the campaign (2nd campaign):

NEAR Health investigates how Nature and Environment can help society Attain and Restore Health. It aims to connect people with nature to benefit their health and wellbeing. It collaborates with communities to co-create and/or assess inclusive nature-based activities that promote and restore health and wellbeing, helping us value and care for our environment. Combining multisector stakeholders, it develops and transforms knowledge for communities, policymakers and practitioners.

Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Health Services Executive, it contributes to Healthy Ireland goals to create a healthy environment where ‘every sector of society can play their part in achieving a healthy Ireland’.

Caitriona Carlin and Gesche Kindermann
∙ Contact e-mail: caitriona.carlin@nuigalway.ie;
∙ Website: http://whitakerinstitute.ie/project/near-health
∙ Social media links: @NEARhealth_NUIG

A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

NEAR Health directly engaged more than 560 people who participated as our stakeholders in the project, engaging with blue and green spaces for health and wellbeing. These were distributed across the entire country, in urban and rural areas. The outreach was all inclusive and intergenerational.

A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns:

ReelLIFE SCIENCE - Enda O’Connell
ReelLIFE SCIENCE is a nationwide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine) engagement programme, which encourages the public to discover more about STEM and its impact on individuals, society and the environment. Participants of all ages from schools and community groups are challenged to research a scientific topic and communicate it for the public via an engaging and educational three minute video, while developing their critical thinking, communication and digital skills. Since launching in 2013, ReelLIFE SCIENCE has enabled more than 9,000 Irish students and community group members to engage with STEM in a novel way, while the videos produced have been viewed over 150,000 times online and at public screenings.
A demonstration video on this project is at the link: https://youtu.be/nr4gTgvom7A

∙ Contact email: enda.oconnell@nuigalway.ie
∙ Website: www.reellifescience.com
∙ Social media links: www.facebook.com/ReelLifeScience

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.