We’ve Entered a Strategic Partnership with TU Dublin

autodesk tu dublin partnership

There’s no better way to kick off a new year than announcing our commitment to developing both the future of learning and the future of work in the construction industry.  We’re pleased to announce that Autodesk has entered into a strategic partnership with Technological University (TU) Dublin which builds on three decades of collaboration and partnership with the university.  

Autodesk is one of the founding partners and investors which will help the university deliver Ireland’s very first Centre of Excellence for Construction Education Research, Enterprise, & Innovation. Located at TU Dublin in Broombridge, Cabra, the €22 million project will begin construction in late 2021.

[Above: Ireland’s very first Centre of Excellence for Construction Education Research, Enterprise, & Innovation located at TU Dublin’s Broombridge campus.]

TU Dublin is Ireland’s largest provider of education and skills to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector with over 7,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students, 1,000 trade apprentices and 120 doctoral students. This exciting partnership includes a designated space in the new centre to provide multi-disciplinary learning and training to TU Dublin’s educators and students, helping to prepare future industry talent with the digital skills and capabilities the industry requires of them.

Staff and students at TU Dublin will be given free access to Autodesk Construction Cloud, our powerful construction management platform which can be used for the entire building lifecycle, connecting workflows and allowing secure collaboration on a common data environment.

 A changing landscape for the city of Dublin

The Broombridge campus in Cabra will, for the first time in Ireland, unite all AEC disciplines in a single facility. This will help the university deliver world-class teaching and provide students with hands-on experience of the entire construction lifecycle, from planning through design and build to operation and end-of-life or renovation. 

The Broombridge campus is located two Luas stops from TU Dublin's new campus at Grangegorman which will relocate and accommodate 15 teaching schools in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) from existing facilities into two quadrangles as part of the East and Central Quads Public Private Partnership Programme – the largest Public Private Partnership project in the education sector in Ireland. The new facilities will sit on the site of the former St Brendan’s Hospital and Richmond Asylum – a mental health centre that was designed by architect Francis Johnson. Johnson also designed the world-famous General Post Office in Dublin.

[Above: Ireland’s very first Centre of Excellence for Construction Education Research, Enterprise, & Innovation located at TU Dublin’s Broombridge campus.]

Alongside TU Dublin’s new campus, the major urban regeneration development programme in the area was announced in 2010 by the Irish Government and includes the development of new state-of-the-art mental health facilities and a variety of amenities for the public. 

Developing future talent for the future of work

As 2020 proved, the use of digital tools will continue to accelerate and much of this has been turbo-charged by the Covid-19 pandemic, changing the way we work and live for good. The important role digital plays in the construction industry, and wider AEC sector, has become ever more important for organisations’ resiliency plans.

For many professionals and future job seekers, however, this means the skillsets required to fill changing and emerging roles will be new. The success of filling these skills gaps will be vital for the AEC industry to digitally transform to deliver better outcomes for customers and society alike. In fact, some of the jobs that the next generation of talent need to prepare for don’t currently even exist. So, how do we support both the industry and next generation of architecture, engineering and construction professionals to develop the skills needed for tomorrow today?  

Autodesk and TU Dublin have been working in collaboration on this exact issue for the last five years. Autodesk products are available to all staff and students at the university with, in particular, the partnership supporting the development of using BIM 360 as an educational tool on a number of courses. This helped TU Dublin to shift to remote learning at pace in March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in face-to-face teaching being cancelled across Irish higher education.

Through engagement with Autodesk customers and analysis of industry trends, the university has taken steps to deepen their knowledge and develop their course offerings to meet the demands of tomorrow. Last January, TU Dublin launched its BSc Hons in BIM (Digital Construction) and this year its MSc in Digital Construction Analytics suite, both of which were designed and will be delivered by the same team who created their award-winning MSc in aBIMM suite. These programmes are designed to reskill construction professionals by providing them with the ability to use BIM technologies – helping them to go on and take up leading roles in their organisation’s digital transformation plans.  

TU Dublin’s portfolio focuses on delivering market-ready graduates who add immediate value to their employers.” – Dr Avril Behan, Director and Dean of the College of Engineering and Built Environment, TU Dublin

Working in this way with the industry, TU Dublin applies cutting-edge thinking in the way they develop and shape their teaching which allows students to gain first-hand knowledge of digital construction best practice and become familiar with the supporting tools and technologies, like Autodesk’s Construction Cloud platform. For Dr Avril Behan, Director and Dean of the College of Engineering and Built Environment at TU Dublin, by developing lifelong learning solutions to help workers keep pace by learning new skills and earning professional credentials that will create opportunity, graduates of the programmes are equipped with advanced knowledge of the technologies available in construction, enabling them to become catalysts for the adoption of digital tools in the industry.

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Amanda Fennell

Amanda Fennell is Director of EMEA Marketing in Autodesk Construction Solutions and Autodesk Ireland Site Lead. She has over 20 year’s marketing experience in IT, including working with some leading cloud organisations. Amanda holds an MA in Communications and Cultural Studies from DCU and is based in Autodesk’s European headquarters in Dublin.