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Inaugural Trinity Global Engagement Award Winners Announced

Posted on 08 May 2015

map bombay island jane ohlmeyer trinityFrom left to right: Prof Mac MacLachlan, Dr Lorna Carson, Dr Roger West

The first recipients of the Trinity Global Engagement Awards are Dr Roger West from the School of Engineering, Dr Lorna Carson from the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies, and Prof Mac McLachlan from the Trinity Centre for Global Health. Announced by Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, the awards recognise contributions to global education, cultural understanding and global experiences that directly benefit the Trinity community. 

Speaking at the awards, Provost, Dr Prendergast said: “Trinity has always been outward-looking and international. With these awards, we send out the message - internally and externally, to staff and students, to peer institutions and potential applicants round the world - that we’re proud, in Trinity, of our level of global engagement and that we intend to grow it yet further.”

A total of 28 staff members were nominated representing 14 Schools across all three Faculties, three research centres and three service areas.  The winners were chosen following a detailed assessment by the review panel, comprising representatives of academic and administrative staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and an external reviewer, Ronan O’Dubhghaill from UCC.  The panel examined each candidate across six categories that included promoting significant international understanding, global engagement, international relationship building and education.

The Vice President for Global Relations, Professor Juliette Hussey, commented: “We were delighted to see so many nominations and we want to acknowledge the very strong field which made selection difficult for the review panel.  The winners were chosen due to their outstanding contributions to developing and maintaining Trinity’s profile internationally. All those nominated have done so much to promote Trinity on the world stage and I look forward to working with you in the coming years.”

A special mention was also given to the Digital Resources and Imaging Services (DRIS) at the event.  Trinity’s Digital Library Collections website has contributed substantially to Trinity’s visibility internationally with almost 300,000 visits over the last year, 80% of which have been made by visitors from outside of Ireland.  Currently, the repository is linked to by over 16,000 websites from around the world, bringing the online treasures of Trinity College Library’s collections to new eyes worldwide.

Each awardee will receive €2000 for their work which will support them in the advancement of their professional endeavours and engagement in a region strategic to their School, in collaboration with the Global Relations Office.

Awardee Profiles

Dr Lorna Carson’s work has been integral to developing and maintaining Trinity’s links with East Asia. Responsible for establishing the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies in 2013, Dr Carson has since organised a series of inaugural lectures on diverse aspects of Asian Culture, and an inter-disciplinary module on Contemporary Asian Studies. The Centre provides not only Trinity students but also the general public with opportunities to enhance their knowledge on contemporary East Asia. In September 2015, the Centre will welcome its first cohort of students studying for an M.Phil. in Chinese Studies.

Additionally, Dr Carson is Founding Director of the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programme, now the Centre for English Language Learning and Teaching, which supports international students whose native language is not English. Dr Carson also identified the need for individual EAP writing clinics for non-EU students, in order to maximise the support provided to these students with additional language requirements.

As Coordinator of the Broad Curriculum language modules, Dr Carson was awarded grants from the Korea Foundation and the Japan Foundation which facilitated the inclusion of Korean and Japanese languages to the suite of language options available.

Finally, Dr Carson has also been instrumental in establishing students and staff exchanges with various Chinese, Korean, and Japanese universities, enabling knowledge transfer and mobility between these centres of learning.

Professor Mac MacLachlan is the Director of Trinity’s Centre for Global Health, which provides training and supports research that addresses health problems and issues that transcend national boundaries. As part of the Centre’s work, Dr MacLachlan led the development of the International Doctorate in Global Health (INDIGO), which is coordinated by the Centre and is partnered with the University of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, the University of Malawi, Ibadan University in Nigeria, Makerere University in Uganda, Columbia University and Harvard Medical School in USA, and the Cochrane Centre in the UK. So far, six African PhD students have completed their PhDs through INDIGO and all six have returned to their home institutions to take up posts as lecturers.

Professor MacLachlan’s work has involved significant collaboration with a variety of international organisations, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the United Nations Development Programme. Currently, he is leading the knowledge management component of the United Nations Partnership for the Rights of People with Disability, which is currently working across 14 countries.

His research programmes have involved extensive global engagement. The EquitAble project, funded by the European Commission, developed a policy analysis tool to evaluate the extent to which existing national policies involved commitment to human rights and the inclusion of vulnerable groups. The resulting tool – called EquiFrame – has been used to guide the development of Malawi’s first National Health Policy; to provide impetus for the development of a new South African Rehabilitation Policy; has been adopted by Sudan to guide its policy revision; and has been adopted for advocacy use by Handicap International.

Dr Roger West is responsible for developing extensive research links between the School of Engineering in Trinity and various institutions in India. Dr West also established and continues to lead the Ireland-India Concrete Research Initiative (IIRCI), which involves a research consortium of five Indian institutions. There have been six meetings of the IIRCI group in Delhi in the last four years, and the seventh meeting was hosted in Dublin by Dr West in 2014.

Through Dr West’s work, MoUs have been signed with IIT Delhi and Thapar University, and Professor West and his colleague Professor Jeremy Jones have participated in the Thapar Contemporisation Review. These links with Thapar University were strengthened by Dr West’s hosting of eight visiting academics last year. Additionally, five senior academics completed a five week visit to Trinity starting in early March 2015, as part of the contemporisation plans.

An example of the innovative research that Dr West has led and supported is the work of two postgraduate students on IIT Delhi, Diwakar Bhagat and Mukul Gupta, who visited Trinity with their Mentor in 2014 to test three bamboo-epoxy Portal frames; this project included pre-assembly and shipping of 1.8t of bamboo, strain gauges and steel shoes from India.
Dr West has been an enthusiastic ambassador for Trinity across India; he has visited and made presentations in over a dozen international schools in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata. He has also visited additional academic institutions on behalf of TCD during visits to India, including Amity University in Delhi, IIT Madras, Valore IT and NIT Karnataka.


  • Peter Arnds, German/School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies
  • Fabio Boylan, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Louis Brennan, Business
  • Lorna Carson, Centre for Language and Communications Studies
  • Richard Duckworth, Music/DFM
  • Naomi Elliott, Nursing & Midwifery
  • Damaris Fernandez, Chemistry
  • Mauro Ferreira, Physics
  • Cliona Hannon, Trinity Access Programmes
  • Martina Hennessy, School of Medicine
  • Aisling Hume, Trinity Research & Innovation
  • Balz Kamber, Geology/Natural Sciences
  • Kevin Kelly, Engineering
  • Lorraine Leeson, Centre for Deaf Studies
  • Mac MacLachlan, Centre for Global Health
  • Michael Marsh, Political Science
  • Barry McMahon, School of Medicine
  • Heath Rose, Centre for Language and Communications Studies
  • Igor Schvets, Physics
  • Fintan Sheerin, Nursing & Midwifery
  • Nigel Stevenson, Biochemistry and Immunology
  • Hongzhou Zhang, School of Physics