Trinity College Dublin today turned the sod on a project that will create 1,600 new student places in STEM subjects in the coming years to help tackle societal challenges such as climate change.
The ceremony was attended by philanthropist Dr Martin Naughton of Glen Dimplex and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris. Both Dr Naughton and the Government have generously provided funding for the building.
Work will now begin on the Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry which will be built on the university’s existing historic campus. The 7,300m2 buildings will enable the university to teach in new ways which encourage teamwork, design, and project-based activities.
The Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry will expand education and research activities across the Schools of Engineering, Natural Sciences, and Computer Science & Statistics.
Recognising the importance for humanity in addressing the challenge of sustainable technological development, the expansion of the three Schools brings together the areas of Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technologies, or E3, to provide balanced solutions for a better world.
Detailed research carried out by the university points to strong demand at undergraduate and postgraduate level for STEM courses both here and overseas in these areas.
The Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, will be one of the most sustainable large buildings in Ireland when it is completed. The Near Zero Energy Building has been designed to BREEAM Excellent and WELL Building standards to further improve the relationship between the building and the health and wellness of the occupants. JJ Rhatigan has been selected to build the new teaching facility.
Minister Simon Harris said:
“It is great to reach this milestone in the delivery of the E3 Learning Foundry. This new building will further strengthen Trinity’s reputation for excellence and will provide cutting edge facilities for students and staff. Climate action is the defining challenge of our times and it is great to see this focus reflected both in the sustainable design of the building itself and in the learning and research that will take place within it. Investment in quality higher education infrastructure is a key priority for this Government under Project Ireland 2040 and we are delighted to work in partnership with philanthropic donors, such as the Naughton Foundation.”
The Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry was made possible through the support of the Naughton Foundation as well as other philanthropic donors. An additional €15 million was made available through the Higher Education Authority (HEA). It is funded under Project Ireland 2040.
Dr Martin Naughton said:
“E3 represents a real step change in education which will benefit future generations for years to come. The innovative E3 Learning Foundry will enable Trinity to increase the number of students studying STEM subjects and hire excellent academics in emerging disciplines such as climate science and environmental microbiology.”
Trinity Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, said:
“I believe that technology, developed and applied by humans who respect the natural world, can and will create many of the solutions to today’s environmental and societal problems. To solve these daunting challenges here in Ireland as elsewhere, we must remodel our educational systems. The Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry is a very tangible step to produce excellent graduates with the necessary tools to solve the challenges that have become all too obvious. We’ve adopted the expression ‘balanced solutions for a better world’ and I’m happy, but not surprised, to see how many of our young people have already shown an interest in studying courses in these areas to find and develop those solutions.”