Consulting and working together with students and staff of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Professor Patrick Purcell was impressed by the quantity of innovation, dedication and professionalism possessed by DUT staff and students in this faculty.
He is a water specialist and associate Professor at the University College Dublin (UCD) in the School of Civil Engineering. Prof Purcell recently visited DUT’s Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying in April/May 2017, as part of the AESOP project. During his visit, he examined the academic content of the Civil Engineering programme and how it’s required learning outcomes were met. He also looked at how innovative teaching and learning strategies were explored.
At UCD he is the programme coordinator of BE (Civil Engineering), ME (Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering), as well as the Head of Teaching and Learning. He has authored a book titled: Design of Water Resources System. He has an extensive research record and has published many journal articles. During his two month visit at DUT, he accompanied staff and students from the surveying programme to their Inanda Urban Retreat project, based on the banks of Inanda Dam. After visiting the site Prof Purcell found the work captivating. The purpose of the visit by the students, staff and Professor Purcell, was to survey the site and hand over the relevant drawings to the owner. “I was very impressed with the standard of Civil Engineering and Surveying programmes that you (DUT) have made and learnt a lot about your department (Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying),” he said.
The Urban Retreat, based on the banks of the Inanda Dam, will be a facility for observation, creative work, shopping and development of artistic works for African Arts practitioners. The retreat will aim to create a space for artists to work in solitude while allowing them to be part of the historic and vibrant community of Inanda. During this visit, Professor Purcell was also briefed on how trees are used as boundary points in tribal law in rural surroundings and how students and staff had to incorporate this issue while surveying the site.
Amongst other activities that he had engaged himself in during his time at DUT, included attending many practical sessions held outside the DUT S block buildings and surrounding grounds. His primary interest was the learning aspects of all subjects, especially surveying.
Pictured: Professor Patrick Purcell with surveying students and staff at the Urban Retreat site in Inanda.