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These Testing Times

The efforts to contain the coronavirus started at UCD, home to the National Virus Reference Laboratory, where director and UCD alumnus Dr Cillian de Gascun leads a committed team of scientists and laboratory technicians
AN UNASSUMING BUILDING tucked away in the heart of the UCD campus has been at the centre of Ireland’s efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19. This year’s unprecedented pandemic has thrust the National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL) into public prominence and turned its director, Dr Cillian de Gascun, into a regular fixture in the media. Aside from processing its own tests for the virus, at the time of writing, the NVRL has overseen a massive expansion of testing capacity across…

Thinking about space and place

Belfield 50, a programme of events and reflections to celebrate half a century on campus, features a new book that traces its architectural history.
UPON MOVING OUT to Belfield in 1969 and into UCD’s new Arts Building, the Dean of Commerce Professor James Meenan wrote in his diary of the peacefulness of this growing University place, just three miles outside Dublin city centre: “Belfield looked enchanting and it is so heartening to think of what it will look like when the buildings are finished and the grass and shrubs and trees begin to grow. [The students] are deeply fortunate ... to be young in such a place. We…

When The Penny Dropped

A cashless economy is on the horizon and, for a number of UCD alumni, it’s creating a whole new ecosystem of business opportunities
“THERE IS A big wave approaching,” says Colm Lyon, founder and chief executive of Fire.com. “We know it’s coming, we just don’t know how far away from the shore it is.” Lyon, who graduated with a BComm from UCD in 1985, is used to catching big waves. In 2015, he sold Realex Payments for €115m. Now, with payments and financial services company Fire, he is hoping to build something even bigger. The wave he talks about is the cashless economy…

Going The Distance

With the pandemic making it impossible to connect on campus, UCD rapidly mobilised operations – teaching, learning, working – online. With thoughtful leadership, UCD was ready to deliver remotely at scale
WHAT MAKES A UNIVERSITY work? Its people. So how can a university work when people cannot be on campus? That was the challenge facing UCD as the Covid-19 pandemic moved rapidly across the world, bringing with it the need for enormous societal changes to protect public health. Educators and students alike were forced to accept that in order to achieve together, they had to stay apart. But with thoughtful leadership, the right technology and a huge community response, UCD students, lecturers…

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