Astronaut Chris Hadfield takes a selfie with the audience at the ‘Intel Meet the Astronaut’ event

UCD Festival

A unique celebration of the best of UCD, the 2022 UCD Festival was a day of discovery, connection and exploration…

UCD CELEBRATED THE seventh birthday of the UCD Festival in style in June. Thousands of visitors returned to the Belfield campus for the first time since the last in-person UCD Festival in 2019.

From the UCD Symphony Orchestra’s virtual reality experiences to Masterclasses in writing, UCD celebrated the Festival day with a free showcase of 145 interactive events. Organisers issued
nearly 40,000 tickets for events in arts, science, engineering, technology, sport, family fun, discovery and ideas.

The UCD Festival blends educational research showcases and family fun, with hundreds of students, researchers and academics displaying their work across eight interactive zones. The hands-on nature of the demonstrations allowed festival-goers to get up close with exciting research taking place at UCD. The interactive events reflected the thematic pillars of UCD’s ‘Rising to the Future’ strategy, Creating a Sustainable Global Society, Empowering Humanity, Transforming through Digital Technology, and Building a Healthy World.

The interactive Intel Science and Innovation Zone attracted thousands of visitors of all ages to play, create, and explore, while others explored the Engineering and Technology Zone.

Meanwhile, in the Festival Hub and the Culture Zone, festival-goers were treated to a starry list of UCD’s top academics, alumni and friends joining in talks, performances, and activities. Speakers included alumni Jessica Traynor, Rick O’Shea, Chandrika NarayananMohana, Aingeala Flannery, Audrey Magee, Maeve O’Rourke, Dr Niamh Shaw, alongside friends of UCD Mark O’Halloran, Colm O’Gorman and Laurence Moroney. There was also the chance for festivalgoers to explore the campus with Sculpture Trails and Campus Tours running throughout the day.

Hundreds of primary school pupils attended an exclusive ‘Intel Meet the Astronaut’ event with internationally renowned Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. They had the chance to put weird and wonderful questions to him, and were inspired and enthralled by his experiences and insights. Later in the day, the standout event was the conversation in a packed-out O’Reilly Hall with Colonel Hadfield and Dr Niamh Shaw.

Another highlight was ‘The Magdalene Laundries: Told, Acknowledged and Not Forgotten’, a powerful conversation based on a book co-authored by alumni and academics from the College of Social Sciences and Law.

Relive the action with videos and images, and be the first to hear about next year’s programme – all at the UCD Festival website: