Minister Harris Meets The Pioneer Cohort REEdI Engineering Students At MTU Kerry Campus

MINISTER for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, Simon Harris, visited Munster Technological University at its Kerry campus for the launch of MTU’s strategic plan- ‘Our Shared Vision’.

During the visit, Minister Harris met with Ukrainian students Kiril Ivanov and Illia Sukhovirirskyi. Kiril and Illia are first year students on the innovative Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. This degree is the output of the REEdI project at MTU Kerry Campus. The REEdI project is funded through the Higher Education Authority (HEA) Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 3 Initiative. This September sees the pioneer cohort of first years; comprising of school leavers and mature students, embark on the programme.

The REEdI Engineering degree is an agile and innovative blended 4-year programme where student engineers get to learn using immersive technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, and cutting-edge models of engineering education. The student engineer time is equally divided between on-campus activities and industry placement. Students will spend the first two years on campus and the final two years at a host industry partner gaining the essential industry skills and personal attributes an employer looks for in a graduate engineer. The three-way relationship between student, university and industry is core to the approach on which the programme is designed. The industry partners committed to hosting REEdI students range across a variety of manufacturing sectors- MedTech, Pharma, Automotive, General Manufacturing and AgriTech. The REEdI Project team are currently working on developing similar programmes across the STEM portfolio to amplify the impact of the framework.

The REEdI Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering aims to deliver a transformative pipeline of next generation of engineers to meet the needs of the manufacturing sector in Ireland now and into the future.

Dr Fiona Boyle, Head of Department of STEM, Director of REEdI said:

“We are very proud of the REEdI team and their achievement in the academic validation of the innovative Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, enabling us to offer the programme to the first cohort in the 2022/2023 academic year. We are excited to roll the programme out at MTU Kerry, and; in the future; expand its reach by embedding the framework and model into other disciplines across our portfolio. Today, REEdI Students are getting to learn with the most up to date immersive technology and apply it as part of their team engineering challenges. We are delighted to welcome our Ukrainian, international, female, mature and school leavers as the first cohort of REEdI Student Engineers. The programme will produce REEdI student engineers capable of entering industry on paid work placement as part of their degree from 2024. It is a very exciting time for the School of STEM at MTU Kerry”

Professor Joseph Walsh, Executive Head of School of STEM and Lead of REEdI at MTU said:

“Greater collaboration between academia and industry is even more important in the era of digitisation, sustainability and Industry 4.0. Universities are under increased pressure to deliver engineers of the future who can solve problems we don’t even know about yet. We are very excited about this innovate engineering qualification which is a true industry and academia collaboration and the first of its kind of qualification in Ireland.”