All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE), AISHE-C 2011: The Challenge for Graduates in a Changed World

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Graduate student developed renewable energy research project proposals
Aidan O'Dwyer

Last modified: 2011-11-18


This poster will report on renewable energy research priorities, as revealed though the development of research project proposals, by Level 9 (masters) students in separate Engineering and Energy Management programmers at Dublin Institute of Technology over the past three academic years. The author has had, over that time, the responsibility for delivery and co-ordination of a module in Research Methods, whose outcome is the development of an individual research project proposal by students. This proposal is subsequently researched and results reported in a dissertation. The pedagogical approach relies extensively on peer-learning, activated though the use of face-to-face workshops and the use of a collaborative website (wiki). The student driven approach is designed to facilitate learner-centered education, motivate independent learning, and to unlock previous work and learning experiences to the benefit of all learners.


A major theme that emerges from the process is proposals in renewable energy research, accounting for 68 of the 187 such proposals developed over the past three years. Proposals in bio-energy (e.g. [1]), wind (e.g. [2]), wave (e.g. [3]), tidal (e.g. [4]), solar (e.g. [5]), geothermal (e.g. [6]), hydro (e.g. [7]) and more general strands (e.g. [8]) were developed.


The poster will develop this discussion in more detail.



[1]   Kennedy, D. (2009). “What contribution can the bio-energy sector in Ireland make towards achieving the renewable energy target of 16% set in the recent EU directive?”, MSc in Energy Management.

[2]   Corcoran, L. (2010). “Identification of the optimal configuration of the offshore wind energy industry in Ireland between 2010 and 2030”, MSc in Energy Management.

[3]   Manly, S. (2010). “Existing barriers to the development of wave energy technology in Ireland”, MSc in Energy Management.

[4]   Duffy, S. (2009). “Tidal energy for electricity supply”, MSc in Energy Management.

[5] O’Kane, K. (2010). “What is the technical and economic potential of using photovoltaic energy in Ireland?”, ME in Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems.

[6]   Downey, M. (2010). “The role geothermal energy will play in district heating for Ireland”, MSc in Energy Management.

[7]   O’Rourke, C. (2011). “Micro-hydro schemes on the main rivers of Dublin”, ME in Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems.

[8]   Higgins, A. (2010). “What are the most productive means to implement renewable technologies in the home?”, ME in Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems.