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Polyark returns. From Lima to Belfast to Rome and back

The Team


A group of Queen’s University Belfast year out students, led by Dr Agustina Martire, visited Rome during four days in the last week of October to participate in the much anticipated event Polyark III – Polyport.

Polyport is a collaborative project between 15 schools of architecture organised by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) to bring back the spirit of Cedric Price’s Polyark. Price was convinced that architectural education needed to change, for which he published his National Plan for UK architecture schools in 1966. Five years later Price inaugurated the Polyark project, a double decker bus that travelled through the UK bringing students of architecture to work with each other in different parts of the country.

The project was brought back by RIBA in 2009 and included a series of schools of architecture in the UK that exchanged briefs relating to railway networks, to work creatively in each other’s sites. Polyark continues, and in 2012 Queen’s University Belfast was invited to join an international group of schools of architecture, including ten schools in the UK and five international schools from Peru, Romania, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Singapore. The aim of this project was to challenge the way architecture is taught in universities and propose new ways of dealing with the education of architectural design. This time the theme was harbour regeneration, one that is topical but extremely diverse in each context and design strategy. Each school addressed the brief of another school and site, approaching the project with a fresh but informed perspective.

At Queen’s the project was carried out by year out students, who joined the project voluntarily. We worked on a brief provided by University of Lima for the harbour of Callao as a project for the regeneration of deprived areas. The students that initially participated in the project, Tom Cosgrove, Shea McGibbon and Sandra McGrath, worked on a very thorough analysis of the site for about 6 months starting in November. They were in close communication with students in Lima, who provided crucial information of the site that Queen’s students carefully analysed. In June 2012 three more students joined the group, Martin Delaney, Matthew Kernan and JB Murray, who worked on different parts of the project. The process was a very flexible one, where each student focused on their own interest within the project, but every single element of the analysis and design was consulted as a group, which meant that there was practically no individual work involved.

The results of the project were presented in Roma Tre University in Rome, with all the other schools involved. All presentations showed a very committed and engaged position towards the sites and very innovative ways of designing and making architecture. We were happy to have Michelle Reuter, current second year student at Queen’s as the ‘official’ photographer of Polyport, who took on the responsibility of keeping a record of the work and the people involved. The work of Belfast students was praised by the group of Lima, which voiced that it was an appropriate response to the needs of the site and that it could actually ‘be easily built by the local people’, while David Gloster, head of education at RIBA expressed the following:

‘The work of students from Queen's University Belfast embraced a complex social programme in a problematic and frankly intimidating area of Lima.  Whilst the group's thorough analysis of that area was a strength in itself, the data and its synthesis were also culturally credible and practically relevant.  Growing Lima inwards through the device of incremental housing allowed a new market within Castillo San Felipe to emerge, capitalising on an ingenious recycling of ocean plastics, and in turn creating new regard for the heritage of the city.  Distinctively spindly fog condensers contributing to an improved neighbourhood water supply provided further evidence of strong teaching, supporting creative collaborative thinking.’

We cannot really add more to this comment. So we thank RIBA and Queen’s for giving us the opportunity of participating in such an exciting project. This was a very positive, even, democratic, balanced and didactic event, where the students had more authority and voice than the tutors, making it a real breath of fresh air, that surely Cedric Price would have been proud of.

By Agustina Martire

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Research Grant Award for Planning

£197,819 Grant Success:
















From Plantation to Peace: Derry/Londonderry as the UK's first City of Culture

Dr Philip Boland in association with Dr Brendan Murtagh and Professor Peter Shirlow (School of Law) have been successful in securing research funding of £197,819 for ‘From Plantation to Peace: Derry/Londonderry as the UK's first City of Culture’ project. Full funding has been received from the Leverhulme Trust. This is a 3 year inter-disciplinary project that links environmental planning, politics and cultural studies.

The study aims to determine how events such as the City of Culture will in practice help to overcome seemingly intractable cultural differences. This project sets out to unpack, investigate and problematise the City of Culture concept and how it intends to create a more peaceful, equal, respectful and shared city. The key research question concerns the extent to which culture becomes a transformative vehicle for peace-making and conflict resolution in Derry/Londonderry.

PhD Scholarship to support the research

A fully funded, 3 year scholarship is now open for applications.  Please click on the project title below, for more information and to apply

‘Planning, rebranding and identity and contestation in a city of culture’


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Engineering Society Reunion Ball

The current Society President with Past Presidents and office bearers at the Ball... spanning a 60 year period




Over 200 guests attended the recent Engineering Society reunion ball, making the evening a great success.







There are plenty more pictures where these came from!  If you were there on the night and had your picture taken, please contact Douglas Ferguson and he will pass tem on.





The Engineering Society book is still available as before by clicking this weblink to the QUB shopping cart and at the Queen's Welcome Centre or from the SPACE office in the DKB.

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PhD Studentship Opportunities Re-opened

Anticipating that further studentships may become available, candidates who are eligible for DEL funding are invited to submit applications for projects from Advanced Structural Materials, Intelligent Infrastructure, Marine Renewable Energy, Hydraulic Modelling, Groundwater Management & Geotechnical Engineering.  Those who have already applied will be retained on reserve lists so need not submit further applications. 

Click here view the projects and apply

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Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders – Belfast has just opened up a new Branch. As well as functioning as a student society we have an interest in:

  • Helping implement humanitarian engineering into some of the teaching modules at QUB,
  • Helping raise awareness of humanitarian issues in post-primary education, and
  • Coming up with new solutions to everyday difficulties faced in developing countries by fundraising and taking on branch projects.


  • We are looking for volunteers for going out to schools,
  • There are new placement opportunities each year, global networking is key,
  • We need innovative thinkers who can implement sustainable solutions, and
  • You don’t even have to be an engineer!


If you want the perfect introduction we have EWB-UK Chief Executive Andrew Lamb’s introductory lecture on the 20th of February in 01.041 David Kier Building, Queen’s University Belfast:

15:00 Students (QUB and UU)

16:30 Staff (QUB and UU)

18:00 Professional Network





Facebook: EWB-UK Belfast 

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PhD Student wins ICE award

Jonathon Backus with the Judges
Jonathon Backus, a Civil Engineering  PhD student at Queen’s and ICE Graduate member is the winner of the ICE NI Papers Competition 2013.

Members of the ICE Regional Executive Board judged the event and Jonathon’s paper on ‘Monitoring the Interaction of Combined Mechanisms in the Deterioration of Concrete’ was deemed successful.

The ICE Papers Competition is an opportunity for young civil engineers to showcase their experience on a chosen topic. Successful winners in each region are then put forward as entrants to the national Papers Competition held ICE Headquarters in London. Not only do entrants have to produce a high quality paper, the judging process requires excellent presentation skills and an in-depth discussion of the topic.

Chairman of the ICE NI Graduates and Students section, Colleen Green said: “We had excellent applications for the competition this year which really showcases how good the student and graduate civil engineers in Northern Ireland are.”

Wendy Blundell, ICE NI Regional Director added: “As an Institution, we offer as much support and development to younger engineers as we can. Participating in competitions teaches graduates and students the skills that can’t be taught in a classroom but are vital for them when entering industry for the first time. Jonathon’s paper was of high quality and we wish him well for the National Competition.”


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IBN 2013 Networking Event on 23rd January - Exploring the Barriers to Brownfield Redevelopment in Ireland


The Ireland Brownfield Network is holding a networking event at the School of Planning Architecture & Civil Engineering on Wednesday 23rd January from 10am - 4pm.

Join fellow IBN members, make new contacts and hear some of Ireland’s leading brownfield practitioners discussing the current barriers to brownfield redevelopment in Ireland.
Keynote speakers include:
David Gavaghan — CEO of the Titanic Quarter Ltd
Andrew Ryan — Northern Ireland's leading environmental lawyer
Maryann Harris —Chairperson of the Urban Forum and bio-diversity
manager for Dublin City Council
Kevin Motherway — from the Environmental Protection Agency
Dr Theresa Kearney — from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Ray Scanlon — from the Geological Survey Ireland
The one day event is free to attend but places are limited. To register your place,
email your name, contact details and affiliation to:
Event to be held in lecture room OG.533 David Keir Building (Malone Road –
Psychology Entrance)
Registration and Coffee from 10.00 – Presentations Start at 10.30

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A Book and a Ball - Celebrating over 100 Years of the Engineering Society at Queen's

Past and Present - Douglas Ferguson and Brian Green (President of the Engineering Society 1960-61) present a copy of the book to the current President of the Society, Ryan Cherry - a Year 3 undergraduate on the MEng degree programme in Civil Engineering at Queen's

The Book

'The First Century and Onward' is Douglas Ferguson's 'coffee table' book, which charts the different personalities active in the Engineering Society at Queen's since it was founded in 1910.  It is filled with nostalgia and photos right up to present day.

You can buy the book for £15 by clicking here 

It is also available from Queen's Welcome Centre and the reception of SPACE in the David Kier Building.

The Ball

The Grand Reunion Ball will take place on Friday 8th March at 7.30pm in Whitla Hall.  This black tie event is for anyone that has ever been involved in the engineering society, along with their partners and friends.  A drinks reception will be followed by dinner and then plenty of dancing to live bands.

Click here to purchase your ticket online

You can make up a table of 10 (£400) or book individual tickets (£45). 

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Arsenic project is 'Irish Champion' at The Green Apple Awards

Dr. Bhaskar Sen Gupta and Professor David Cleland receiving The Green Apple Award at the House of Commons on 12 Nov 2012
The arsenic project of the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering has emerged as the Green Champion for Ireland. The project received this distinction in a glittering ceremony held at the House of Commons on 12  November 2012. The award was presented to Dr. Bhaskar Sen Gupta and Professor David Cleland by the members of the animal charity K-9 Angels. The project partner, Dr. Amitava Bandopadyay, The Chief Scientist of the National Metallurgical Laboratory of India also received an award for this project.

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European Planning Degree Launched

The new MPlan in European Planning, an innovative and premium course offered by the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering has now been given final approval by Queen’s University’s Courses and Regulations Committee.  The course will now accept its first entrants in September 2013.

This exciting course is unique in Ireland and the UK in that offer a complete four-year pathway in professional planning education, with a specialisation in European Planning. The course has a number of innovative features, including an emphasis on understanding European-wide planning issues, integrated language training and a programme of overseas study at a variety of European Universities for the final year, which will include opportunities for work placement.  The inclusion of an overseas placement as part of the Erasmus programme will provide unique insights into the diversity of planning cultures and challenges across the continent allowing graduates to grasp a wide range of employment opportunities in UK and beyond, while delivering reduced university fees in their final year.   


For more details click here to contact Dr. Geraint Ellis at SPACE

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Arsenic-free Water for Millions without the Use of Chemicals: Bhaskar Sengupta Honoured at the Energy Globe Awards in Vienna

Bhasker (middle) with his award

Bhaskar Sengupta from the School of Civil Engineering at Queen's University won the award for WATER at the Energy Globe Awards on 13 September 2012 in the Banquet Hall of the Vienna Town Hall.  

The award was in recognition of The SAR-Method: a ground-breaking project for removing arsenic from drinking water in India without the use of additional chemicals.  Worldwide more than 137 million people in over 70 different countries are forced to drink arsenic-contaminated water. Now they can hope for a healthier life.

16 finalists in five categories - Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Youth were in attendance at the award ceremony.   "This is where the future begins – with solutions to the most pressing problems of our day. At the same time we are offering hope that our world will remain a place worth living“, said Energy Globe founder, Wolfgang Neumann, commenting on the dazzling award ceremony.

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Civil Engineering Student Wins IAE Award

Prof. John McCanny, Director of the Institute of Electronics, Communications & Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s University Belfast, presents the prize for the winning review of his lecture on ‘Research & Innovation: Successful Models for Economic Impact’ to Ms Teresa McGrath, a PhD student in Civil Engineering at QUB.

The Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE) have announced that, following a competition, the winning review of Prof. John McCanny's lecture on 'Research & Innovation: Successful Models for Economic Impact’ (the third in the Intel Lecture Series on Engineering Research & Innovation, organised by the IAE) was written by Ms Teresa McGrath BE, MSc, a PhD student in Civil Engineering at Queen's University Belfast (QUB).

 Teresa graduated in 2009 with a BE degree in Civil Engineering and subsequently qualified with a Master's degree in Environmental Engineering from QUB. The review competition was open to undergraduate and postgraduate Engineering students from all Irish HEIs.

 Teresa's winning submission earned her a prize of £200, presented by Prof. McCanny, on behalf of the IAE. Teresa's review will be published in the May/June issue of the Engineers' Journal. 

 The submission can be downloaded on the ECIT website here:

 IAE Intel McCanny Lecture Winning Review for Engineers Journal

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SPACE PhD Student wins award at International Sino- European Symposium on Environment and Health, Galway, August 2012


Sherry Palmer, a 1st year PhD student in the  School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, has recently won the award of 'Best Student Poster' at the  International Sino- European Symposium on Environment and Health in Galway, August 2012.

The tile of her poster was "Spatial analysis approaches to investigate bioaccessibility of potentially toxic elements in Northern Ireland soils."


We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sherry on behalf of the School

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Tickets for the Engineering Society Reunion Ball -8th March 2013


Tickets on sale here

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It is with immense pleasure that we report that our esteemed colleague Dr Bhaskar SenGupta has been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to Higher Education and International Environmental Research in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours.

On Behalf of the School, many congratulations to Dr Sen Gupta

Dr Sen Gupta & colleagues in the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering had previously received the accolade of ‘Outstanding Engineering Research Team of the year’ at the Times Higher Education awards in London 2010.

Both awards recognize the team’s work in tackling the world’s worst case of mass ongoing poisoning: the exposure of millions in parts of eastern India and Bangladesh to dangerous levels of arsenic through well water. Dr Sen Gupta and his team developed a method of removing arsenic from ground water without the use of chemicals in the world’s first low-cost arsenic removal plant in India.

Six plants are now in operation in rural locations in West Bengal and are  being used to supply water to the local populations using the subterranean  arsenic removal technology.


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Tata Steel/BCSA Awards
From Left: Helen Fospero (TV personality and presenter on night), Conor Casey (bridge group), Conor Woods (bridge group), Liam Sloan (building group), Sharon McNamee (building group), Jesse Gordon (buidling group), Ronan Sweeney (bridge group), Christopher McCracken (building group), Dr David Sloan, Niall Mellon (bridge group).


Two teams from Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering with Architecture won first prize at the British Constructional Steel Association awards in the bridge design section and third prize in the building design section of the national competition



From Left: Helen Fospero (TV personality and presenter on night), Conor Casey (bridge group), Conor Woods (bridge group), Liam Sloan (building group), Sharon McNamee (building group), Jesse Gordon (buidling group), Ronan Sweeney (bridge group), Christopher McCracken (building group), Dr David Sloan, Niall Mellon (bridge group).

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Civil Engineering Applicant Days


Intending to join Civil Engineering @ QUB for entry 2012?


The first of three information events will take place on Wednesday 14th March 6.00 pm-8.15pm. A further two events are scheduled for Saturday 24th March and Wednesday 18th April.


This will be an opportunity for prospective students and parents to meet with staff and existing students. We will have interactive research and teaching displays and offer an opportunity to view our facilities and ask questions about all aspects of the courses. The first event begins at 6.00pm on Wednesday 14th in the foyer of the Ashby Building, Stranmillis Road; a light buffet will be available in advance of welcome and information presentations at 6.30pm.


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Civil Engineering Applicant Day

Civil Engineering Applicant Days

Thinking about joining Civil Engineering @ QUB for entry 2012?


The second of three information events will take place on Saturday 24th March 12.00 15.30. A further event is scheduled for Wednesday 18th April.

This will be an opportunity for prospective students and parents to meet with staff and existing students. We will have interactive research and teaching displays and offer an opportunity to view our facilities and ask questions about all aspects of the courses. The event begins at 12.00 on Saturday 24th, please see the schedule below for further information.


Assemble Lanyon Entrance Hall




Ashby Foyer

1.30 – 1.50

Accommodation Help Desk

Light buffet served



Ashby Lecture Theatre



Why Queen’s

Next Steps (UCAS)




2.30-3.30pm (parallel)


Planning –David Keir Building

Architecture –Chlorine Gardens

Civil Engineering – David Keir Building



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Civil Engineering Applicant Days

Thinking about joining Civil Engineering @ QUB for entry 2012?

The second of three information events will take place on Saturday 24th March 12.00 15.30. A further event is scheduled for Wednesday 18th April.

This will be an opportunity for prospective students and parents to meet with staff and existing students. We will have interactive research and teaching displays and offer an opportunity to view our facilities and ask questions about all aspects of the courses. The event begins at 12.00 on Saturday 24th in the foyer of the Ashby Building, Stranmillis Road; a light buffet will be available in advance of welcome and information presentations at 12.30pm.

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Architecture Applicant Days

Thinking about studying Architecture at Queen's?

There will be a series of events for students considering studying Architecture at Queen's in March and April 2012. At these events, you will be able to hear about the wider university, the Architecture course and student life as well as tour facilities, see student work and ask questions of both staff and current students.

Wednesday 14th March & Wednesday 18th April 2012 6.00-8.15 pm A light buffet will be served between 6.00-6.20pm in the Ashby Building Foyer. The formal talk will start at 6.30pm in the Ashby Lecture Theatre. After a general event with students applying to Engineering and Planning, we will then discuss the specifics of the Architecture course in our studios, 15 Chlorine Gardens. Saturday 24th March 2012 12.00-3.30 pm There will be an optional short campus and accommodation coach tour (90 minutes approximately) of university facilities, including student accommodation, leaving from the Lanyon Entrance Hall at 12.00pm. A light buffet will be served between 1.30-1.50pm in the Ashby Foyer. The formal talk will start at 1.50pm in the Ashby Lecture Theatre, and we will then proceed to our studios for an Architecture-specific talk.

The Ashby Building can be accessed via the Stranmillis Road. Details about it and the Lanyon Building can be found on the internet:

If you have any other questions about the events, please contact Hilary Noble,, telephone (028 9097 4198) To help you understand Architecture at Queen's, we have created several web-based resources: A prospective students website, which shows examples of student work, discusses A Day in the Life of a student and gives suggestions about what to look for in a university. Also, this year, some of our current Stage One students have organised a Facebook page tied to our Stage One blog. You can ask questions about the course, student life in Belfast etc, and they will be happy to answer. The students who have volunteered to help represent the wide diversity of our course, from students who live outside Northern Ireland, to mature students, to people who play sports for Queen's alongside Architecture, etc.

 Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you at one of our events in the coming weeks.

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Planning Applicant Days
Shaping Our Future
Information sessions for applicants holding offers for entry 2012

 The first of these events will take place on Wednesday 14th March 6.00pm-8.15pm. A further two events are scheduled for Saturday 24th March and Wednesday 18th April.

This will be an opportunity for prospective students and parents to meet with staff and existing students. We will have interactive research and teaching displays and offer an opportunity to view our facilities and ask questions about all aspects of the courses. The first event begins at 6.00pm on Wednesday 14th in the foyer of the Ashby Building, Stranmillis Road; a light buffet will be available in advance of welcome and information presentations at 6.30pm.

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Attention - Applicants for 2012 Entry

Information sessions for applicants holding offers for entry 2012
Congratulations on receiving an offer of a place on one of our undergraduate courses. The School will be holding a series of events for all Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering applicants holding offers.  You will soon receive a letter inviting you to attend one of these events on Wednesday 14th March, Saturday 24th March or Wednesday 18th April. There will be an opportunity for prospective students and parents to meet with staff and existing students. We will have interactive research and teaching displays and offer an opportunity to view our facilities and ask questions about all aspects of the courses.

Further information will be made available on this website in early March.

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SPACE scientists pioneer new concrete sensors

Scientists at Queen’s have made a major breakthrough in developing sensors which dramatically improve the ability to spot early warning signs of corrosion in concrete.  The sensors, which are more resilient and much longer lasting than traditional corrosion sensors, will make monitoring the safety of structures such as bridges and vital coastal defences much more effective.  The research, which was carried out over a four-year period, was in conjunction with researchers at City University London, and was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

 Dr Su Taylor from the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen’s said: “Because the sensors can withstand long-term placement within concrete, unlike any equivalent sensors currently available, they can constantly monitor conditions, enabling a warning to be sent when conditions for corrosion threshold have been crossed. Thanks to an internet connection, the notification can be sent in the form of an email or text to the structure’s maintenance team."  Traditional optical corrosion sensors have only a limited lifetime, usually of several weeks, because of the corrosive alkaline levels within concrete. The new sensors are expected to last for several years, with proper protection, even where pH levels are high.

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Opportunity for SPACE students to study in China

The Chinese government has awarded scholarships to Queen’s students offering the opportunity to study at prestigious universities in China. The scholarship will cover tuition, medical insurance and a certain amount of living costs depending on the programme selected.  Further details about the Chinese Government Scholarship Programme are available at:


An internal Queen’s selection will take place before formal application.  If you are interested please provide a statement, together with a referee statement from your current course coordinator, no later than 4.00pm on Monday 20 February 2012 to Ms Monica Yang at outlining the following:


·         The reason why you are interested in the programme

·         The reason why you wish to study in China

·         Any relevance your studies have to China

·         How a period of study in China would benefit your studies

·         Knowledge, if any, of the Chinese language

·         Visits, if any, you have made to China

·         Your expected outcomes and how these would benefit your future career development.

Information on the courses provided by the scholarship universities, some of which are delivered in English, can be found at

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Tokyo World Congress commends Architecture at Queen's

A book by Dr Paul Larmour, Reader in Architecture in SPACE, has received a commendation from the International Committee of Architectural Cities (CICA) in their book awards for 2011, announced at the International Union of Architects (UIA) World Congress in Tokyo on 28th September.  CICA was established in 1978 in Mexico and their main international meetings are held to coincide with the UIA World Congress; their headquarters are in Paris and their prestigious CICA Book Awards were initiated in Warsaw in 1981.  

Dr Larmour’s book North by Northwest: The Life and Work of Liam McCormick (written jointly by Dr Larmour with Shane O’Toole and published by Gandon Editions of Kinsale in 2008) is the most extensive on any modern Irish architect.  Its success in being placed joint second by CICA for architectural exhibition catalogues worldwide is unprecedented for any book on Irish architecture.

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Dr Karim Hadjri is Queen’s Principle Investigator and project manager for the €1.2m EU FP7 project BRAID – Bridging Research in Ageing and ICT Development. This project will develop a comprehensive RTD roadmap for active ageing by consolidating existing roadmaps and by describing and launching a stakeholder co-ordination and consultation mechanism. It will characterise key research challenges and produce a vision for a comprehensive approach in supporting the well-being and socio-economic integration of increasing numbers of senior citizens in Europe.  Further information on this project can be found here:

He is also Queen’s Principle Investigator on the €1.83m EU FP7- Marie Curie IAPP Transfer of Knowledge Programme project VALUE AGEING – Incorporating European Fundamental Values into ICT for Ageing: A Vital Political, Ethical, Technological, and Industrial Challenge. This project is an Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways Action which aims to foster co-operation between non-commercial and commercial entities on a joint research project about the incorporation of Fundamental Values of the EU in Info-Communication Technology (ICT) for Ageing. ICT gives individuals as well as societies the possibility to improve their lives and to free them from certain constraints. Further information on this project can be found here:

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Engineering Parents’ Evening

Following on from our participation in last year’s successful event, the School will participate again in this year’s Engineering Parents’ Evening events. These two recruitment events will be held at Queen’s University in Belfast on Wednesday 2nd November 7.00pm- 9.00pm and at St Columb’s College L/Derry on Wednesday 16thNovember 7.00pm-9.00pm.

For further information and to register for either event, please click here:

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Paul McNulty, a PhD student in SPACE, was recently awarded first place in the Young Researchers Competition at ACIC2011 ( the fifth International conference on Advanced Composites In Construction ) for his presentation entitledBehaviour of a novel skew FlexiArch bridge system using polymeric reinforcement’.  Paul is carrying research in structural engineering with supervisors Des Robinson, Su Taylor and Adrian Long

Duncan Stewart, architect and television presenter praised Irish third level students for incorporating wood in architecture, engineering and design projects.  The winner of the engineering award, Neil Campbell demonstrated the strength qualities of steel reinforced prestressed timber beams which could be applied to home grown Sitka spruce’

To read the full article please click here

From left to right the people in the photo are:

Paddy Bowes (Wood-ni executive), Neil Campbell – Winner Engineering (Queen’s University), Catriona Hickey – Winner Architectural (Ulster University), Steven Irwin – Highly Commended (S.R.C Lurgan), Maurice Brooks (Wood-ni Director)

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Architecture’s Sam Wigginton awarded first prize in this year’s AAI student competition

QUB student Sam Wigginton has been awarded first prize in this year’s AAI student competition. Open to all Stage 02 students from the seven schools of architecture on the island of Ireland, the competition brief necessitated the design, for the twenty-first century, of that most pragmatic and private of buildings – the urban public toilet. The competition, entitled ‘The Smallest Room in the City’ was adjudicated by Gary Boyd and Marcus Donaghy. Congratulations also to QUB students Alice Nickell, Cormac McAteer, David Meek and Shea McGibbon who were shortlisted in the competition.  For more information follow the link at

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SCC, RILEM and FIB Event

Dr M Sonebi has organised at SPACE three successful International events on 19th, 20th and 21st April 2011:

  • International Workshop on Self-Compacting Concrete;
  • RILEM TC-228 (Mechanical Performance of SCC) Technical Committee meeting
  • FIB - International Feberation for Structural Concrete - TG8.8 (Structural Design with Flowable Concrete) Technical Comittee meeting.

Visiting Experts from Europe, North America and with RILEM Director of Developement, and together with colleagues and local industries have attended these events.

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Civil Engineering at Queen's organises 2nd student led UK-Ireland-Malaysia Engineering Science Conference

UMIES 2011 is a student led engineering science conference which is being organised jointly by University of Malaya and Queen's University Belfast in Kuala Lumpur on 12 and 13 July 2011. The inaugural event, UMIES 2010 was held at QUB in June 2010 and was attended by a delegation of senior staff and vice chancellor of University of Malaya. This year, two QUB academics, Professor Alan Marshall and Dr. Bhaskar Sen Gupta will deliver keynote speeches at the conference. Dr. Trevor Elliot and Dr. James Lim of SPACE will act as session chairs with opportunities for SPACE PGR students to attend this event. Event website:

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SPACE research student awarded Queen’s Graduates’ Association Scholarship

Paul McNulty, a PhD student in EERC, has just been awarded the Queen’s Graduates’ Association Scholarship for top graduates who have returned to the university for post graduate study. Paul attended an interview and the panel were very impressed with his presentation.   Paul is investigating  the  ‘Behaviour of a Novel Skew FlexiArch Bridge System’ for his PhD research with supervisors,  Des Robinson, Su Taylor and Prof Adrian Long

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Dr Sengupta leads winning Outstanding Engineering Research Team

Dr Bhaskar Sengupta has won the THE Award for Outstanding Engineering Research Team.  The award was  announced on 25th November at a gala dinner in the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. He beat off short-listed teams from the Universities of Nottingham, Sheffield, Strathclyde, Warwick and Bournemouth.

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SPACE wins Silver

The Athena SWAN assessment panel have awarded the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering the Silver SWAN award. The Panel highlighted that the submission from SPACE, led by Dr S Taylor, offered well presented data with attention having been paid to the individual disciplines within the school. A range of initiatives in the school, including the mentoring scheme, was noted as good practice and the wide representation of both staff and students on the self assessment team praised.

Further information is available at

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SPACE Initiative launches joint Queen's and JiaoTong sustainable construction laboratory in Shanghai
The Vice-chancellor of QUB and the President of Shanghai Jiao Tong University inaugurated a new joint lab on sustainable construction in Shanghai. Shanghai Jiao Tong University is ranked as one of the top Universities in the world in this field.  On the Queen’s side the initiative was led by staff from SPACE and will pave the wave for joint collaboration in Energy Efficient Building Technologies, Sustainable Construction Design and Building Materials/Building Physics amongst others allowing graduate student exchange visits and continued research collaboration.

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SPACE Investigator, Dr Ruth McAreavey, presents Nuffield Foundation project

‘Life as a Stranger’: The personal stories of migrants to Northern Ireland uncovered.   Gaps in service delivery; system blockages; shortages of language interpreters; cultural misunderstandings: these are just some of the findings of a research report that will be launched on 21st September in the Seagoe Hotel, Portadown. A partnership involving Queen’s University Belfast, PEACE III Challenge of Change, Craigavon Intercultural Programme and Southern Health & Social Care Trust, the research was funded by the Nuffield Foundation and conducted by Dr Ruth McAreavey, QUB. Along with the Mayor of Craigavon; Mr. Jerome Mullan, Honorary Polish Consulate and Mr. Ian Sutherland, Assistant Director of Mental Health, Southern Health and Social Care Trust will be participating in events. Dr. Ruth McAreavey will present her findings on the challenges and diversity of migrants’ integration to an audience of service providers and users of those services. Issues for discussion include health, language provision and education.
The scope of migration in recent years is a comparatively new phenomenon within Northern Ireland and has resulted in the establishment of diverse migrant groups. This research identifies a severe shortage in resources for migrants’ integration. It reveals the importance of local civil society organizations in helping these different groups navigate their daily lives. From providing basic advice such as how and where to apply for work permits, to delivering English language classes, to offering meeting space for local groups, grass-roots organizations have filled a vital gap in service provision.
‘I think the language barrier is a very important one to overcome because it unlocks the social contacts for you. So those people with the language barrier are very isolated…’
‘Well a Lithuanian priest comes from Dublin once a month and we meet in St. Patrick’s Grammar School just talking, having some food. Just last week we had a special thing for the children, painting eggs and doing these things. There’s also a Lithuanian paper, a newspaper’.
‘Yes, I answered a newspaper advert in Lithuania and paid money to get a job in Ireland. The man said that I would have the right papers and I would have a job when I came to Northern Ireland. But it wasn’t true, that man disappeared’.
These are some of the stories of recent migrants to Northern Ireland, more accounts will be revealed on 21st September. Further information is available from Dr. Ruth McAreavey, , tel. 02890 975563.

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ISEP launches Working Papers series

ISEP is now publishing working papers to provide the opportunity for contributions to scholarly debate through the early public availability of work in progress. Papers are invited from ISEP members, their research collaborators, and visiting and emeritus scholars.

The first two papers are ‘Children, policy and the built environment’ by Aisling Murphy and Dr Brendan Murtagh, and ‘Towards a Mourne National Park? Emergent prospects and pitfalls from articulating needs in a local context’ by Dr Ruth McAreavey. [links to papers]

The ISEP Working Papers editorial team is Jenny Muir and David Houston.

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International Seminar on Indo-British Perspectives on Planning & Architecture Education
SPACE are jointly organising an international seminar on UK-Indian Perspectives on Planning and Architecture, which takes place at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi on 19th and 20th August. The seminar has been organised by Dr. Geraint Ellis (SPACE) and Prof. N. Sridharan (SPA) as a way of fostering greater reflection on the nature of planning and architectural education in an increasingly globalised world and to promote pedagogical engagement as part of universities'  internationalisation strategies. The two day seminar will hear from researchers across India and South Asia, with UK contributions coming from Dr Geraint Ellis, Prof. Ruth Morrow and Dr. Urmi Sengupta of SPACE.  For further information click here.

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Success for SPACE postgraduate civil engineer researcher at international conference

Congratulations to  Michael McLernon, postgraduate researcher in SPACE, who has come second in a prestigious international research conference in Brussels (The Young European Arena of Research 2010  Michael was selected from hundred of entries to present at this conference and came a hugely creditable 2nd place in his research area (Production of Vehicles & Infrastructure Pillar: Effect of near surface processes on the management of risks associated with the long-term stability of road and rail cuttings in glacial tills)

Michael received a cash prize and a medal (see picture).

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‘Changing the conversation’ between communities

MSc students from the School of Planning, Architecture & Civil Engineering (SPACE), have teamed up with the South Belfast Partnership Board and community representatives to address tough questions on the sustainability of local communities.

The new project examines the geography of part of inner South Belfast. It is considering how areas could be ‘opened up’ to the rest of the city to encourage tourism, increase trade, improve services and share resources.

To tackle these issues, MSc students from SPACE, specialising in urban design and spatial regeneration, have been working alongside the four inner south Belfast communities of Sandy Row, Donegall Pass, Lower Ormeau and the Markets area. They have undertaken a comprehensive study combining the needs, fears and aspirations of each community, alongside in-depth data analysis of each area’s problems, and the opportunities which exist for community regeneration.

The students will present their findings on Friday 21 May at 2pm in the Canada Room at Queen’s.

The study area, extending across part of inner south, will also look at connecting routes and key nodal points. The report, presentation and valuation will help inform the bidding for future resources. 

Further information on the range of urban design, planning and spatial regeneration courses on offer at Queen’s is available at

Further information from  Chris Martin, Marketing & Communications Officer, South Belfast Partnership Board 028 9024 4070 or email

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Distinguished delegation from Tsighua University (PRC) visits the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering

A delegation from Tsinghua University, one of the most distinguished universities in China, visited the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering from 27 to 29 April.  The Tsinghua delegation is led by Prof. Kegui Xin, Deputy Dean of the School of Civil Engineering, and consists of Prof. Jianguo Nie, Director of the Research Institute of Structural Engineering, and Prof. Peiyu Yan, Director of the Research Institute of Construction Material.
During the visit, the Tsinghua delegation met with Prof. David Cleland, Head of School, and relevant directors and staff members in the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering. They reviewed the progress of existing collaboration and discussed potential opportunities for further collaboration between two schools. In addition to the established collaborative relationship in the area of construction material, both sides show their interests in further collaboration in other areas such as Construction Project management and Structural Engineering.

Prof. Nie and Prof. Yan also delivered lectures to staff members and research students in the Centre for Built Environment Research. The title of Prof. Nie’s lecture was “Aadvances of composite steel-concrete structures” and the title of Prof. Yan’s lecture was “High volume mineral admixture concrete: making concrete greener”. During the visit, the Tsinghua delegation has also met with Senior Management at Queen’s University to further consolidate mutual understanding and academic exchange between two universities at institutional and School level.

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SPACE lecturer wins prestigious environment prize
SPACE lecturer, Dr Bhaskar Sengupta has won the prestigious 2010 St Andrews Prize for the Environment. This annual prize is sponsored by ConocoPhillips and is assessed by a panel of eminent trustees representing science, industry and government with the award going to the project the Trustees consider displays the best combination of good science, economic realism and political acceptability.
The Prize is worth USD 125K.  For more information please visit

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Architecture launches new website for year 13 and 14 students

The new website called number 15 is an online resource for year 13 and year 14 students considering studying architecture at Queen's University Belfast. The website provides impartial information and advice for those thinking of coming to Queens to study architecture withanswers to questions such as...What’s it like to study architecture? What will it cost? What materials, tools and skills will I need? How many hours a week will I spend in class? And what I can do with the qualifications? Find out more at

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SPACE lecturer and new Wave Basin make splash with BBC
The newly commissioned Portaferry Wave Basin was featured in a news item on BBC Newsline recently. Mike McKimm reported on the commissioning of the facility and interviewed the recently appoint Senior Lecturer Dr Bjoern Elsaesser on the potential application and planned research. The new wave tank will be utilised in the next months to study the impact of wave energy converters on the coastal environment as well as how farms of wave energy devices should be best placed. Other studies will include the stability of armour units on round head breakwaters and sediment transport & wave current interaction. The facility has been finance by university funding initaives, funding from the Institute of Sustainable World  and equipment has been purchased from research grants and school funds. The video clip broadcasted by the BBC can be watched under

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Prof. Adrian Ernest Long is awarded prestigious James Alfred Ewing Medal

The James Alfred Ewing Medal was founded in 1936 in memory of Sir Alfred Ewing (1855 – 1935). This award is made by the Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the joint nomination of the President and the President of the Royal Society.  For more on this story view the Research pages.

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Design students set sights on Julianstown

THE ongoing village design work at Julianstown is to get a major boost this February with the arrival of over 20 students from Queens University Belfast. The students, from the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering have chosen the village for project work they are doing on a module entitled 'Landscape and Village Design'.

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SPACE Fellow assists Chief Construction Advisor
Kieran Owens, ICE Graduates and Students Network Chairman and Research Fellow in SPACE and has been selected to advise newly appointed Construction Chief Advisor, Paul Morrell, as part of a group of young construction professionals.

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SPACE staff win national innovation award

Staff from the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPACE), have won the Construct Award 2009 for Innovation and Adoption.

Together with local firms Macrete Ireland, WDR and RT Taggart, and Lagan, the SPACE team received the prize for the design, development and construction of three ‘FlexiArch’ bridges built for Newtownabbey Council.

The awards were held in the Emirates Stadium in London, and the team is the first from Northern Ireland to win the title and prize money of £5,000. The judges commended the team for their “innovation, beneficial impact on the construction industry, practicality, suitability for replication, economy and value for money, simplicity and sustainability.”

The FlexiArch was patented after 10 years of research at Queen’s and five years R&D at Macrete and causes no disruption to river banks or the watercourse during its installation. It is now in place in the Bleach Green viaduct in Newtownabbey and several other locations across the UK and Ireland.

Professor Adrian Long from Queen’s said: “It would not have been possible to have got this far without our link with Macrete. That involvement has allowed the project to progress quickly. The support of WDR and RT Taggart, Lagan, and Newtownabbey Council was also invaluable. The FlexiArch has huge potential and we are already receiving inquiries from across the globe.”

The research and development of the bridge has also been supported by Invest Northern Ireland, the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, DRD Roads Service (NI) the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Leverhulme Trust.

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Planning Staff Linda Price & Jayne Bassett win QUB Teaching Award 2009

The award goes to a team comprising of Linda Price and Jayne Bassett from  the School of Planning, Architecture & Civil Engineering along with Eimear Gallagher from the Centre for Educational Development. Their work, in the category of ‘excellence in teaching first year students’, recognises the importance of the first year experience in determining students' future success and retention. It has involved the embedding of Personal Development Planning and personal tutoring initiatives in the first year, thus facilitating reflective learning. Through reflection, planning, doing and reviewing, students are encouraged to develop as critical and autonomous learners. The success of the initiative has convinced colleagues within their discipline of its value and has enabled the model to be rolled out to the wider teaching team.

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Dr Karim Hadjri from Queen's discusses housing plans with Joan Cosgrove from Newtownabbey Senior Citizens' Forum

Latest developments in designing housing and support facilities for people with dementia will be discussed this week.

A conference on Best Practice in Design for People with Dementia will take place at Queen's to mark International Day of Older Persons on Wednesday 1 October. The conference is organised by the Dementia Services Development Centre (Northern Ireland) together with the Changing Ageing Partnership (CAP), and takes place during Age Awareness Week.

The conference will be opened by Queen’s graduate and award-winning architect Dawson Stelfox - also known as the first Irishman to conquer Mount Everest.

Maria McManus, Associate Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre NI, said: "This conference is the perfect way to celebrate International Day of Older Persons. We are presenting the latest innovations in building design, which can have a major impact on older people’s quality of life.

There are currently 16,000 people in Northern Ireland with dementia. This is expected to rise to 47,000 over the next 40 years or so. We want to make sure every pound invested in buildings for older people is well spent, and steps are taken to avoid simple design mistakes that can have a huge impact on people’s experiences of old age.

“The Dementia Services Development Centre NI is particularly keen to make sure that the very positive messages about what can be done to support people with dementia, and those who care for them, are shared with those who can influence change.

“Through our own research, and that being carried out by Queen’s on behalf of CAP, we hope to inform those involved in designing facilities for older people by providing examples of what does and does not work."

Professor Sally Wheeler, Director of the Institute of Governance at Queen’s - a partner in CAP - said: "The Changing Ageing Partnership is delighted to welcome all conference delegates, particularly those involved in designing, planning, commissioning and inspecting facilities for older people and people with dementia.

“People with dementia have the right to comfortable, secure and accessible living space that meets their very specific needs, whether in their own homes, sheltered accommodation, care homes or hospitals. Facilities should be designed in such a way as to provide the support and assistance they need, whilst allowing them to maintain as much independence as possible.

“CAP funded researchers at Queen’s have investigated the standard of accommodation currently available to older people across Northern Ireland, and are researching the potential for new technology, such as mobile phones and touch-screen computers, to help prompt memory and support people with dementia. Together with Dementia Services Development Centre NI’s Design Audit Tool, this research should help inform those who design and build facilities for people with dementia."

Best Practice in Design for People with Dementia will take place on Wednesday 1 October 2008 at Queen’s University Belfast. For more information visit

For media enquiries

Fab Forum in SPACE

The Forum for an Alternative Belfast, which is aiming to "create a strong new vision for Belfast", has found that land covering the size of 500 football pitches is being underused or left to waste in and around the city centre.  MORE than two square kilometres of land currently lying idle in Belfast could be used to house more than 20,000 people in the area, a newly launched think tank has said. The Forum is running a summer school at SPACE from August 17 to 21.


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A Belfast academic is working on research that could help protect soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Professor Wei Sha is testing how safe vehicles with titanium alloys are when hit by bullets or explosions. Professor Sha, from Queen's University's School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, is examining the damage tolerance of titanium. It is the first research to reveal the reasons behind the deformation of titanium alloys under strong impact.

British forces serving in Afghanistan currently use Land Rovers which have titanium alloys. Professor Sha has discovered that, like virtually all metals, titanium is weakened under force and at an elevated temperature after a study visit by Professor Guoqing Wu, from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is now aiming to go a step further with the research and predict what will happen if the alloys are compressed. This compression process normally happens when manufacturers want to transform the material into a plate or short drum shape by using a compression machine. This form of titanium is often used in the aeronautic and astronautic industry. But compression can also happen when faced with an unexpected situation such as when vehicles are hit in combat.

Although the process usually happens at room temperature, the temperature inside the alloy could heat up to several hundred degrees as heat is generated through deformation. Professor Sha predicts this could weaken the alloys and endanger the lives of those travelling in the vehicle. "Sometimes, deformation of a metal is a desirable property. It is essential for completing its forming and shaping process," he said. "In other occasions, deformation is unwanted, especially in a finished product, which people want to maintain its shape during service. Either way, it is important to understand the deformation behaviour, so as to be able to devise methods to control the deformation." He set out to make sense of the complicated phenomenon so that if an explosion or military attack occurs those involved will know what to expect.

The end research could be used by manufacturers for advice on safety, material selection, optimisation and component design. Professor Sha hopes that this new model will cut back on the number of costly experiments which are needed to test the safety of titanium.

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Queens Student is Carving his Way to Success
Seamus Sands, chairman of Wood NI congratulated the winner of the 3rd Level Student Wood Awards, JP Feeney, a student from architecture at Queen’s University.  The awards are sponsored by Wood NI, and aim to unearth design talent that will shape the future of Northern Ireland and the Republic’s architectural and engineering industries, while using a product that is environmentally responsible. Queens has won the architectural prize for the last three years.

Seamus Sands, chairman of Wood NI congratulated the winner of the 3rd Level Student Wood Awards, JP Feeney, a student from architecture at Queen’s University.  The awards are sponsored by Wood NI, and aim to unearth design talent that will shape the future of Northern Ireland and the Republic’s architectural and engineering industries, while using a product that is environmentally responsible. Queens has won the architectural prize for the last three years.

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Here you can find all recent news and archived news related to the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering.

Archived News

Queen's researchers provide solution to world's worst mass poisoning case
Arsenic Treatment System
Arsenic Treatment System
Bhaskar Sen Gupta
Bhaskar Sen Gupta

A solution to the world’s worst case of ongoing mass poisoning, linked to rising cancer rates in Southern Asia, has been developed by researchers from Queen’s University Belfast.

Currently over 70 million people in Eastern India and Bangladesh, experience involuntary arsenic exposure from consuming water and rice; the main staple food in the region. This includes farmers who have to use contaminated groundwater from minor irrigation schemes.

It is estimated that for every random sample of 100 people in the Bengal Delta, at least one person will be near death as a result of arsenic poisoning, while five in 100 will be experiencing other symptoms.

Now, researchers at the Belfast-based University have created new low-cost technology to provide arsenic-free water to millions of people in South Asia currently exposed to high levels of the poison in groundwater.

Leading an international team, Queen’s researchers have developed a trial plant in Kasimpore, near Calcutta, which offers chemical-free groundwater treatment technology to rural communities for all their drinking and farming needs.

The technology is based on recharging a part of the groundwater, after aeration, into a subterranean aquifer (permeable rock) able to hold water. Increased levels of oxygen in the groundwater slow down the arsenic release from the soil. At higher dissolved oxygen levels, soil micro organisms, as well as iron and manganese, reduce the dissolved arsenic level significantly.

Dr Bhaskar Sen Gupta of Queen’s, co-ordinator of the project said: “Arsenic poisoning is behind many instances of ill-health in Southern Asia, including a rising number of cancer cases. Developing a low cost method of decontaminating ground water that is laced with high levels of arsenic is a key challenge for sustainable agriculture there.

“While there are some techniques available for treating relatively small quantities of water, there has, until now, been no viable technology available for decontaminating groundwater on a large scale that can ensure safe irrigation and potable water supply.

“This project developed by Queen’s is the only method which is eco-friendly, easy to use and deliverable to the rural community user at an affordable cost.”

The project is part of the EU-funded Asia Pro Eco Programme which is dedicated to the improvement of environmental performance in Asian economic sectors. Known as TiPOT (Technology for in-situ treatment of groundwater for potable and irrigation purposes), a key part of the project is the establishment of sustainable technology partnerships.

Explaining further, Dr Sen Gupta said: “From its inception we have had the vital support of Indian-based stakeholders, such as village councils and local financial institutions. This has been vital as they are the authorities who monitor the water supply and distribution in rural areas and provide micro-credit to the local farmers.

“With their help, we now have a solution which is transferable to many areas in need across Asia.”

The new plant will be maintained and operated by local village technicians. To help apply the technology to other areas in the South Asian region, the World Bank has given a grant of $200,000 to the TIPOT consortium to set up six more subterranean water treatment plants in the Gangetic plains of West Bengal. In June 2008, Queen’s along with the Indian partners BESU and IEMS won the prestigious DELPHE award of the British Council ( to set up another treatment plant and run awareness programmes for arsenic poisoning in India.

Further information on the project can be found at

For media enquiries please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Press Officer, +44 (0)28 9097 5384, Mob: 07814 422 572,

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SPACE Engineering student wins Sean De Courcy Prize
Ross Johnston's winning project is entitled  ‘Testing of the flexible concrete arch system’.  The award is in honour of the late Sean De Courcy, Professor of Engineering at UCD, Chairman and Friend of the Irish Concrete Society, Author and Historian. The Sean de Courcy Award is given to an undergraduate for the best final year project relating to concrete.

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Two graduates from the BSc in Environmental Planning 2007/08 have been awarded prizes in the British Council Erasmus Competition. Laura Michael and Julie Crawford have come first and second respectively in the Regional Erasmus Photographic Competition and have been invited to attend an award event in London on December 9th where they will be entered into the national final.

Four prizes have been awarded to Northern Irish students in total and we are delighted that the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering is so well represented in this. Laura and Julie spent Semester I of their final year in the School of the Built Environment in KTH Stockholm. This year there are five students from the School in Stockholm.

For futher details about the Erasmus programme in the School please contact Karen Keaveney (

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SPACE student success in NCE Communications Competition

Congratulations to Faber Maunsell who were winners of the NI heat of the NCE Communications Competition which was held in the Council Chamber, Queen’s University on 26th November 2008.  The team of three included Mary Moorhead and Laura Henderson who are both Civil Engineering students in SPACE currently on a placement with Faber Maunsell. The third member is Patrick O’Connor. The team presented a study of three routes for a by-pass to the (imaginary) town of Ambleton.   The Faber Maunsell team will now progress to the national heat where their winning streak will hopefully continue!

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14 Postgraduate Research Positions in Planning, Architecture & Civil/Environmental Engineering

The Centre for Built Environment Research (CBER), the Environmental Engineering Research Centre (EERC) and the Institute of Spatial & Environmental Planning (ISEP).

Successful candidates will join a School with a well established research record: the School’s ratings in the 2008 RAE showed Civil Engineering ranked 8th in UK, with 75% of its research deemed to be world leading or internationally excellent.  Planning at Queen’s rose eight places to achieve a position of 9th in Russell Group submissions whilst research in Architecture at Queen’s has undergone a major review and, with recruitment of established research-active academic staff and ring-fenced funding, is set to expand over the next three years.

For more Information click here

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Links between SPACE and Brunei institution strengthen with new agreement






ITB has set another milestone in its continuing effort to upgrade its twinning degree programme in Civil Engineering with the signing of the memorandum of Agreement with Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), United Kingdom on Saturday, 24th May 2008, at the Ministry of Education. Present to witness the signing was Awg Hj Daud bin Hj Mahmud, the Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) of the Ministry of Education. Director of ITB, Dr Hj Kassim bin Hj Daud, signed on behalf of the ITB and QUB was represented by Professor David James Cleland, Head of School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering QUB. QUB is a highly reputable university in the UK and a member of prestigious Russell group of the universities


The agreement between ITB and QUB will enable ITB to run the newly (2+1) and (2+2) arrangement for the undergraduate Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering programmes in Civil Engineering respectively. This is an upgrade from the current twinning arrangement 1+2 Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering which was offered since 2001. In the previous agreement, the students enrolled into the programme spent year 1 at ITB and the subsequent two years at QUB. Since its commencement in 2001, the collaborative arrangement has shown encouraging achievements to both the students and ITB. As of August 2007, 46 students have graduated under this arrangement. 11% of these graduates were awarded the “first class honours”, 52% with a “Second Class Honours Upper division”, 35% with “Second Class Honours Lower division” and 2% with a “Third Class Honours division”. 25 more are expected to graduate in July this year.


As a result of the periodic review meeting conducted by QUB at ITB in January 2007, QUB was happy with the growing number of students on this course since 2001 which shows that the twinning programme was on solid foundation. They were also satisfied with ITB delivery of course and the satisfactory performance of most of Brunei students in particular some students doing very well and in general, there were no problems with students coming from ITB to QUB. This shows the acceptance of QUB towards ITB academics’ credibility and quality. All dedicated lecturers in the Department of Civil Engineering of ITB who taught the first year of the programme were QUB recognised teachers. This recognition is monitored annually by QUB to ensure quality delivery acceptable to the professional bodies’ requirement such as UK Joint Board of Moderators and Engineering Council. The ITB-QUB degrees are accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators of the Institutions of Civil, Structural and Highways & Transportation Engineers.   The accreditation is part of a normal process undertaken by Professional Engineering Institutions in the UK. The new agreement which runs from 2007 to 2011 enables ITB to run the first and second year of the Bachelor and Master programme. The Master programme also provide the students to choose two pathways that lead to the award of Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering and Master of Engineering in Environmental and Civil Engineering. Currently 25 students were enrolled under this programme in August 2007.

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