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Dr. Alan Ryan


Dr. Alan Ryan is a lecturer in Sustainable Automation, Quality Management & Supply Chain in the Department of Design & Manufacturing Technology. He is director of the Materials & Automation Research group.

Alan's research interests include process optimisation, quality management systems and sustainable treatment of products at the end of their useful life.
Alan's industrial background working as a manufacturing engineer for a leading multinational electronics manufacturer and uses this industrial background in his approach to research, lecturing and problem solving.

Specific research projects Alan is involved with at the moment include, forecasting and planning end of life treatment of WEEE, successful implementation of lean manufacturing in large organisations (barriers and how to sustain success) and an FP7 project investigating the development of a data management system capable of capturing and modelling process knowledge in organisations.

Alan is a member of Engineers Ireland, has developed new systems and technologies which have been patented and licenced to spin-out companies. He jointly led UL's admission into the CDIO community, which is a move towards making engineering lecturing more problem based. The aim here being to help students grasp key concepts and to provide an industry ready graduate.

Teaching Interests

I lecture a variety of modules including Automation, Design for Sustainability, Quality Management, Design for Environment and Manufacturing System Design.
I aim to teach through a mixture of active learning i.e. practical lab session and group work within lectures and the traditional lecture based material.

Module Descriptions
Automation: This module covers the automation technologies to ensure mass manufacturing is carried out in an effective and efficient manner, topics covered include:Programmable Logic controllers, LabVIEW, pneumatics, motors, logic gates, signal conditioning and more.

Design for Sustainability: examines how products are manufactured and how simple design changes can improve the End of Life treatment of products and help to promote reduce, reuse and recycling of materials.

Quality Management: investigates the importance of quality managment within manufacturing and shows the students the fundamentals of quality tools applied within industry e.g. 6 sigma, Pareto, QFD and process control charts.

I also lecture on a number of our distance learning programmes and promote the use of technology such as worked video examples, interactive discussion boards and web-based lectures.

Professional Activities


  • 2011 85888 - Removal of Hazardous Substances from LCD Displays


  • Member, Engineers Ireland


Book Chapter


Printing an Alternative Manufacturing Method,
Ryan. A and Lewis. H
New Trends in Technologies: Devices, Computer, Communication and Industrial Systems

Conference Publication


29th International Manufacturing Conference
Cassidy, D. Walsh, P. and Ryan, A.


Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing
Ryan A, Lewis, H & O'Donoghue L.


International Manufacturing Conference IMC 26
O'Donoghue L, Ryan A, Lewis H

Peer Reviewed Journal


Effect of surface roughness on Paper Substrate Circuit Boards
Ryan. A and Lewis. H
Ieee Transactions On Components Packaging And Manufacturing Technology


Characterising components of liquid crystal displays to facilitate disassembly
Ryan, A; O' Donoghue, L; Lewis, H
Journal Of Cleaner Production DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.01.009