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Dr. Declan Phillips


Declan Phillips is a Senior Lecturer and formerly the inaugural course director for both the civil engineering and construction management & engineering programmes at the University of Limerick (UL). He has been with the University since it first launched programmes in the built environment in 2005. He was responsible for designing UL's programme in civil engineering; a programme that adopts a ‘learning by doing' philosophy. Problem Based Learning (PBL) is the core pedagogy throughout all four years of the programme and is supplemented by active learning in lectures. Certain modules also employ flipped learning and case based instruction.

Declan received a BSc (Eng) degree in Structural Engineering from DIT/TCD in 1989 & MSc and PhD degrees from Trinity College Dublin in 1995 and 2002 respectively. Declan worked as a geotechnical engineer with Ambric Engineering Inc. Philadelphia from 1989 to 1994 and subsequently spent ten years teaching at Waterford Institute of Technology. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Pennsylvania and received Chartered Engineer status with Engineers Ireland in 1992.

On teaching, Declan is a strong advocate of student centred education and in particular PBL in Civil Engineering. He is a fellow of the ASCE ExCEEd I & ExCEEd II (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) programmes and was an assistant mentor for the ExCEEd practicum held at Northern Arizona University in 2009. In 2008 he received a regional award for Teaching Excellence from the Shannon Consortium. He is a member of the ISSMGE Technical Committee on Geo-Education (TC306) and is an associate editor for the American Society of Civil Engineers Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education & Practice and the Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities.
He was also on the organising committee for the ISSMGE's¨ international conference on Geo-engineering Education in 2012.

Research interests include soil mechanics, instrumented field and laboratory testing, geoenvironmental aspects and reuse of municipal waste. He has supervised IRCSET funded research on construction uses for recycled municipal waste and IRC funded research of flood defenses for Limerick City. He is also actively involved in research on student centred education and forensic engineering applications in teaching.

Research Interests

Deep foundations, soil structure interaction, instrumentation, forensic engineering