Outreach and Sustainability: Drivers of a New Timber Technology Degree Programme
This paper is written as a broad exploration of the context, principles, structures and evaluations that have supported the creation of the new BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Timber Technology in TU Dublin. It may be of value to other programme teams seeking to re-orient their wood-science or timber technology programmes. Between 2014 and 2016 a range of conditions changed in a way that supported the creation of a new timber technology programme to serve Ireland’s broad Forest Product Sector. Technological University (TU) Dublin has responded by creating BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Timber Technology degree programme. The new Programme continues TU Dublin’s extensive technical vocational tradition; draws from a range of resources including an existing, more narrowly-focused, timber technology programme; and has been influenced by an extensive stakeholder engagement. A series of principles were adopted to ensure the Programme had the best chance of being relevant and resilient. Timber is an extraordinary resource: well-used it can contribute significantly to national decarbonisation strategies and a more sustainable future. In the face of the Global Crisis, TU Dublin has adopted the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) to underpin its first Strategic Intent. The Programme is the first to be revised in line with the 2023 Milestone and 2030 Objectives for sustainability of the Strategic Intent document. The inclusion of the word ‘sustainable’ in the Programme title has been beneficial, not least in facilitating a sustainability audit created under the nationally-funded Transform-EDU project. The audit has identified alignments to the SDGs. The data gathered and methodology used will be of value to the Programme Team in considering further changes to more closely align the curriculum to sustainability.