Professor Lisa Looney, BA, BAI, Ph.D., CEng., is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Registrar at Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland. DCU is a young university (~18,000 students) with a very strong focus on both enterprise and transforming lives. It has led many initiatives focused on inclusion in higher education; has the oldest and largest programme in the country to support students from less advantaged economic backgrounds, it was the world’s first designated autism-friendly university, and the first university of sanctuary designated in Ireland. It has vibrant women in leadership and women in research agendas (including Athena Swan) and is very active in initiatives related to women in STEM. DCU regularly partners with industry on these projects and, as VP for Academic Affairs, Looney is heavily involved in both student and staff-related initiatives, building on over three decades as a champion for women in STEM.
Looney’s disciplinary background is materials engineering and prior to taking up her current role, she was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computing (2017-2020), University Dean of Graduate Studies (2011-2016), and a founding member of academic staff in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in DCU.
In her role as Executive Dean, Looney championed strategic curriculum renewal, broadening the programme portfolio to include fully online delivery for postgraduate learners in key technology areas, infrastructure development to support innovative pedagogy and transnational partnerships for the provision of master’s programmes in PNU (KSA) and Wuhan University (China). The Faculty is home to three large Science Foundation Ireland-funded research centres; Insight (Data Analytics), ADAPT (next generation digital content) and I-Form (additive manufacturing), among others.
As Dean of Graduate Studies in DCU, Looney was particularly active in the European Universities Association Council for Doctoral Education. She was heavily involved in drafting the Irish National Framework for Doctoral Education, and led the development of Ireland’s Framework of Good Practice for Research Degree Programmes published in 2019.
Looney’s disciplinary background is mechanical engineering, and her research expertise includes areas of materials processing, particularly biomaterials. She is a very experienced doctoral supervisor and research examiner and a Chartered Engineer. She undertook her Ph.D. in the Netherlands as a sponsored fellow of the European Commission and has a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin. She has also lived and worked as a researcher in New Zealand.