MTU Wins Special Award For COVID Impact

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THE Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 has placed Munster Technological University (MTU) as both the highest ranked of Ireland’s Technological Universities and also the winner of a special award – University of the Year for COVID Impact.

Professor Maggie Cusack, President of MTU, is delighted that this has been recognised by the Sunday Times.

She stated that demand from CAO applicants has surged, with first-preference honours degree applications for MTU courses rising by more than 16%, almost twice the national average, while first-preference degree application levels increased by almost 4%, a very positive outcome in a hugely important programme category.

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In addition, she said that the KTI Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey 2020 indicated that total research expenditure in MTU exceeded €22M, the highest total achieved across Ireland’s Technological Universities and Institutes of Technology.

In relation to winning the award for University of the Year for COVID Impact, President Cusack acknowledged the resilience, commitment and ingenuity of MTU students and staff who have found new ways to learn, teach, research and innovate during a period of immense challenge.

“I am proud to lead a university community of students and staff who, despite all that they have had to deal with, continue to succeed together and to excel across all areas of our activity,” she said.

The Sunday Times adjudicating panel were hugely impressed with the MTU photo which won the SFI Research Image of the Year for 2020.

“Talking Heads” is an image produced in 2020 by researchers at MTU, MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory and the MTU Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis, when investigating the effectiveness of mask materials in preventing the spread of aerosol droplets. It shows the spread of aerosol droplets from two talking medical dummies, one masked, the other not.

According to Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, the public health messaging of this image is as relevant today as the pandemic continues as when it was first published in 2020 at a time when it was only just becoming apparent that Covid transmission was aerosol, rather than contact-driven. “They say a picture is worth one thousand words; this is a picture that could also save thousands of lives, and on its own earned MTU our University of the Year award for COVID Impact for its significance and societal reach,” he said.


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