Proudest Achievements in an exciting Career

Deasún Ó Conchúir is lucky to have an exciting career with many different experiences in many countries, enjoying working with different types of people and in varied situations.  Looking back, he is particularly proud of his professional activities in the field of education, where he was active at a time of great developments.

Education is a field where you give what you know to others, who then apply the ideas.  It is often said that the younger generation start in life at the point where the previous generation finished and this thinking applies to education. Frank Custy, one of the best teachers known to Deasún Ó Conchúir, told him that a teacher should show his students what to do, then get out of the way and let them surpass his own competence.

Common to all of the achievements below is sowing seeds and setting the direction, then getting out of the way while others achieve in ways not even thought of at the beginning.  They are visible through web pages, something that nobody thought of when the basic work was being done.

First Head of School of Engineering at Waterford Institute of Technology

Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir established the structure of degree level engineering education in the south east of Ireland. As there is no university in this region, this is of particularly strategic importance for regional development.

By the time he left in 1983, he had built up the full time staff to over sixty and there were also approximately eighty night class groups.

Establishment of Advanced Manufacturing Technology Unit
(now Enterprise Research Centre, University of Limerick)

Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir established this research unit in 1988 in conjunction with one academic colleague, following the mooting of such a program at national level. They set up the first single room laboratory and canvassed industry throughout the country to support a study about the current state of AMT, in order to trigger the embryo development. As support grew and the national funding became available, a position of manager was created, enabling them to hand over an up-and-running research program.

The unit evolved into several separate research programs in the areas of:

  • Competitiveness
  • Innovation
  • eLearning
  • Sensors & Systems
  • Programme for University Industry Interface

Author of a Project Management book which is easy to read

While thousands of Project Management professionals work for multi-national corporations whose business language is English, this is not necessarily the most convenient language for learning.  Much project management literature can be confusing and uncertain, so the book “Overview of the PMBOK® Guide” (out of print) was written by Dr. Ó Conchúir in a simple and readable language for PMP® and CAPM® candidates for whom English is a second language. 

Through his worldwide consultancy, training and association with the full spectrum of Project Management professionals, Dr. Ó Conchúir recognized the need to provide a clear guide, breaking through the obstacles of language towards a clearer understanding of the project management, which is imperative for project managers who must apply them in successfully carrying out their real-life duties and responsibilities.

Jacob Zachariah“The book is a product of years of experience in the field for Dr. Deasun. While sticking very close to the contents of Project Management Body of Knowledge 4th edition (PMBOK® Guide), he has articulated the principles and practices from some very pertinent personal examples and experiences. He brings alive the principles elucidated in PMBOK® Guide with solid examples from the real world. This single factor glued me to the book”

Jacob Zachariah, PMP

Establishment of Gaelcholáiste an Chláir

This project to establish a secondary school where the teaching language is Irish finally became reality in 1993. Since then the school has built up to a full 6 year secondary cycle with an annual intake of approximately 30 pupils.

The project was initiated by a parent colleague, who with Deasún spearheaded the detailed development, whether identifying a legal structure, finding a building (again!) or designing the teaching programme and school uniform. This involved polling parents of potential pupils as well as supporting the Vocational Education Committee and Department of Education to find the way to fund the project.

Procurement of first building for Gaelscoil Phortlairge

As mentioned in this newspaper report, the original building was in Viewmount Park. As a member of the committee establishing the school, Deasún carried out a survey of available buildings and negotiated the use of the Viewmount facility from a local builder. By way of support the owner had the rooms used by the school redecorated and this enabled it to open its doors in 1984.

The success of this school resulted in its continued expansion and move to new a new location at Baile Mhic Gonair.