The MET Technology Gateway is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the ERDF Northern and Western Regional Programme 2021-27

Dermot O’Donovan

Technology Leader

Position: Project Manager, Education and Work Integrated Learning (eWIL) Project, GMIT Letterfrack

Dermot was Head of Centre of GMIT’s campus at Letterfrack from 2006 to 2019. During that period, he managed the campus and oversaw programme development, establishing the campus as a National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design and Technology. Programmes specialising in Furniture Design and Technology have been running at the centre since 1987 and since 2006, a post-primary teacher education programme has been delivered. Dermot has managed the eWIL project since 2019, developing online provision of programmes and a Department of Creative Education within GMIT.

Research track record: Dermot holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UCC, a Higher Certificate in Furniture Design and Manufacture and a Research Masters in Science from GMIT. Currently he is doctoral researcher in Higher Education Research with Lancaster University, specialising in policy and practice pertaining to education for sustainable development. He has managed GMIT’s participation in a number of successful Leonardo DaVinci and Erasmus+ projects and has presented at national and international conferences. Dermot managed a highly successful contract for a Horizon 2020 project (SustainablySMART) on eco design and sustainable manufacturing, which was placed upon the European Commission’s Innovation Radar, highlighting excellent innovations.

Industry track record: GMIT Letterfrack has very strong links with industry in Ireland and overseas. Dermot has co-ordinated a range of industry projects including undergraduate research projects, Innovation Vouchers and directly funded projects with companies involved in domestic, commercial and bespoke furniture projects and architectural joinery. In 2017, Dermot was a key member of the Steering Committee that established the Irish Wood and Furniture Manufacturing Network (IWFMN). Dermot has hosted a range of industry seminars at GMIT Letterfrack and presented at IWFMN national conferences.

Funding track record: Dermot has successfully applied for and managed a range of funded projects from industry, Enterprise Ireland, Teagasc, Irish Government and the EU. In 2016 Dermot secured funding from COFORD (DAFM) to establish a wood processing and research centre in GMIT Letterfrack for analysing and investigating the utilisation potential of Irish-grown hardwoods. In 2019, Dermot successfully applied for Regional Technology Cluster Fund from Enterprise Ireland to work with the IWFMN to develop cluster expertise.