Cork Institute of Technology

Cork Institute of Technology
Motto Rísam Uile
Established 1974
President Dr. Brendan J. Murphy
Students 17,000
Address Cork, Ireland., Cork, Ireland

Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), formerly the Regional Technical College, Cork, is an Institute of Technology in Ireland, located in Cork, Ireland opened in 1973. The institute has 17,000 students (both part-time and full-time) in art, business, engineering, music, drama and science disciplines. Cork Institute of Technology comprises two constituent Faculties and three constituent Colleges. The constituent Faculties are Engineering and Science, and Business and Humanities. The constituent colleges are the CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, the CIT Cork School of Music and the National Maritime College of Ireland.[1]

Faculties are made up of Schools which in turn comprise two or more academic departments.

The institute has been named as Institute of Technology of the Year in The Sunday Times University Guide for Ireland on numerous occasions, an accolade which it currently holds.

In 2007 the title of the head of the institute changed from "Director" to "President".[2] In March 2008 it was announced that the Institute was applying for university status.[3]

At present, CIT has 1,465 staff members of which 862 are academic staff. The academic staff consists of 473 permanent whole-time, 156 pro-rata part-time and 233 hourly-paid part-time members. The non-academic staff is composed of technical support, library, administrative and services staff. The non-academic staff members break down as follows: 131 Management, Clerical Admin and Library; 177 Student Services Support, including Exam Invigilators; 82 Technicians; 67 Research staff; and 96 support staff including Caretakers, Attendants and Cleaners.[4]

A proposal has been put forward that Cork Institute of Technology could merge with Institute of Technology, Tralee in the future, creating one entity that will most likely to be known as Munster Technological University. The University would offer a multi-campus institution spanning across Cork and Kerry, creating a second University in the region, and third in the province of Munster.[5]


The Cork Institute of Technology, and its predecessor Cork RTC developed from earlier institutions such as the Royal Cork Institution which existed from 1807 until 1861, and the Crawford Municipal Technical Institute which was founded in 1912, which trained students in Science and Engineering. In 1930 the City of Cork Vocational Education Committee was set up. Cork Regional Technical College was established in 1973 and the Crawford Institute was merged with the new Cork RTC in 1976.

Following enactment of the Regional Technical Colleges Act 1992, it incorporated the Cork School of Music and the Crawford College of Art and Design on 1 January 1993. In late 1997 it was renamed from Regional Technical College, Cork to Cork Institute of Technology.[6]

Main Campus

The main campus of some eighty acres is situated in Bishopstown in the western suburbs of Cork city. It is equipped with theatres, lecture rooms, laboratories, drawing studios, a library, computer suites, open access computing centre and research units. Recreational facilities for students include a running track, tennis courts, all-weather pitch, a gymnasium and grass playing pitches. A new indoor swimming pool is located immediately adjacent to the Institute.

CIT's main campus has won awards for its architectural design and aesthetics.[7]


Research is a core dimension of CIT activity. This is underlined by the fact that, after Dublin Institute of Technology, CIT has the most extensive delegated authority to award PhDs.[8] In collaboration with a wide range of organisations including Higher Education Institutions, Industry, State and Voluntary Bodies, CIT is involved in research that contributes to supporting:

The main Institute research activity is primarily, though not exclusively, organised around three Strategic Research Clusters that reflect the CIT current dominant strategic research strengths and critical mass. There are also new and emerging areas of research and a number of long established centres that engage in research and consultancy. Across the Institute faculties and constituent colleges, academic staff research interests range across Engineering, Science, Business and Humanities, Music and Art. The CIT Research mission is to continue to build on niche strengths and to develop sustainable and productive research, innovation, technology transfer and postgraduate education across all its faculties.[9]


On 17 January 2010, CIT took possession of the new NIMBUS Centre for Embedded Systems Research and, on 16 March, 65 researchers and students relocated from diverse locations in CIT to the NIMBUS building.

Funded through the HEA Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) in 2007, NIMBUS is the first building nationally to be completed in the 4th cycle of PRTLI funding and reflects collaboration and project management by the CIT Development Office, the architects RKD, building contractors Walls and the team of researchers for whom the building was designed.

Research Centre at CITThe NIMBUS Centre is adjacent to and attached to the Rubicon Centre and its extension (currently under construction). NIMBUS is currently training 32 postgraduate researchers and NIMBUS staff is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in the Department of Electronic Engineering in CIT.

The NIMBUS Centre provides space for up to 80 researchers, including facilities for undergraduate project students, visiting postgraduate students and researchers from other institutions and dedicated industry visitor workstations, already in use, where company researchers can work in close collaboration with NIMBUS staff and use NIMBUS research facilities.

NIMBUS is among the most heavily networked buildings in the country with high data rate wired and wireless network points throughout the building and a suite of communications antennae on the roof of the centre facilitate long distance wireless networking. A large area of the ground floor is given over to an open-plan laboratory space which will contain facilities for electronics prototyping and testing, RF/microwave testing and reliability testing. This space will also be used for both small- and large-scale demonstrations of embedded systems applications. NIMBUS is CIT’s first dedicated research centre and is intended not only to be a showcase for CIT’s research but also to demonstrate CIT’s ability to translate innovative research into economic benefit. As embedded systems can benefit all technology disciplines and can be used in many applications including sensing, energy, health, manufacturing, safety, environment, logistics and business, NIMBUS welcomes collaborations with other researchers and companies interested in these and related topics.[10]

Collaborative European Research Conference

The Collaborative European Research Conference (CERC) is an annual event that invites postgraduate students to submit papers and participate in a peer-reviewed event. CIT hosted the 2011 CERC at its Blackrock Castle Observatory.[11]

Academic Alliances

CIT holds a partnership with the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (h_da), Germany. CIT's BA in Multimedia offers a joint accreditation from CIT and h_da.[12]

CIT offer a number of degree courses in conjunction with University College Cork, including their BSc in Architecture[13] and BSc in Biomedical Science.[14]

The CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory runs a programme in partnership with the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California.[15]

CIT has also established various industrial alliances, particularly with the EMC Corporation and VMware, both of which have a business presence in Cork. The college also maintains close ties with to Cisco Systems and the Cisco Networking Academy. CIT is itself both an official VMware and Cisco academy,[16] as well as a Microsoft, Novell and ITIL academy.

CIT Rubicon Centre

The Rubicon Centre is a business incubation centre and is located on campus at CIT. Home to over 40 knowledge-based start-up companies, the Centre is jointly financed by CIT & Enterprise Ireland. Clients based at the Rubicon are at different stages of development, from concept stage to completing their first customer orders and many are already trading on the International Market. In 2007 a second incubation facility was opened to accommodate the demand for on-campus incubation space. An extension to the existing building is currently taking place & it is hoped this will be fully operation by June 2010, increasing total incubation space to 2,100 square metres.

The Centre’s role as an incubator is to assist the formation and growth of early stage, knowledge intensive businesses, by providing physical space, in-house management support, access to advice and support from Institute resources. The Centre has attracted interest from both Irish and Overseas Companies operating in the Technology market.[17]

Genesis Programme

The Genesis Enterprise Programme is also based at CIT's Rubicon Centre, offering participants the opportunity to avail of a 12-month rapid incubation programme that aims to support and accelerate graduate entrepreneurs in developing their business from a very early stage. It has been in operation since 1998. The focus of the Genesis Programme is to provide a package of supports to entrepreneurs in the South West Region in accelerating the development of their business.

Businesses from diverse sectors have participated on the programme in the past including Food, Information Technology, Biotech, Telecommunications, Renewable Energy, Medical Device and Automotive. The key criteria for eligibility are that the business is knowledge based and has export potential. The Programme is currently funded by the Department of Education and Science and many of the participants are supported financially by Enterprise Ireland by way of a CORD grant.

The Genesis Programme is a full-time programme designed to provide an integrated and comprehensive set of business development and financial supports to graduates of third-level colleges who wish to start their own businesses. By developing the entrepreneurial skills of the participants and helping them realise the full potential of their businesses, the risk involved in setting up a business is reduced and the focus is on the development of scalable, high growth businesses.[18]

CIT Prize for Innovation

Run in association with the Cork Enterprise Board, the CIT Prize for Innovation awards those whose inventions and business ideas are judged most creative, novel, innovative, and likely to succeed in the marketplace. This prize is open to all departments and entrants may use a project that forms part of their coursework for the year.[19] Entrants must be full-time or part-time students at CIT during the current academic year. Postgraduate students are also eligible. The adjudication panel comprises experienced engineers, inventors and business professionals. While it is not an official requirement, teams comprising members from differing disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged.

There is an overall prize awarded to the CIT Entrepreneur of the Year, while other awards include Most Technically Innovative, Part-time Student Award, Best Business Plan and Best Exhibition Stand on Innovation Day. 2010 also saw the presentation of an award for Best Innovation in an Emerging Space, the first time that this accolade was on offer at the event.

Each year, the awards are accompanied by a series of cash prizes. In 2010, a total prize fund of €10,000 was allocated by the Cork Enterprise Board. The Cork Enterprise Board endeavors to foster an entrepreneurial environment whereby more and more people will consider self-employment as a career option. In pursuit of this objective the Board has identified an interactive Enterprise Initiative.


The college has several full-size pitches, some of which are floodlit, catering to field sports, including Gaelic games, soccer and Gaelic games. The college's primary hurling and Gaelic football pitch, located on campus, offers its own stadium. CIT's athletics track is now one of the finest in the country, and also enjoys its own purpose-built stadium. In addition to its 9 playing pitches, two stadiums and international standard athletics track, CIT also boasts on campus all-weather astroturf pitches, tennis courts and a sports hall.[20] CIT offers students free membership to its small gym and weights room. LeisureWorld, one of Cork's fitness and health facilities, is adjacent the campus, and offers special membership rates to CIT students and staff.[21]

CIT’s sports grounds play host to competitions throughout the year, including schools matches in gaelic football, hurling, soccer and rugby. In the past, CIT has hosted the Avonmore Milk Munster Youth’s Cup Rugby semi-finals, Simcox, Coirn Uí Mhuirí and various other prestigious competitions. The college's facilities also cater to the training needs of various local and inter-county teams, including the Cork Ladies Football teams from underage to senior level, Cork Senior and Minor Camogies and the Cork Minor and Under-21 Hurlers. CIT is also the home ground for the Cork Admirals Flag Football games.[22]

In 2009 CIT won the Sigerson Cup, the premier Gaelic football competition in Ireland for the first time, beating Dublin Institute of Technology by 5 points in the final. CIT enjoys a local rivalry with University College Cork.

Other sports offered by the college include martial arts such as aikido, judo, karate, kickboxing and taekwondo. In addition to Gaelic games, soccer and rugby, CIT has teams involved in field sports such as flag football and hockey. Canoeing, rowing, sailing, sub aqua, surfing, and swimming make up the college's range of water sports, while many students also participate and compete in indoor sports such as aerobics, badminton, basketball, boxing, gymnastics, trampoling, pool, racquetball, table tennis and volleyball. Various other sports played at CIT include athletics, cycling, equestrian, golf, motorsport, mountaineering, rock-climbing, mountain biking, orienteering and tennis.[23]

CIT annually awards sports bursaries to a wide range of sports for both senior and first-year students.[24]

CIT's Sports Office oversees the college's sporting participation and facilities. The Office facilitates students and their clubs and is responsible for the management and upkeep of all sports facilities in the Institute. The current Sports Officer is Miriam Deasy. CIT also has a dedicated GAA Development Officer, a position that is currently held by Keith Ricken.[25]


CIT has a number of constituent colleges and facilities located off of its main campus, such as the CIT Cork School of Music, CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, National Maritime College of Ireland and CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory.

CIT Cork School of Music

The CIT Cork School of Music is located in the centre of Cork City, Ireland. The college was founded in 1878 and became a school of Cork Institute of Technology in 1993. The school currently operates from a five-floor music centre which was built on the site of the former premises. It opened in 2007 and was designed by Murray O’Laoire and Buro Happold.

CSM tutors students in a musicianship programme, professional instrumental work, performance studies, composition, ensemble work, basic instrumental work, music history, music technology, and Irish traditional music studies. The main programme taught at CSM is the Bachelor of Music degree programme. In 2012 the campus introduced two new hons Bachelor of Arts degrees to its main programme of courses, in Theatre and Drama Studies[26] & in Popular Music.[27] The School also offers a number of Postgraduate Courses in both Music Performance & in Music Technology. The school has a staff of approximately 120, many of whom teach part-time in their area of performance expertise in addition to working as full-time performers.

Cork School of Music currently operates from a building on Union Quay in Cork, hosting a large number of Steinway pianos. The acoustics were provided by Applied Acoustic Design. It incorporates three performance spaces, the Curtis Auditorium, Stack "Black Box" Theatre and the main Atrium which also functions as an Art Gallery for local Artists. The building hosts a full recording suite, it also contains six lecture theatres, the full Fleischmann Library, 2 audio labs, an I.T. lab, over 50 tutoring suites, 5 medium-sized classrooms, 5 full sized classrooms each acoustically isolated to also act as practice rooms. Each classroom in the building is equipped with at least one Apple iMac, projector and a speaker system, Sennheiser Evolution radio microphone, Rane rack mixer and dual 15 band graphic EQ, and a Lab Gruppen stereo power amplifer. Under the same roof is the Off-Quay restaurant, and a common room for full-time students with large open plan areas on all floors.

There are a number of light wells, bringing natural light to rooms in the centre of the building, where light would not have been possible. The school is equipped with audio technology that makes it easy for tutors to teach students, with at least one Steinway piano in every room, if not two (to facilitate one on one tutoring and preventing the need to use one piano for two). The school also hosts two harpsichords constructed in 2007 by the harpsichord-maker Michael Johnson, as well as housing the 1999 Michael Johnson instrument owned by Cork County Council.

The Current Director of CIT Cork School of Music is Dr. Geoffrey Spratt[28]

CIT Crawford College of Art and Design

The CIT Crawford College of Art & Design is a constituent college of Cork Institute of Technology. The CIT Crawford College offers full-time courses to bachelor's degree, Masters and Higher Diploma levels, all validated by CIT and the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC).

The college is sited in its own campus in Sharman Crawford Street, approximately four miles from the main CIT campus in Bishopstown. The Crawford College of Art & Design is located near the primary art centres and schools in Cork.

CIT's Department of Fine Art and the Department of Art & Design Education are based at the Sharman Crawford Street campus, offering programmes in Fine Art, Ceramics and Art Education. CIT's Department of Media Communications became part of the Crawford College in January 2010. However, both the Department of Media Communications and the Department of Art Therapy are based at the college's Bishopstown campus.

Facilities at the Sharman Crawford Street campus include studios with personal work spaces for all students, and well-equipped workshops including ceramics, metal and wood fabrication, stone carving, foundry, photography, film and video, digital media, etching, lithography, silk screen and relief printmaking, textiles and stained glass. The library houses over 12,000 volumes, 45 periodicals and newspapers, and over 30,000 slides.[29]

The CIT Crawford College of Art and Design has its origins in the Cork School of Design of 1850, which was associated with the Royal Cork Institution. The building that originally housed the college was built in 1724 as Cork’s Custom House. In 1979 the college was transferred to its current location on Sharman Crawford Street, near Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral. The Crawford College of Art and Design has close ties to the Crawford Art Gallery, which is located in the college's former building. The Crawford Art Gallery today possesses famous Canova Casts, and also houses John Butt's View of Cork, which was painted circa 1755, and shows the influence of Dutch trade on the early architecture of Cork.[30]

Irish landscape painter James Brennan (RHA) was headmaster of the school from 1860 to 1889. It was he who influenced William Horatio Crawford, from the famous brewing family, to invest in the School, leading to the 1884 extension and subsequent renaming of the school to the Crawford Municipal School of Art. Under the Institutes of Technology Act 2006, the Crawford College of Art and Design became a designated school of the Cork Institute of Technology.

National Maritime College of Ireland

The National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) is a joint project between the Cork Institute of Technology and the Irish Naval Service. It is located in Ringaskiddy, County Cork, Ireland. The college provides a range of maritime qualifications, including at academic degree level, and its facilities can accommodate 750 students.

The college cost approximately €50 million when opened in October 2004 and is one of the first public private partnership type projects in education in the Republic of Ireland, and will result in a 25-year contract held by Focus Education Ltd.

The college facilities are amongst the most modern in the world. For the training of deck department personnel there is an array of bridge simulators, including a 360 degree model and a 270 degree model. Workshops are provided for ropework and other deck associated skills, and simulators are provided for GMDSS training and cargo work. Engine department trainees avail of a fully functional engine room, which includes diesel engines, oil purifiers, air compressors, sewage treatment plant, fresh water generators and other equipment found on board oceangoing vessels. An engine room simulator is used to train personnel in watchkeeping, teamwork and process management. Common facilities include the survival training pool, helicopter dunker, lifeboats and firefighting training facility. Machine workshops are utilised to train engineers in turning, milling, grinding, welding and the use of hand tools for fabrication. There is an extensive marine library on site, but with limited access.

In September 2006, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway visited the NMCI, while on a state visit to Ireland, to promote maritime links between Cork and Oslo.

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory
CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory.

Blackrock Castle was originally built on the River Lee in 1582 by the citizens of Cork as a watch tower and fort, assuring trade ships of a safe haven, the Elizabethan government of the era ordering a round tower constructed to protect against marauding pirates and other invaders. Following a charter by James I in 1608, Blackrock Castle was handed over to the City of Cork. In 1722 the old tower was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt with an octagonal room topped with a cupola. The castle was used at this time as the Corporation banquet hall. In 1827 the castle was again destroyed by fire, before being rebuilt a year later, three additional storeys and out-buildings being added at that time.[31] In 2002 the castle underwent an extensive refurbishment programme, and in August 2007, Blackrock Castle was re-opened to the public as the state-of-the-art CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory.[32]

Cosmos at the Castle is an award-winning interactive astronomy exhibit that takes place at the observatory, featuring four cinema sized screens that share information with visitors on the Big Bang, the evolution of life on Earth, and the existence of extraterrestrial life in the Universe.[33]

The observatory also houses a team of astronomical researchers and scientists from CIT, most of which are engaged in the development of new technologies designed for searching for planets around distant stars, a project known as the Planet Search Programme. Most the researchers come from the Astronomy and Instrumentation Group, based within the Department of Applied Physics and Instrumentation at CIT.[34]

The observatory features a rooftop 16" Meade reflector telescope. A monthly remote astronomy schools project is run at the observatory. The project is entitled Web of Stars, and is run in conjunction with the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California.[35]

CIT is the Irish partner in the Comenius funded European Union Hands on Universe project. This project trains teachers to use real astronomy data in the classroom to support the teaching of science and mathematics.[36]

The castle hosted the 2011 Collaborative European Research Conference. In May 2011, a partnership between CIT and the National Space Centre was announced. The partnership saw the 32-metre satellite dish at Elfordstown Earthstation in Midleton, Co Cork, start a new life as a Deep Space Radio Telescope.[37] The Deep Space Radio Telescope will be capable of detecting a host of cosmic phenomena. The dish was originally constructed in 1984 to take transatlantic telephone calls from Europe to the US, and was retired from use in the mid-1990s when the underground transatlantic cables were laid.[38]

Notable Alumni

See also


  3. "Munster Technological University (MTU).". Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-03-23.

External links

51°53′02″N 8°32′09″W / 51.883988°N 8.535819°W / 51.883988; -8.535819

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