John Halpin

John Halpin

John Halpin

Graduate of Higher Diploma in Engineering in Civil Engineering

Can you tell us your name, job title and the course you studied at ATU?

John Halpin, Design Engineer, Higher Diploma in Engineering in Civil Engineering


Can you share your career path to date?

Graduate to Design Engineer


What does your current role involve?

Involved in the multi-phase design delivery of road and transportation projects from concept to detailed design. My daily design tasks are varied, focussed mainly on road drainage and the design of vehicle restraint systems.


What motivated you to start studying?

To enhance my career progression in the pursuit of attaining Chartered Engineer status with Engineers Ireland.


Why did you choose this course from ATU?

As a former student of the undergraduate BEng (Hons) Level 8 programme in Civil Engineering, the Higher Diploma gave me an opportunity to further my continuous professional development by way of the work focussed research and professional practice modules. The course allows graduates to “bridge a gap” in the CEng application process, with graduates recognised as meeting the Engineers Ireland educational requirements to pursue a CEng (with Further learning) application.


How did you find the process of studying online? What elements did you find helpful? Were there elements you found challenging?

  • All learning content including lecture recordings freely available online for reference purposes.
  • Approachable and knowledgeable lecturers. Regular and constructive feedback given.
  • Teething problems during early stages of research. Technical writing improved as course progressed.


How did you balance work and study?

Overall, the course structure provides an ideal balance in addressing the study learning outcome in tandem with work-based tasks. Weekly diary logs in the professional practice were very useful in documenting this.


In terms of your employer, were they supportive of your decision to study? Were there elements of the course that were particularly relevant to your current employer?

Yes. My employer encouraged my research on road drainage systems with elements from the research used within my work design tasks.


What advice would you have for anyone considering studying?

Prioritise some time or “CPD” hours during the working day to ensure the learning outcomes are being met.


In what way has studying online with ATU benefitted your career?

Less travel time. Flexible work-study-life balance


Did this course provide any unexpected benefits to your career?

Gave me a platform to participate at a Civil Engineering conference in Dublin.


Did you find that the elements you were studying had practical relevance in your day-to-day role?

I noticed a large improvement in my technical report writing and drainage design knowledge.


What were the key skills you took away from your time studying at ATU?

Research, technical report writing and presentation skills.


Learn more about the Higher Diploma in Engineering in Civil Engineering