Thomas Adams
PhD Student
Postgraduate Student
NUI Galway Observation & Operations


I am excited to embark upon my PhD project, which is supported through the SFI MaREI Centre PhD platform project. The research is focused on measuring and improving sustainability in Universities. The measurement of the various aspects of sustainability will contribute to an application for a STARS sustainability rating for NUI Galway. Following this, engaging with the surrounding community will be key to improving the Universities performance on these various aspects.


I’m currently putting together a timetable for my project giving myself deadlines over the next few weeks/months to ensure I maintain a steady workload. I have also joined NUI Galway’s Energy Society committee as it could be a useful resource when it comes to organizing community based projects.


My undergraduate degree was in Biomedical Engineering in NUI Galway, which I chose after one year of un-denominated Engineering after the leaving cert. During my final year I attended a talk by DR Rory Monaghan which was promoting the Energy Systems Masters. This talk gave me a lot to think about in terms of my long-term plan and inspired me to change disciplines to something more focused in sustainability. I went straight into the Energy Systems masters after my undergraduate at which point, I met Dr Jamie Goggins as my supervisor for my Masters Thesis. The topic of my thesis was measuring the level of SDG related material within Engineering curriculum, which set me on the path of this PhD project. After my thesis was complete, I also was given the opportunity to apply what I had learned to the Energy Systems curriculum under a summer research scholarship from both Dr Rory Monaghan and Dr Jamie Goggins. This project involved measuring SDG coverage within this curriculum and then also providing recommendations on how to improve the coverage of the SDGs within this course.