Smart Districts - Smart DCU

Dublin City University (DCU) is one of Ireland’s leading universities and a hub of high-tech innovation and research.

With five campuses and  20,000 students from over 100 countries worldwide, the University can offer great insight into how a smart city can function. 

Smart Dublin City University (DCU) is a collaboration between Dublin City Council and partners Enable, Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics and DCU Alpha. The goal of Smart DCU is to develop, test and trial cutting-edge technology innovations 

The wealth of research and start-up expertise within the University makes DCU an ideal Smart District, in particular the expertise of Smart DCU’s partners. Enable is a leading IoT research centre with a presence in eight universities, while Insight is one of Europe’s largest data analytics research organisations, and DCU Alpha is a commercial innovation campus that promotes the growth of research-intensive businesses.

The DCU Glasnevin campus can be viewed as a microcosm of a city. Many of the challenges faced within the campus mirror those we experience in our day-to-day lives. Smart DCU projects explore some of the key issues facing urban centres today.  How can we improve mobility to, from and around our city? How can we reduce carbon emissions? How can we harness green energy more efficiently? 

Smart DCU bridges the gap between research and practice; transferring key learning and knowledge from the latest developments in smart city research, into smart city initiatives. 

Smart DCU Digital Twin Project

Through the collaborative efforts of Smart DCU and Bentley Systems, DCU has achieved the title of Ireland’s first digital campus. As part of Smart DCU’s Digital Twin Project, Bentley’s open 3D and reality modelling technology was selected to build a digital twin of DCU’s campuses. These will incorporate real-time data, gathered from IoT (Internet of Things) sensors which can inform planning and infrastructural development.

The digital twin will be a resource to use space on campus more efficiently and enhance the student experience at DCU like for example, allowing those with sensitivity to noise finding quiet spaces or quiet routes across campus based on input from noise monitoring sensors. The digital twin can be used for emergency management and safety, including mobility and crowd control. It democratises data visualisation, and empowers agencies and individuals to implement intelligent processes, actively shaping the future of their cities.

Bentley’s Founders’ Honors 2023

The Smart DCU Digital Twin project received the Bentley’s Founders’ Honors 2023 under the category of ‘Facilities, Campuses and Cities’. Founders’ Honors, chosen individually by Bentley Systems’ founders, are presented to a small number of exemplary projects, individuals, and organisations which particularly inspire Bentley in their company’s mission of advancing the world’s infrastructure while sustaining both the global economy and environment. To date, Smart DCU has supported a range of pioneering projects, from the trialling of a hydrogen powered bus to the use of technology to support DCU’s status as the world’s first Autism Friendly University. 

To learn more about Smart DCU see our projects below or contact:

Kieran Mahon
Smart DCU Projects Facilitator Manager
Dublin City Council, Dublin City University and the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics 

Ali Intizar, PhD
Smart DCU Digital Twin Project Lead
Dublin City University and the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics

Jaime B Fernandez, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher
Dublin City University and the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics


Explore DCU projects