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Florian Leavy Receives Deirdre O’Connor Medal in Professional Practice

Published: Monday, November 12, 2012

Florian Leavy, a participant on the OPW/RIAI Architectural Graduate Training Scheme programme, has been awarded the Deirdre O’Connor Medal for the ‘Best Results’ in the RIAI Examination in Professional Practice.  The Medal was presented to Florian Leavy by Brian Hayes, TD, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, who expressed his delight that the mentoring offered by OPW Architects under the graduate training scheme produced such excellent results. He congratulated the winner and other commended participants of the scheme, saying that graduates have gained a huge amount from the experience of working in a collaborative way at the OPW.

Also speaking at the event, RIAI President Michelle Fagan described the Professional Practice Examination as an extremely important milestone in the formation of an architect. “It is only on leaving college that the full complexity of our role and responsibilities become apparent”, said the President. For the second year running the recipient of this award has been a participant of the OPW/RIAI Architectural Graduate Training Scheme. Michelle Fagan said the scheme was now recognised Europe-wide as a “gold standard” for post-graduate architectural training and was being used as the best practice example by Professor Laura Lee of Carnegie Mellon University.

Florian Leavy said she was absolutely “delighted with the award”, hoping it would help her stand out from the crowd when applying for new positions.  The creative young architect – who has also set up a studio designing and making hats – had contemplated emigrating when she received one of the sought-after places on the OPW/RIAI Architectural Graduate Training Scheme.  She has enjoyed working in the OPW on large scale public projects and also values experience previously gained in private practice with Denis Byrne Architects, de Blacam and Meagher and Derek Tynan. Florian is a graduate of Queen's University Belfast and of the Macintosh School of Architecture.

Commended for their performance in the RIAI Examination in Professional Practice were Marta Babiarz, Maria Boylan, Anna Hofheinz and Siobhan O’Connor.

RIAI President Michelle Fagan welcomed the successful candidates into the profession: “I look forward to working with you in the future to develop and promote Ireland’s architecture.”

Deirdre O'Connor was a distinguished architetect and tutor at the UCD School of Architecture. She served on RIAI Council for 15 years including as Vice President. She was also the first female President of the AAI. Deirdre O'Connor is considered a role model for young architects.



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