Gary Tierney

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Personal profile


I have around 25 years’ experience in teaching, examination and administration in national certificate, higher national and undergraduate education in a number of subjects associated with built environment and construction industry studies at QCF levels 2-6 (SCQF levels 5-10).

I am based at the Ayr campus in the Integrated Land Management Department. My teaching subjects are agricultural and industrial building design and construction and low energy, low carbon buildings, being especially interested in passivhaus construction becoming the new standard for all buildings. My teaching goals are focussed on a strongly held view that there is a great career ahead for graduates from SRUC’s technology programmes, who will be the professional generation who will reduce the significant built environment impacts on global climate change.

My teaching subjects in more detail include:

Building design and construction e.g. building design drawings and specifications, construction technology form and function, sub-structure, super-structure (main subject interest passivhaus), building services (main subject interest natural ventilation);

Building energy performance analysis e.g. energy demand (e.g. kWh per m2 per annum) comparisons of various building types;

Engineering materials applications: e.g. concrete, timber, metals, masonry, thermal insulation;

Engineering mathematics e.g. mathematics applied to building and building services design and construction;

Geomatics and surveying e.g. levelling and contour surveys, theodolite surveys, setting out principles and practice, GPS, total station;

Hydraulic engineering / fluid dynamics e.g. air and water flow and pressure applied to SUDS (flood prevention analysis) and sewage treatment systems (reed beds), hydro power, flood risk mitigation;

Low energy low carbon building design and construction e.g. passivhaus standards, mass timber construction, natural ventilation;

Low environmental impact construction e.g. off-site construction, natural environment protection (woodland, water courses);

Physical properties of engineering materials e.g. strength, resistance to loads, thermal properties, cushioning performance;

Renewable energy systems design and construction applied to the built environment e.g. solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, heat pump technologies (air-source, ground-source, water-source), wind power, hydro power, biomass heating, combined heat and power;

Structures e.g. concrete foundations, steel portal frame design and construction.

In addition to my teaching work, I am a member of the Energy Agency Board in Ayrshire, have presented conference papers in the UK and overseas and am regularly invited to review journal papers and textbooks in built environment subject areas. I am also a principal examiner in construction and built environment subjects for City and Guilds in London.

I have published two academic conference papers recently for the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM):

Tierney, G. & Tennant, S. (2015) House building in Scotland: the sustainability performance gap. in Raiden, A. B. (ed.) ARCOM. Lincoln

Tierney, G. and Tennant, S. (2016). Post-occupancy evaluation (POE): A BREEAM Excellent case study. In Raiden, A.B. (ed.) ARCOM. Manchester.

My role in the SRUC Integrated Land Management Department as Education Quality Enhancement Co-ordinator involves working with colleagues on all matters associated with the education quality planning and quality assurance for examinations, assignments and other assessment methods used in teaching programmes in the department. I attend college-wide Boards of Studies, representing the agricultural and green technology teaching programmes. In 2018 and 2019 I was the lead author for my department's 5-year Institution-led Review documentation, culminating in the review meeting in April 2019. The ILR project in 2018 and 2019 was in addition to my normal dual role as teacher and education quality enhancement co-ordinator for my department, but was one which I thoroughly enjoyed as it was an opportunity to liaise with many colleagues inside and outside of SRUC. The review documentation was very well received and the review meeting was also a success and was the foundation of a successful Agricultural Technology degree programme validation in December 2019.


Education/Academic qualification

Master, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jul 2005

PhD, Mechanical tests and computational models for evaluating the cushioning performance of dairy cow cubicle beds, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 21 Feb 2003

Bachelor, Glasgow Caledonian University

Award Date: 29 Jun 1990

External positions

Energy Agency

1 Feb 2014 → …


  • S Agriculture (General)
  • TH Building construction
  • TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering