Research and Innovation


Dr Tatjana Chircop
Deputy Principal 

Dr Tatjana Chircop has been involved in both formal and non-formal education since 1988. At a young age, she became a professional musician with the Manoel Theatre Orchestra and the National Orchestra and taught violin and piano at the Johann Strauss School of Music. After having achieved the FTCL in violin performing and the LTCL in piano performing she also furthered her studies at the Conservatoire National de Region, Lyon. Later, she focused on a career in education and fulfilled roles of learning support assistant at St Albert the Great College and a community development worker with Agenzija Appogg, particularly within Valletta Local Council. In 2007 she joined MCAST as a lecturer and later moved into management within the same college, having been appointed Director of the Institute of Community Services, Head of the Foundation College and recently Deputy Principal for Arts and Social Sciences. Dr Chircop is in possession of a BA Hons in English (University of London), a BA Hons in Youth and Community Studies (University of Malta), an MA in Youth and Community Studies (Brunel University), a Master in Intercultural Eco-Management (Universita’ Ca Foscari), a Post-Graduate Certificate in Vocational and Educational and Training (MCAST) and a PhD (Brunel University). Dr Chircop carried out research in areas including childlessness, vocational education and performing arts. Her doctoral research combines the gendered nature of identity formation of young women and the music they listen to. The research focuses on how young Maltese women make meaning out of the music they listen to in their everyday lives and how they incorporate this meaning into everyday discourses and identities. Through the research, she explores the consumption of global and local cultural forms of music as leisure and the incorporation or resistance of these cultural forms in identity formation processes. She also analyses ways in which social and cultural capitals are processed in the social and cultural power struggle to form cultural hierarchies.


Research Projects
Applied research Innovation Centre
Centre for Professional Development
Masters and Doctoral Programmes
Library and Learning Resources
Intellectual Property (Teaching and Research)


Ing Louis Aquilina
Director – ERASMUS Projects and Mobility

Ing Louis Aquilina is a warranted engineer with extensive experience in problem solving techniques, team building, manufacturing management, and cost reduction. He read for a B.Elec.Eng (Hons) (1982-1987) at the University of Malta, an MSc Electrical Engineering (Telecommunications) (2000-2003) the University of Malta, and a PGC in VET at MCAST. Ing Aquilina worked as an engineer, senior engineer, section manager, and operations manager at STMicroelectronics Malta Ltd from 1987 to 2008, then moved on to General Soft Drinks Ltd where he worked as the Production and Quality Manager from 2008 to 2009. He joined MCAST as a lecturer in 2009 and progressed to senior lecturer until 2014 when he took up his post as Director. Ing Aquilina is actively involved in engineering education; robotics, sensors, electrical engineering, PLC application and programming, and quality and business improvement. In 1995, as team leader at ST Microelectronics, he was awarded the Best Team Gold Award (ST Microelectronics Worldwide). His interests include walking, jogging, trekking, swimming, playing chess.



Dr. Ing. Clifford De Raffaele
Director for Research and Innovation

Dr. Ing. Clifford De Raffaele is responsible for research initiatives stemming across the organization as well as setting the strategic direction of MCAST towards pursuing research opportunities. He is the custodian of the MCAST Research Framework, editorial board of the MCAST Applied Research Journal and chair of the Research Ethics Committee.

Dr. Ing. De Raffaele was conferred an electrical engineering degree from the University of Malta, a Masters in ICT from the department of Computer and Communications Engineering and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Middlesex University. Throughout his studies, he was employed in the embedded systems industry as a research and development engineer for four years. Subsequently, he commenced work on a €27 million European FP7 Research project modelling the Electromagnetic Interference on aircraft. He furthered diversified his academic and professional career by working in Biomedical Engineering Research at University of Malta and subsequently was employed at Middlesex University Malta for 7 years whereby he held tenure as a Senior Lecturer and the role of Associate Director for Academia and Research.

Dr. Ing. De Raffaele has participated in numerous national and EU funded research projects in the capacity of collaborating partner, lead researcher and principal investigator. He serves on various strategic boards at national level on academia and research and is currently an executive member of the IEEE Malta Section. He has authored and published over 40 academic papers in peer-reviewed professional journals, international conferences, and books within a variety of areas of research in relation to his expertise. His current research interests include Biomedical Devices, Innovative User Interfaces, Image/Video Processing and Emerging Technologies.

 +356 2398 7176


Ms Liza Franco
Director of the Library and Learning Resource Centre

Ms. Liza Franco is the Director of the Library and Learning Resource Centre. She is responsible for the effective management of MCAST library and its campus libraries in coordination with the rest of MCAST institutes.

Ms. Franco has vast experience of nearly two decades as a professional librarian in various well-known institutions in Malta, Dubai, and India. Prior to joining MCAST, she held the position of Library Manager of Middlesex University Malta. She came to Malta from Middlesex University Dubai with a challenging responsibility of starting Middlesex University Library at Malta when Middlesex opened its Malta campus in 2014.

Liza joined Middlesex University Dubai in 2004. Leaving traces of various successful contributions, she strongly believes her success was in teamwork, consultation, and participation.

Ms. Franco has graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and pursued Librarian studies after that. She did her Postgraduate Diploma in Library Science before her second degree of Bachelor of Library and Information Science. Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education with Middlesex University has helped her to take the librarianship profession to different levels.

A passionate professional who believes that Librarians indeed deeply influence the lives of youngsters by helping them achieve their dreams. According to her, Librarianship is a noble service to humanity than just being labeled as custodian of books.

 +356 23987502


Mr Edwin Zammit
Deputy Director for Innovation

Mr Edwin Zammit is currently the Deputy Director for Innovation within the Applied Research & Innovation Office at MCAST. Edwin graduated with an honours degree in Chemistry and Biology in 2009 and subsequently graduating as a Master of Science (Biology) in 2012. Both degrees were followed at the University of Malta. Edwin has worked in an Environmental Research Laboratory as an environmental biologist with one of the main activities being the quality testing of water. Edwin has occupied the post of senior lecturer at MCAST and has taught a number of units related to the fields of health sciences, applied sciences, analytical chemistry (practical), water quality and water technology at EQF levels 3 – 6. He has mentored students carrying water research projects. Edwin has worked with a number of foreign VET institutions and has coordinated projects which involved local and foreign students. He was instrumental in the generation of MCAST’s first craft beer that was labelled as the Valletta 2018 official craft beer.

Edwin’s main interests include applied research & innovation; work-based learning, connecting VET and the workplace, applied science popularisation and internationalisation.

 +356 2398 7176