The Engineers Picnic has been judged a great success by the large crowd who attended. The weather was not as 'fantastic' as forecast earlier in the week but it settled into a lovely evening in the Rose Garden after the initial drops of rain at the start.
|People enjoying the Picnic!|
We are very grateful to our Sponsors Eircom Networks, ESB and Eirgrid for their support and to our superb Picnic Committee of Karina O'Neill, Angela Treanor, Robyn Kelly and Tony O'Brien for their very hard work and dedication to see it through to such an acknowledged success. Thanks to UCD for the use of the fabulous Rose Garden - a little known amenity on the Belfield Campus beside Belfield House now known as the Clinton Institute.
|Karina O'Neill & Robyn Kelly|
The quality of the BBQ by With Taste Catering was excellent and the music by TradSoc in the Rose Garden and JazzSoc in the Clinton Auditorium played tastefully in the background. We are indebted to the Class of 1988 who came in large numbers including members from both UK and the US.
|Some friends from the Class of 1988|
We are also indebted to the Energy Needs Ireland (ENI) students of Electrical Engineering led by Professor Mark O'Malley who had a superb multifaceted exhibition expertly manned in turn by most of their 21 enthusiastic members.
|PJ Rudden, Mark O'Malley and ENI Students|
These are highly talented 21 undergraduate students from universities throughout Ireland who are spending the Summer of 2013 working on the technical, business and social aspects of projects that are related to the "Smart Grid". The group will make unbiased findings on their views of the future for these projects.
The group includes mostly electrical/electronic engineering students but also students of theoretical physics, earth sciences, commerce, mechanical engineering, chemistry drawn from UCD, UCC, TCD, UL and QUB. It’s great to see this interdisciplinary approach with engineers not just talking and conferring with themselves but interactive and drawing expertise from other professional disciplines. This is how 'big picture' problems get solved in today's world and ENI is an excellent formative model for the students involved.
|ENI Students examining Energy Policies|
A number of people who attended the Picnic were greatly taken by the ENI exhibition and students particularly by the enthusiasm with which they displayed their research, their ability to communicate and their thirst for knowledge and innovation. I too was bowled over by their individual and collective performance. Their practical demonstration as to how a Smart Meter works to save energy in the home is a good example that these students know who their real audience must be - John and Mary Citizen! - and how best to communicate this message. I regard the ENI Exhibition as the highlight of the 2013 Engineers Picnic.
The ENI project is conducted with the financial support of Science Foundation Ireland and the Electricity Research Centre (ERC) in University College Dublin in collaboration with the Smart Grid Innovation Hub. ENI was set up by the ERC in 2007 and has operated every second year with growing success from an initial handful of students to 21 motivated young people from across Ireland in 2013.
Back to the Picnic itself! There was an excellent cross section of generations and ages there as the photographs clearly show and a lot of 'third generation' families not seen previously at an EGA event or indeed in UCD.
|Mother with future engineer???|
|'I'm really enjoying this picnic!'|
|Maria Blair, Gerry Byrne, Anne Morrissey, Seamus McCague, Anne-Marie McCague, PJ Rudden & Domhnall Blair|
The event was briefly and dramatically interrupted by the landing of a giant cardinal red Sikorsky helicopter from the Irish Coastguard Search and Rescue Team bringing a man on a stretcher from where he was rescued on a Wicklow mountainside to a waiting ambulance on the UCD athletics track beside the Rose Garden.
When asked what was happening I was tempted to tell people that 'Its Pope Francis coming to the Picnic as he's a Chemical Engineer'! 'Habemus Papem' in our profession as our eminent EGA Founder Emeritus Professor John Kelly recently put it so well in the Engineers Journal!
Everyone who attended got a copy of the new Engineers Newsletter July 2013 to bring home - also a notice on the forthcoming EGA Panel Discussion on 'Engineering Manufacturing and Job Creation in Ireland' which will be opened by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at 6pm on October 22nd next.
|Liam Connellan & Friends|
|UCD Engineering Graduates|
|Mc Carthy's, O'Brien's & PJ Rudden outside the Clinton Institute|