Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Major Uptake in new Corporate Memberships

I'm pleased to see a major uptake in EGA Corporate Membership in the past two weeks since we launched this new grade of membership. We started with four 'pilot' members - Energia, Fingleton White, NSAI and Siemens.

This has now doubled to eight new confirmed members with many more in the application pipeline.

The four new confirmed members are EirGrid, Bord na Mona, Roughan O'Donovan and Barrett Mahony. The latter two are leading firms of consulting engineers in Ireland in infrastructural and structural engineering respectively.

More will be confirmed over the next couple of days including at least four very large international companies.

It is obvious that these firms see the EGA Corporate Membership as a 'value proposition' given the EGA growing profile in terms of events and guest speakers.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

EGA welcomes first Corporate Members

The EGA yesterday welcomed its first four Corporate Members - State body NSAI, Consulting Engineers Fingleton White and international Energy companies Energia and Siemens. In recognition of their status of membership, their four corporate logos went up on the EGA website homepage and look really well in all of their respective colours.


This blog welcomes their innovative but smart competitive step in aligning themselves closer to UCD Ireland's largest university - now led by a new President of international reputation Professor Andrew Deeks who is a civil engineer and a new Vice President for Research Innovation and Impact Professor Orla Feely, an electronics engineer and UCD graduate.

Professor Andrew Deeks

Professor Orla Feely

Corporate Membership is a new category of membership created by the EGA Strategy 2013 - 2017 whereby we are dividing our future funding base between Individual Membership at €25 per year and Corporate Membership at €250 per year. Both of these are relatively modest sums but we do have to start at very competitive rates to attract membership/sponsorship in a very difficult market as the Irish economy is only starting to recover.
One of our new Corporate Members wisely remarked to me earlier this week that this new sponsorship is about the best 'value for money' proposition he signed up to this year! Smart man as I'm sure he was referring to the recent high profile association which the UCD EGA now brings to his organisation with Minister Pat Rabbitte giving our Annual Spring Lecture on Energy and the Taoiseach opening our Jobs Panel Discussion last Autumn and all the associated publicity on Government websites and Engineers Journal.
Now that we are starting to show the reputational benefits of EGA Corporate Membership through high profile events with leading national and international speakers, links with Government, interesting topics of national and indeed global importance and our topical high quality newsletters we need to extend these benefits to the wider corporate world.
Thus next week I will be writing to the CEOs of over 100 of Ireland's largest firms in the engineering and manufacturing world inviting them to become Corporate Members of UCD Engineering Graduates Association. We now profile our four new Corporate Members in alphabetical order.
Energia Group comprises of Energia Supply, Energia Renewables and Energia Generation and is a leading supplier in the Irish business energy market. Energia has powered businesses for 13 years. It has a 28% market share of the business electricity and gas market on an all–island basis, and over 65,000 customers. Energia has a 37% market share of Irish SME business, powering every third shop and 60% of schools and colleges. Energia Renewables is among Ireland's leading providers of sustainable green energy, providing 25% of Ireland’s wind power. It currently has over 300MWs of projects in development and has invested over €200m in windfarms since 2008.
Energia Generation has invested over €500m in the Irish energy generation infrastructure in Dublin, demonstrating its long term commitment to the Irish energy market and is capable of supplying 20% of Ireland’s electricity needs. Energia Group has a turnover in excess of €1 billion and employs around 260 staff. Energia Group is a member of the Viridian Group and has offices in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Belfast and Omagh.

Cormac Mannion Energia

Fingleton White was established in 1981 and since then has provided project management and engineering services for a range of infrastructural projects in the utilities sector in Ireland and the UK. From project planning through detailed design, construction supervision, commissioning, Fingleton White has extensive experience that is geared towards project delivery.
Fingleton White have been generating and selling electricity for over thirty years. Power projects include hydroelectric schemes and CHP plants. The CHP plants provide steam and electricity to industries throughout Ireland. In addition to providing project management and engineering services for these projects Fingleton White own and operate these power plants. As recognised experts in the energy field Fingleton White has been represented on a number of CER advisory committees.

John Fingleton Fingleton White

National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) is Ireland’s official standards body. NSAI operate under the National Standards Authority of Ireland Act (1996) and is accountable to the Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
The mission statement of NSAI is to be a dynamic organisation using measures and standards to benefit society and to give Irish enterprise a global advantage. NSAI serves the nation as an independent and impartial advocate of rigorous standards in all aspects of business and customer protection. NSAI manage one of the State’s largest networks of technical experts and facilitators.
Maurice Buckley NSAI
Siemens is a global electronics and engineering company operating in the fields of industry, energy and healthcare as well as providing infrastructure solutions, primarily for cities and metropolitan areas. Siemens’ Energy Sector is one of the world’s leading suppliers of a wide range of products, solutions and services in the field of energy technology, including renewable energy, power generation from fossil fuel power plants, and power transmission in grids. Siemens is a leading global supplier of Environmental Technologies. Many of our products help our customers lower their energy costs and protect the environment while helping to fight climate change. Our environmental portfolio features products and solutions along the entire energy conversion chain: energy produced with green technologies is transmitted at minimal loss for high-efficiency use.
For over 160 years, Siemens has stood for technological excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality. Siemens employs around 600 highly skilled people in Ireland, with offices in Leeson Close, Dublin 2, Clonshaugh, Dublin 17, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal and a manufacturing diagnostics facility in Swords, Co. Dublin. Siemens’ history in Ireland dates back to 1874, when the first direct transatlantic telegraph cable was laid from Ballinskelligs Bay, County Kerry, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Siemens Limited was formed as a registered company in Ireland in 1925 and has been involved in many key infrastructure projects, beginning with the Shannon hydroelectric power scheme in 1926-29.  Major projects include the construction of many of Ireland’s power plants, supplying the overhead catenary system equipment for the DART rail system, supplying Ireland’s first CT and MR scanners and the design and construction of the baggage handling system for Dublin Airport’s T2. Recently Siemens Limited received a major order for the construction and servicing of 42 direct-drive wind turbines to two onshore wind power plants for Bord na Móna.  
Gary O'Callaghan Siemens
I want to personally thank Cormac Mannion, John Fingleton, Maurice Buckley and Gary O'Callaghan for their generous sponsorship as Corporate Members. We wish all of our Corporate Members every success in their future endeavours and look forward to their increased links with UCD for mutual benefit.

Monday, 7 April 2014

€1 billion for ESB Energy Infrastructure investment announced at EGA Spring Lecture in UCD

The EGA were this year honoured to have Minister Pat Rabbitte as Guest Speaker for our Annual Spring Lecture. Link to full speech here. I was delighted to be joined by UCD Vice President Professor Orla Feely to welcome the Minister to UCD.

Minister is welcomed by EGA President PJ Rudden and UCD Vice President Professor Orla Feely
During the lecture he announced publicly for the first time that the Government had just that day approved a €1billion capital investment programme for ESB to be spent on transmission and distribution electricity networks.
Minister delivers EGA Annual Spring Lecture

In addition to that announcement - carried that night by Engineers Ireland in their eJournal ahead of the national media! - the Minister gave a wide ranging Lecture on the improvement in the Irish economy and the energy challenges we currently face resulting from that improvement.
Kelley Cousins Engineers Ireland and Mary Anne Carrigan
Editor Engineers Ireland attend the EGA Event

'We need to keep a strong focus on the capital investment which will support jobs and investment' the Minister said 'the Government recently drew up a list of the 20 largest projects being developed over the next 4 years. Half of these are PPPs. The projects have a combined indicative value of €3.27billion and are targeted for delivery from late 2014 to 2018'.

Turning to Energy, he stated that energy policy has a pivotal role to play in creating the conditions for economic recovery and for job creation. 'Building our energy infrastructure is becoming more challenging' he said 'yet EirGrid delivered a major project the East West Interconnector (EWIC) between UK and Ireland on time and within budget. EWIC demonstrates not only our collective commitment to necessary large scale investment, it is also a practical demonstration of Ireland's ability to complete a major European scale energy project efficiently, safely and to the highest standards'.

Minister with Fintan Slye CEO EirGrid, Marian Regan NewEra
/ National Treasury Management Agency
and Denis Cagney Director of Energy Networks and Renewables
at Commission for Energy Regulation (CER)
On continued Government support for renewable energy the Minister was unequivocal - 'transforming Ireland's economy from one based on a predominantly fossil fuel to a more indigenous low carbon economy that is centred on energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart networks offers the greatest scope to address the inter-related challenges of climate change, energy security and competitiveness'.
 Board Member Robyn Kelly with Fellow 2008 UCD Biosystems Graduates Damien Farrelly and Liam Brennan

He also spoke of the island of Ireland being 'effectively a successful live research facility especially in the Smart Grid evolution. This is because the Single Electricity Market (SEM) in north and south is relatively small yet with ambitious targets for renewable energy generation (40%). There is no other system in Europe making this possible.
ex CEO EirGrid Dermot Byrne, Mainstream Director Joe Corbett
and EGA Past President Micheal Loughnane
Regarding the strategic planning process for onshore energy infrastructure in Ireland, the Minister said 'it needs to provide a framework for ensuring that all necessary standards are met and that comprehensive consultation is built into the process... In realising our renewable energy potential, both for domestic and export purposes and realising its inherent economic benefits, we must ensure that the concerns of communities and citizens are properly addressed...(as) the environmental and economic benefits of renewable energy are real'.

Magdalena Douleva UCD Foundation and PJ Rudden EGA President
He concluded 'I want to pay tribute to the central role that UCD has in the production of great engineers and great engineering. You should be very proud to be members of this great Association.'

Siobhan Duggan, Mary White and Martin Hogan attended the event
The Q&A session which followed was very lively even robust at time as the quite well informed audience questioned the Minister on a range of issues - Copenhagen Accord, gas storage, biomass, hydrocarbon exploration, shale gas fracking, European response to US gas prices post shale gas revolution, building energy efficiency. The Minister did not have to pass any of the challenging technical questions to his Chief Technical Adviser Bob Hanna who also attended - a great credit to the Minister's wide knowledge range on energy matters and his experienced political skills also.

PJ Rudden makes EGA Presentation to Minister
As we concluded the event I presented Minister Rabbitte with Dublin Crystal with the UCD logo inscribed on it and thanked him sincerely for his open honest approach to all energy issues raised - a refreshing feature that makes Pat Rabbitte the very successful Minister that he is.