Wednesday, 30 September 2015

EGA Panel Discussion on Digital Future for Ireland

On October 14th next at 6pm we are hosting our Autumn Panel Discussion on 'What will the Digital Future mean for Ireland?' in the Clinton Auditorium, Belfield. To see a copy of the event brochure link here.

Our Keynote Speaker this year is the Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Dr Brian Motherway.   SEAI is the state body charged with transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices.

This year, we are privileged to have as Expert Panel Anne O'Leary CEO Vodafone, Ronan Harris Vice President Google Europe, Middle East & Asia, Dr Eleni Pratsini Director IBM Research and Dr Helen McBreen Investment Director at Atlantic Bridge Capital.  

According to the World Economic Forum, Ireland’s digital economy is expected to be worth €21.1bn by 2020, making up some 10% of GDP and creating 150,000 jobs.  It is clear that no sector of the Irish economy and no profession or job will remain untouched by the future digital advance.

There is little doubt that The Internet of Things (IoT) will represent a paradigm shift in our way of living by 2020 and beyond when some 35 - 50 billion devices will be connected and an entirely automated and interconnected world by 2050. Urban populations are predicted to grow by an estimated 2.3 billion people over the next 40 years and as much as 70% of the world population will live in our cities and towns.

The business areas most impacted by this transformation will be Communications, Energy, Buildings, Commerce, Healthcare, Food, Entertainment/Music, Transport, Water, Environment and Manufacturing. The integration of all of these systems will represent the Smart City model. In fact it is predicted that there will be more devices connected than there are people on the planet.

We need to prepare ourselves, our families and our businesses for this digital future and the smarter systems and cities that will be transformed. On October 14th next we are pleased to have in UCD some of the leading Irish and global players in the ICT business to give their take on the dynamic and fascinating future that we face.  At the same time, our world will still be run by humans who strive for sustainable employment, a high quality environment and healthy lifestyles assisted by tools of the digital age.

What is the Internet of Things? What are ‘wearables’? What will future Smart Cities resemble? What is Big Data? What is Cloud Computing? How critical are sensor devices to monitor behaviour? What is Assisted Health? What is an Ambient Assisted City? What are Digital traces of human/city interactions?  What is the Sharing Economy?  Collaborative Consumption?

All these questions and more will be answered at this ambitious event in UCD next month. 

This live topic is expected to attract a large audience so please register on to secure your place.  Please note you do not have to be a graduate of UCD to attend this event but you do need to preregister with us.



Thursday, 17 September 2015

UCD Engineering Class of 1975 Celebrate

The UCD Engineering Class of 1975 celebrated their 40th reunion in the Shelbourne Hotel on Friday night last.  There were 65 former classmates in attendance from all over the world some of whom travelled from UK, other parts of Europe, Middle East, North America and Australia. Many had not seen their colleagues since graduation day on July 14th 1975! That was in Earlsfort Terrace for conferring at the time and when the UCD School of Engineering was then in Merrion St. - now the Taoiseach's Office in Government Buildings.

Ed Hanlon - Principal Organiser

The Reunion event was judged by attendees to be a great success organised to a huge extent by Eddie Hanlon supported by Colm Bannon and to a lesser extent myself.

We had the dinner tables in the Shelbourne appropriately named after former Professors and Lecturers in each discipline - Dooge, de Courcy and Dowley for Civil, Morrissey for Electrical, Timoney and McCabe for Mechanical and O'Donnell for Chemical.

I would not normally post an EGA blog on a particular UCD Engineering Class Reunion but this one was fairly unique in lots of ways - firstly 4 of the 12 UCD EGA Presidents to date came from the Class of 1975 - Colm Bannon Civil (1999 - 2001), Simon Kelly Mechanical (2004 - 2008), Michael Loughnane Electrical (2008 - 2012) and myself Civil (2012 - 2016).
4 EGA Presidents from Class of 1975
L to R: Simon Kelly, Michael Loughnane, PJ Rudden & Colm Bannon
Because we were all taught in UCD Merrion St, by kind permission of the Department of the Taoiseach we were given a specially organised guided tour of Government Buildings prior to dinner in the Shelbourne. We were very privileged that our guide for the tour was Marc McManus who has been in the Taoiseach's Office since 2001 and is highly informed on the recent history of Government Buildings.
Department of the Taoiseach, formerly UCD School of Engineering
We marvelled at the iconic refurbishment of the building that was once our UCD School of Engineering, now transformed by the OPW to meet the needs of Ireland's Head of Government, where Taoiseach Enda Kenny greeted Queen Elizabeth in May 2011. This was very fitting as the then Royal College of Science (later UCD) was opened in Summer 1911 by her grandfather King George V almost exactly 100 hundred years earlier.
The building was integrated into UCD in the 1920s. It became Irish Government Buildings in 1991 after UCD Engineering moved to Belfield (and partly back to Earlsfort Terrace for Civil Engineering and then later to Newstead Clonskeagh close to Belfield Campus where Civil currently remains).

Also notable visitors to the building in recent years were US President Clinton, South African President Nelson Mandela, British Prime Ministers Major, Blair and Cameron and other world leaders.

We greatly admired the Evie Hone window depicting 'The Four Green Fields' up the steps inside the front door, the Sycamore Meeting Room and the Government Press Centre where all major press conferences are held. We visited the once well-frequented canteen down the steps from the foyer which is now the Press Briefing Room. Oh the memories came flooding back ... 
Morrissey Table: (Front Row L-R) Paddy Cully, John Power and Brian Fitzsimons.
(Back Row L-R) Michael Loughnane, Paul Murphy, Niall O'Reilly and Niall Lynch.
Eddie Hanlon welcomed all his colleagues and especially thanked our Sponsors.  This were in alphabetical order - CRH, Clifton Scannell Emerson, ESB, FIMAK, Dirk Folens, Irish Cement, Mott McDonald, Nicholas O'Dwyer, O'Dwyer  Wines and RPS.  On behalf of UCD EGA, I thanked and congratulated Eddie Hanlon in particular and proposed a toast to UCD to which Professor Michael Bruen, School of Civil Engineering responded.

de Courcy Table: (Front Row L-R) Sean McCarthy, Colm Bannon and Gerard Dalton.
(Back Row L-R) Gerard McGuire, Peter Fagan, Gerry Noonan, Frank McGovern, Michael Bruen and Tom Duffy.
Michael thanked the organising committee and briefed us on developments in UCD College of Engineering since we graduated including the many organisational and accommodation changes affecting Civil and Biosystems Engineering in particular.

O'Donnell Table: (Front Row L-R) Ed Simpson, Chris Kelly and Alan Barrett.
(Back Row L_R) James O'Brien, Joe Watson, Aidan Daly, Joe Huggard, Derek O'Neill and Alan Dixon.
In my few words I addressed the variety of enterprise and events undertaken by the EGA.  We also cooperated with Engineers Ireland on launch of our Gender Balance Report last Autumn. The need for greater gender balance was not recognised in the 1970s and it still needs awareness raising with students, teachers and parents though the gender balance improved greatly in the 80s and 90s.   Only now do the public appreciate the critical role that Engineers play in 'making the world go round' in every sense from waking in the morning to day's end in terms of services we now take for granted -iPhones, Water, Energy, Transport, quality of Environment and so on.
Timoney Table: (Front Row L-R) Paddy Callaghan, Pat Connolly and Pat Murphy.
(Back Row L-R)  Donal Waddell, Simon Kelly, Declan Williams, John Finn, Henry Morris and Richard Berney.
I mentioned that for the first time UCD has a civil engineer President Professor Andrew Deeks and an electronics engineer as UCD Vice President Professor Orla Feely responsible for Research Innovation and Impact. I spoke briefly about the slow but sure economic recovery now impacting positively on job creation in engineering especially in the civil and construction areas which suffered severe recession until recently.
Dooge Table: (Front Row L-R) Joe Collins, Bernard Murray and David O'Flaherty.
(Back Row L-R) Tom Beglin, Ciaran de Bhaldraithe, Larry Wolohan, Ed Hanlon, Donal O'Dwyer and Jim Hayes.
We were very grateful to our many sponsor firms but special thanks goes to colleague Donal O'Dwyer who supplied the red wine from his Clara Valley vineyard in Adelaide, Southern Australia.
McCabe Table: (Front Row L-R) Liam Nugent, Dirk Folens and Russell Kelly.
(Back Row L-R) Pearse Buckley, Kevin Barry, Iggy O'Kane, Paul O'Duffy, Joe Byrne, Conor O'Donovan and Paul Dolan.
There was a further social event with partners on Saturday night in Oil Can Harry's in Mount Street and golf in Woodbrook on Monday.

Dowley Table: (Front Row L-R) PJ Rudden, Seamus O'Sullivan and Damien Treanor.
(Back Row L-R) John O'Rourke, Rick Crowe, Ciaran McGill, Martin Kelly, Frank Clarke and Sean Carey.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

EGA Gold Medal Ceremony is Best Attended to Date

Last Monday August 31th was UCD Conferring Day for engineering and architectural graduates together with their proud parents and friends. Each year in advance of the main ceremony, the EGA host a prize winning event for the highest achievers in each discipline.

This was originally only involving EGA Gold Medals each sponsored by an engineering company - Civil, Chemical, Electrical, Electronic, Mechanical and Biosystems Engineering. Increasingly there is now a far greater variety of specialisms eg Biomedical, Structures with Architecture, Business and Engineering. In addition there are also scholarships, travel bursaries, prizes donated by a large host of companies who all wish to endow UCD and its best students with coveted awards.

Left to Right: John Waldron, Chemical Engineering (father of Conor), Richard Jenkinson, Structural Engineering with Architecture,
Darragh Hanlon, Civil Engineering, Professor David Fitzpatrick, UCD Dean of Engineering, Shane Gubbins, Engineering with Business,
PJ Rudden, EGA President, Irene Danti Lopez, Cathy Swanton, Biomedical Engineering and Cillian Briody, Architecture

This year's EGA event was the best endowed and attended event to date with a total of 18 Awards to complement the 9 Gold Medals in Architecture and the principal Engineering disciplines - Civil, Structural with Architecture, Chemical, Electrical, Electronic, Biomedical, Mechanical, Engineering with Business. These medals were awarded to Cillian Briody, Darragh Hanlon, Richard Jenkinson, Conor Waldron, Irene Danti Lopez, Cathy Swanton, Niall Donnelly, Eanna McHugh and Shane Gubbins respectively.
The sponsoring companies of the Gold Medals were Arup (2 awards) for Architecture and  for Structural with Architecture, RPS for Civil, BMS for Chemical and Process, SSE Airtricity for Electrical, S3 for Electronic, Crospon for Biomedical, CRH for Mechanical, FDT for Biosystems (from 2016) and new Sponsors Abbvie for Engineering with Business.
Other Sponsors for Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes were Roughan and O'Donovan, Martin McAdam, PM Group, Mark Carthy, Deloitte, Institution of Mechanical Engineering, Cylon and Xilinx.
It was a tremendously successful event all due to the generosity of our growing cohort of Sponsors who wish to grow their corporate relationship with UCD as a centre of academic excellence.

Deloitte Master in Engineering Management Medal winner
Keith Kavanagh & David Hearn, Managing Partner Deloitte
Fionán de Barra, Architecture Graduates Association Treasurer,
Cillian Briody, winner of Arup AGA Architecture Medal &
sponsor Fergus Monaghan, Director Arup
EGA RPS Civil Engineering medal winner Darragh Hanlon
& Larry O'Toole, Director RPS Group

EGA SSE Airtricity Electrical Engineering medal winner
Irene Danti Lopez & Jillian Saunders, Marketing Manager at SSE Airtricity


EGA Crospon Biomedical Engineering medal winner
Cathy Swanton & Dr. Eoin O'Cearbhaill,
Biomedical Engineering Programme Director

EGA S3 Electronic Engineering medal winner
Ronan Scally & Mike Murray, S3 Business Manager
EGA AbbVie Engineering with business Medal Winner Shane Gubbins
& Angela Haran, AbbVie Senior Talent Acquistion Specialist
Roughan O'Donovan Prize winner Conor Lyons
& Séamus Mac Gearailt, RO'D Director
EGA CRH Mechanical Engineering medal winner
Niall Donnelly  & Jack Golden, CRH Organisation
Development Director
Norah Gallagher, mother of Pat McAdam Scholarship awardee
Colm Ó Riada & Dr. Kate McAdam

John Waldron, father of PM Group Kevin Kelly Design Awardee
Conor Waldron & Alex Sweeney, PM Group's Process Group Manager
Carthy Graduate Research Project awardee Niamh Mac Fhionnlaoich &
Prof. Eoin Casey, Head of UCD School of Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering

Carthy Travel Awardee Amy O'Keeffe & Dr. Patricia Kieran,
UCD School of Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering
Cillian Hayde, winner of Cylon Award for Excellence
(Electrical Engineering Project)
& Seán Giblin, Cylon Managing Director