Thursday, 4 February 2016

Tackling Ireland's Flooding Challenge


December 2015 and January 2016 brought many tragic tales of flooding especially along the River Shannon catchment and in southern towns across Kerry, Cork, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford. In early January there were some 260 homes flooded and as many more homes at risk with flood levels in some rivers at record levels.
 

Flooding in River Shannon, Athlone
 
Apart from the devastation caused to homes there has been major disruption to businesses, farms, getting to work and schools. Flood events bring serious human distress, property and financial costs to towns and rural communities. Flooding seriously disrupts power, water, sewerage and other utility systems causing both outages and pollution.
 
The EGA Spring Lectures and Panel Discussion in April 2016 (final date to be confirmed) will hear from both national and international experts on Tackling Ireland's Flooding Challenge led by Professor Michael Bruen of the UCD Dooge Centre for Water Resources Research. Professor Bruen is a leading international researcher in modelling water resources and environmental engineering including the effects of climate change.
 


Flooding in Cork City
  
Civil engineering solutions can provide flood relief in major towns as shown in Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny, Clonmel and Fermoy but rural areas are very difficult to protect in spatial terms. The problem has been exacerbated by bad planning in building on river basin flood plains. Flood warning systems based on reliable weather and tidal forecasting can also assist. It is significant that all town centres with properly planned engineering defence systems were successful this year in the face of unprecedented flooding.


Flood defence glass wall in Waterford
 
We will plan this event in close cooperation with the UCD School of Civil Structural and Environmental Engineering, the Office of Public Works , Met √Čireann and relevant local authorities.

 


UCD Belfield Campus
 
The first EGA Board Meeting of 2016 discussed this issue together with a planned UCD Summer Festival on Campus on June 18th next. This new UCD event will encourage our Alumni to return to college for a Family Picnic of Food Tours and Entertainment. In fact it will be a 'pan university picnic' under cover - a greatly expanded version of the Engineers Picnic as part of The Gathering 2013.

UCD Engineers Picnic, Rose Garden 2013
 
Each College in UCD will plan their own event coordinated across college by the Alumni Association. More about this exciting new event in future blogs.
Our meeting also heard from our 3 Subcommittees on Corporate Membership, Gender Balance and Social Media. We also discussed arrangements for the next round of Final Year Mock Interviews for Internship positions which are now an essential element of the new 5 year Masters Programme.
 
We heard from EGA Secretary Dr Vincent Hargaden on the next edition of the Engineers Newsletter to be published later this month.
 
Fionnuala McGowan, Past Head of Administration for
UCD Engineering Graduates Association
 
  


Clare Ryan, Administrator for
UCD Engineering Graduates Association
 

Finally we recorded grateful thanks to our departing Administrative Officer and Board Member Fionnuala McGowan. We also welcomed her replacement Clare Ryan from the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science. Fionnuala has served the EGA since 2007 and tributes were paid to her for her efficiency, dedication and endless good humour. I will write to her shortly on behalf of the Board recording our sincere thanks. We welcome Clare to her new role and to the Board and look forward to working with her.

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