Cork branch of engineers marks 80th year

Engineers Ireland Cork Branch, which represents more than 3,100 engineers, is celebrating its 80th year. RONAN KEANE tells us about the early days, and the role they can play in Ireland’s future
Cork branch of engineers marks 80th year

Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy. Artist Impression by Philip Watkin of 3ddesignshop.com

WHILE not quite old as The Echo (happy 130th birthday!), the Cork Region of Engineers Ireland is nonetheless celebrating its 80th year.

The Cork Region committee represents a community of over 3,100 engineers (out of 25,000 nationally) who are uniquely placed to address the challenges faced by society.

Originally formed as a regional committee of Cumann na nInnealtóirí, the Cork Region committee went on to become part of The Institution of Engineers of Ireland (IEI) when an Act of the Oireachtas merged Cumann na nInnealtóirí with the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland in 1969. The IEI was then rebranded as Engineers Ireland in 2005.

Over the last 80 years, the voluntary committee has represented the interests of its members and the wider community which they serve. The diverse membership of the committee is represented by the variety Chairs, beginning with our first Chairman S.W. Farrington, Cork City Engineer, perhaps most famous for the construction of ‘The Shakey Bridge’ (Daly’s Bridge). As significant engineering employers both the City and County Councils have provided numerous committee members over the years, including our current Chair Michal Dymet of Cork County Council.

Other committee members have come from sectors such as consulting engineers e.g. Mott MacDonald Ireland (and its predecessor E.G. Petit & Co.), Atkins, RPS, PM and Arup; or from construction companies like BAM and Hegarty’s. Many academics from UCC and MTU’s engineering schools have also served on the committee.

As society moves forward out of the Covid-19 pandemic, many challenges remain: Brexit; Climate Change; housing shortages; healthcare; sustainable transport; sustainable energy etc. The Engineers Ireland vision statement is for “a community of creative professionals delivering solutions for society” and we are well placed to meet these challenges.

Examples of current projects include the implementation of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) which sets out a vision for sustainable transport in Cork City for the next twenty years, everything from pedestrian & cycle routes to a light rail system as a means to both address climate change make our city a better place to live.

Another timely project is the Celtic Interconnector which will link Ireland the European energy market (via France), giving us improved energy security, and increased capacity for renewable energy, in the face of Brexit and the war in Ukraine. The interconnector will also carry fibre optic broadband giving a direct communications link to the EU.

Engineers Ireland support engineers working on such projects by providing opportunities for Continuous Professional Development and networking with their peers.

Our committee is also very invested in the promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects to students, their parents, and educators through school visits and events such as Engineers Week and the STEM South West careers event, which are are important to develop a pipeline of engineering talent and particularly to encourage young women to consider a career in engineering.

Commenting on the launch the new season of events, new Chair Michal Dymet said: “I’m looking forward to our new calendar of events which will launch in September and feature a diverse range of themes, from the purely technical to broad interest topics which I hope will be of interest to both our members and the wider public.”

For more information on upcoming events, follow us on Twitter @EngIreCork.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF ENGINEERS OF IRELAND

The Institution of Engineers of Ireland, trading as Engineers Ireland, is professional body representing over 25,000 members from all engineering disciplines since 1835. Under the 1969 Act of the Oireachteas, it is the sole body which can award the title of ‘Chartered Engineer’ in Ireland and has mutual recognition agreements with professional bodies in other countries such as the UK.

ABOUT THE CORK BRANCH

The Cork Region is one of the largest and most active of the 13 geographic regions of Engineers Ireland. Representing over 3,100 members, the Cork Region committee is made up of volunteers from a range of disciplines and sectors.

Following our AGM in May, a new committee was formed for 2022-2023 with Michal Dymet as the Chair. Michal is a Chartered Engineer from Poland working in the Roads Directorate of Cork County Council.

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