Engineering skills helped me overcome rugby challenges, says Lions and Ireland star Heaslip
20 September 2016
Jamie Heaslip and Meaghan Dunne, aged 7, at the launch of Engineers Week 2017. Pic: Maxwells
Lions and Ireland rugby international Jamie Heaslip has said that the engineering skills he developed during his studies have helped him overcome many of the challenges he has encountered on the rugby field in his career so far.
With Engineers Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland and the Defence Forces, Heaslip has issued a ‘call to action’ to schools, families, businesses and local authorities across Ireland to start planning and registering their events for Engineers Week 2017, which begins nationwide on Saturday, March 4, and runs until Friday, March 10.
Heaslip, capped 88 times for Ireland and a medical mechanical engineering graduate of DCU, was speaking at the launch hosted by the Defence Forces at Cathal Brugha Barracks. “The public knows me as a rugby player, but I was an engineer first and my qualification has given me a great platform to explore all kinds of sports and career opportunities already in my life,” Heaslip said.
“Whether your goal is to be an athlete, a music technician or even an astronaut, a grounding in engineering gives you the discipline, leadership, and communication skills that equip you to make the best of your talent and find innovative solutions to all kinds of challenges in life, including those I’ve encountered on the rugby field on many occasions. So it’s great to see the growing demand for engineering skills and new job opportunities that exist for graduates in the area now.
“With Engineers Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland, I’m delighted to support Engineers Week 2017 and be here with the Defence Forces today, an organisation my dad knows extremely well from his many years of service with the Army and the Rangers. Many skilled engineers work with the Defence Forces. I’m calling now on the public, students, industry, local authorities, third-level and schools nationally to get involved in the Week next March, log on to engineersweek.ie and really engage with the power and impact of engineering in communities around Ireland.”
Engineers Week 2017 call to action
“We are issuing our ‘call to action’ well in advance of the actual 2017 Engineers Week this year to give industry time to plan events and the general public an early opportunity to see how they can get involved in their local communities. The week, driven by the Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme, encourages primary and post-primary students to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and maths, and promotes engineering as a career choice,” said Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland.
“We are extremely grateful to the Defence Forces, itself full of skilled and experienced specialist engineers, for hosting us today and of course to Jamie, who embodies the diverse and exciting career opportunities that are possible when equipped with an engineering education. Engineers Week is going from strength to strength and we want to once again engage new audiences and reach out to all facets of industry in the 2017 week to showcase the exciting world of contemporary engineering in Ireland,” Spillane added.
“Through supporting initiatives like Engineers Week, Science Foundation Ireland promotes greater engagement among young people and the Irish public with engineering, science and technology. It is critically important that we all encourage and inspire our young people to increase their knowledge and understanding of science and engineering, and that they feel empowered to consider further study in these disciplines. These are the skills that are required to both drive sustainable economic recovery in Ireland and that can make a real difference to our broader society,” said Dr Ruth Freeman, director of strategy and communications at Science Foundation Ireland.
Engineers Week, now in its 11th year, is a campaign held annually to promote engineering as a career and the importance of the profession to Ireland. Last year 571 events were attended by over 43,000 participants across 30 counties. To find out more about events taking place around the country during Engineers Week 2017, or to register an event, log onto www.engineersweek.ie. As well as events organised by companies, third-level institutions and the public sector, teachers are also encouraged to run their own classroom-based activities, quizzes and competitions.
Engineers Week is co-ordinated on a national basis by the schools outreach STEPS team at Engineers Ireland. Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme is a strategic partner of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and seeks to promote awareness of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers among young people and their influencers. The STEPS programme is also supported by Arup, Eirgrid, ESB, Kirby Group, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Xilinx.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2016/09/20/engineers-week-2017-jamie-heaslip/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Jamie-Heaslip-Engineers-Week-1024x683.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Jamie-Heaslip-Engineers-Week-300x300.jpgNewsEngineers Ireland,engineers week,SFI,STEPS