Six engineers at the top of their profession compete to be Chartered Engineer of the Year
24 October 2017
The objective of the Chartered Engineer of the Year is to select from one year’s cohort, the Chartered Engineer who in the view of the judging panel, has demonstrated the highest level of achievement of the competences specified in the Regulations for the title of Chartered Engineer.
Professional interview panels nominate members based on their professional interview. A competition to select the Chartered Engineer takes place with the shortlisted finalists on 2 November in Engineers Ireland’s office in Clyde Road.
The winner will be announced at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards on 10 November 2017. We take a look at the finalists in the run up to the awards night.
Update: Captain Eoghan Carton won the Chartered Engineer of the Year Award for 2017.
Chris Anderson from Lurgan, Co Armagh, graduated from Queens University Belfast in 2006 with a Master of Engineering Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. After developing a keen interest in geotechnical engineering during his undergraduate studies and industrial placements, Chris undertook a research post in Geotechnics and Soil Mechanics at Queens, obtaining a PhD Degree in 2011.
Chris has enjoyed a varied career to date, gaining invaluable experience working as a Laboratory Technician for Queens Soil Testing Lab, Site Engineer and Reporting Engineer for a Ground Investigation Contractor, and as Marine Site Engineer for the tower foundation construction of the £1.35bn Queensferry Crossing in Edinburgh.
For the last 5 years, Chris has worked for ByrneLooby and is currently a Senior Geotechnical Engineer in their Belfast Office. As part of this role, he has been the design lead on numerous projects within the UK and Ireland, working as Contractor’s Designer on Design and Build Schemes and, most recently, managing the successful delivery of £3.2M earthworks levee construction on the banks of the Thames Estuary.
Project: Deep Soil Mixing – Engineering Ground for a Sustainable Future
Over the last 5 years, Chris has gained significant experience working as design engineer on a variety of Soil Stabilisation projects. He now oversees all ground stabilisation projects within ByrneLooby’s Belfast office.
Deep Soil Mixing (DSM) is a ground stabilisation technique that enhances the properties of deep problematic soils by mechanically mixing them with cementitious binder.
Used as a ground improvement technique, Chris has successfully designed and overseen the implementation of DSM technology to re-engineer the soil at previously unusable sites, such as flood plains with deep soft compressible soils, to provide improved bearing and minimise settlements for a range of future proposed constructions. This has negated the use of deep foundations, offering substantial reduction in concrete and steel consumption, and consequently leading to reductions in GHG emission.
Chris has implemented DSM technology on landfill sites and contaminated fill sites, to not only improve the ground structurally for development, but also provide containment for the flow of contaminated groundwater to potential nearby receptors. The adoption of soil mixing at these sites provided a significantly more environmentally sustainable solution than previously proposed ‘dig and dump’ methods, which has led to substantial reductions in project cost and program.
On obtaining grant funding from the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency, Chris recently project managed a team of industry and academic experts in a 6-month research investigation which successfully highlighted various waste bi-products as potential binders in DSM, to both contain and remediate contaminated groundwater.
Chris endeavours to promote this sustainable construction method by sharing its benefits, and his own design experiences, via industry seminars and through the imminent publication of researched innovations.
Eoghan Carton is an Engineer Officer in the Irish Defence Forces. He joined in 2003 and was commissioned as an infantry officer in 2005. He studied Civil Engineering at NUI, Galway and graduated with a first class honours degree in 2010. Upon completion of his degree, he transferred to the Corps of Engineers in summer 2010 and has since been based in the Curragh, Co Kildare. He has completed two 6-month deployments to South Lebanon with the United Nations as the engineer officer with the Irish Contingent. He has recently completed the Junior Command and Staff Course in the Military College in preparation for promotion to the rank of Commandant. Eoghan currently works as an instructor in the School of Military Engineering where he is responsible for providing training in key skills including bridge construction, explosives, engineer specialist search & clearance (ESSC) and chemical, biological, radiological & nuclear (CBRN) defence.
Project: Lead Nation Changeover 2016: The changeover of combat engineering, infrastructure and utilities support from Finland to Ireland in UNIFIL
There are 10,500 troops from 39 countries participating in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) mission. Ireland and Finland contribute troops to a joint battalion. The lead nation of this battalion changed from Finland to Ireland in November 2016. The lead nation is responsible for all civil infrastructure and utilities requirements within the Area of Operations (AO).
As the Irish Engineer Officer in the joint Finnish-Irish Battalion, Eoghan was appointed project manager with responsibility for the planning, organisation and changeover of all civil infrastructure, utilities, combat engineering, force protection and firefighting operations from Finland to Ireland. Eoghan liaised directly with Defence Forces Headquarters on all engineering matters and coordinated all activities on behalf of the Director of Engineering. He identified the work breakdown structure for the changeover, activity scheduling and critical path for the successful completion of the project which ran from March to November 2016. Examples of the work include the planning and execution of the changeover of nine generators in three camps, two water treatment plants and a kitchen to cater for 600+ personnel as well as the construction of new infrastructure and storage facilities. The project was successfully completed in November 2016 and Ireland continue to lead the joint battalion.
Dr Breiffni Fitzgerald
Dr Breiffni Fitzgerald is an Assistant Professor in Structural Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. Previously he has been a lecturer at DIT, a visiting scholar at Aalborg University (Denmark) and a Marie Curie Fellow at Plaxis (Netherlands). Dr Fitzgerald’s research interests lie in the areas of structural dynamics/control and renewable energy. His PhD specialisation involved analysis of the structural dynamics of wind turbines. Dr Fitzgerald has published papers on these topics in international journals and in the proceedings of international conferences and has obtained national and European research funding to work in these areas.
Dr Fitzgerald has also worked in industry throughout his career. He is a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. In 2016 he became a Director of Allied Consultant Engineering, a consultant engineering practice specialising in innovative structural engineering solutions for the international market.
Project title: Structural control for improved energy efficiency and reliability of next generation wind turbines
Wind turbines are the largest rotating machines on Earth. Modern wind turbine towers and blades are manufactured from lightweight high-strength materials making them very flexible and lightly damped. Due to their structural characteristics, they are very susceptible to vibrations and often undergo significant vibration during operation. Blade and tower vibrations have negative impacts on power production. Vibration issues also have a significant impacts on turbine downtime, lifetime of the components, and even on the overall integrity of the structural system. These impacts will have associated implications for the cost of wind power. The wind energy industry is now applying technologies and techniques developed in the fields of structural control to reduce vibrations in blades and towers.
I have worked on a European project that links academia (Trinity College Dublin, Aalborg University, Imperial College London, University of Sheffield) with Industry (Siemens, NREL, Plaxis) to tackle the problem of vibration of turbine blades and towers. In this project I developed and experimentally tested new structural control schemes to reduce vibrations. The results of this project have led to industry uptake of my designs and industry patents for new structural control schemes based on work carried out in the project.
Gearóid FitzGerald from Glin, Co. Limerick was awarded an honours degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Limerick in 2006. Following his graduation, he joined Boston Scientific as a graduate engineer, before getting an opportunity to manage a start-up renewable energy company in 2007. He sub-sequentially went on to work in the energy management sector with Aramark originally as an Energy Consultant before becoming a Business Development Engineer focusing on energy performance contracting for a diverse range of industries. He joined Irish Water in 2014 as an energy specialist and in 2015 he moved to his current role where he has responsibility for optimising the cost and consumption of the electricity consumed across over 7,000 water and wastewater sites. His role involves the procurement and management of the electricity contract, the identification and implementation of energy and cost savings initiatives and the leveraging of Irish Water assets to attain revenue from smart grid support schemes.
Project: Electricity Management for Irish Water
Irish Water consumes over 450 GWh of electricity each year in the delivery of water and wastewater services. This energy is used to treat and deliver 1,670 million litres of drinking water and process 1,600 million litres of wastewater each day.
This consumption is spread across 7,110 individual sites which consist of water treatment plants, reservoirs, water booster stations, district water meters, wastewater pumping stations, wastewater sampling points and wastewater treatment sites.
The consolidation of all of these electricity accounts presented a significant management challenge to ensure all sites are correctly charged for their electricity consumption but equally presented an opportunity to achieve savings through energy efficiencies and cost reduction measures. Through the implemented of an innovative electricity cost and consumption reporting system significant cost saving opportunities were realized in tariff management, inaccurate metering, incorrect billing, underutilised sites, under loaded plants, inefficient processes and opportunities for electricity load shifting.
These initiatives coupled with leveraging the existing assets to partake in smart grid support schemes and the optimisation of the energy consumption of high energy using plants with the varying cost of energy across different tariffs has delivered savings of over 6% of the total annual electricity budget to date.
Claire is a team leader of ESB International’s high voltage projects team. This role involves managing design deliverables for numerous electricity infrastructure transmission and distribution projects.
A native of Dundalk, Claire graduated from UCD in 2003 with an honours degree in electrical engineering. Following some time with Kerry Group and personal travel, Claire joined ESB International in 2005 via ESB’s Graduate Programme.
During her time within ESB International Claire has successfully designed and delivered numerous high voltage substation projects for ESB Networks. In 2014 she completed a secondment to Scottish Power Energy Networks where she project managed distribution projects with a combined value of £20m.
Claire completed a Masters in Energy Management in 2013 with DIT.
Claire currently manages multiple stakeholders to ensure delivery of a range of complex transmission and distribution projects. Claire is also responsible for the development and management of a substation design team located in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Project – Great Island 220 kV Substation
Great Island 220 kV Station is located in Campile, outside New Ross, Co Wexford. A major redevelopment of the substation took place between 2012- 2013 to facilitate the Independent Power Producer (IPP) connection of a 460 MW CCGT.
The project involved the replacement of the existing fifty year old outdoor air insulated substation with a state of the art indoor gas insulated substation.
ESB Networks appointed ESB International as the Design Project Manager for this project. ESB International produced all project civil, physical, electrical, cable and substation control system designs. Design challenges included interfacing with a live high voltage brown field site, production of designs for new switchgear and interfacing the new GIS equipment with existing power transformers. ESB International were also responsible for ordering all project materials and the coordination of design works on site.
Civil works were programmed to run concurrently with the electrical installation works to meet an aggressive eighteen month installation programme. Careful stakeholder management was required to ensure the final installation met the transmission system operator and IPP requirements.
The project was delivered on time and to budget without any lost time safety incidents.
The successful completion of this project has ensured the availability of a robust transmission system node for the IPP and the continued reliability of the transmission network in the south east area.
Eoghan holds an honours Civil Engineering degree from TCD and is an accomplished engineer with a keen interest in sustainable energy and the decarbonisation of power systems. Having initially worked as a construction site engineer at the onset of the recession, he moved to Edinburgh in 2010 to study for a masters in Renewable Energy Engineering at Heriot Watt. He then joined SSE Airtricity in northern Scotland where he was responsible for the design, management and construction of several high voltage underground cable projects as part of the £700m Beauly-Denny transmission reinforcement.
In 2014 Eoghan returned to Ireland to join transmission system operator EirGrid, where he is currently leading a suite of technical studies into the development of a high voltage direct current (HVDC) interconnector between Ireland and France.
Eoghan also holds a postgraduate diploma in Project Management from Strathclyde University and a diploma in Construction Law & Contract Administration from TCD.
Project: Celtic Interconnector
The Celtic Interconnector is a proposed €1bn HVDC interconnector between the south of Ireland and the north-west of France. It would be almost 600km in length and would provide Ireland’s only energy connection to continental Europe, which has taken on added significance in light of Brexit. The interconnector would enable the import and export of 700MW of electricity, enough to power approximately 450,000 homes. It would bring benefits to Ireland in terms of enhanced security of supply, increased electricity trading and competition, further facilitation of renewable energy sources and provide a direct fibre optic communications link between Ireland and France.
Eoghan has managed the project’s technical studies since 2015. This has included investigations of onshore and offshore cable routing options, with periods spent working offshore directing detailed surveys of seabed conditions to identify a feasible and appropriate route for the 500km subsea length of the interconnector.
This important project is supported at national and European level having been designated by the European Union as a Project of Common Interest and having received European funding. It is expected that the next phase of consenting and EPC procurement would allow for construction to commence in 2021 and the interconnector to enter service in 2025.
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