Three recent graduates outline how Engineers Ireland's 12-month CPD Diploma in Professional Engineering has benefitted their careers and helped them develop their abilities as professional engineers

Brendan Mitchell MEng BEng CEng MIEI is a chartered engineer and senior consultant in the AECOM Dublin office, part of the Planning and Development team working in the Transportation sector. He completed the CPD Diploma in Professional Engineering in 2015.

Brendan Mitchell

Brendan Mitchell

I found the Future Professional Series a very enjoyable experience overall. Each of the programmes can be related in some way to my everyday working environment. I found the interaction with the other attendees from different industries was very beneficial to the overall diversity of the programme.

I particularly enjoyed the workshops and interactive modules such as the lean principles workshops and the presentation skills module. Whilst the lean principles workshop is more suited to the manufacturing engineering industry, there were elements of the course I could apply to standard work we carry out on a regular basis.

While the communications and presentation skills are a softer skill for engineers, the way in which it was delivered by Conor O’Connell was excellent and the hints and tips picked up on this course were very insightful for communicating effectively at work.

The programme gave me the opportunity to attend courses I would not have normally been afforded the opportunity to attend. The vast amount of CPD has helped me progress within AECOM at a relatively fast pace and I have progressed to a senior role focusing on design and project management since finishing the course.

I found that the Contracts, Claims and Dispute Resolutions part of the programme, which was delivered by David McNeice, to be most relevant to my working environment at the time. As I have been involved in two dispute resolutions since the course, this was a key course for me and my professional development. It offered expert insight to the way in which contracts can be interpreted and how claims can be settled.

I went on to gain experience in an employer’s representative role shortly after these two dispute resolutions and found that this course was very beneficial to my competence in this role.

I felt that completion of the CPD Diploma programme was beneficial when I was applying for the chartered engineer title and was respected by my interviewers. The sheer amount of CPD offered in such a short period is something to which engineers are not normally exposed. The diversity of the programme also helps to give an understanding of the vast disciplines of engineering covered by Engineers Ireland.

Michael Hoey BEng (Hons) BEng (Ord) CEng MIEI completed the CPD Diploma in Professional Engineering in 2015 and since gone on to become a chartered engineer. He was recently promoted to the role of peat business unit specialist senior civil engineer with Bord na Móna.

Michael Hoey

Michael Hoey

My experience of the CPD Diploma programme was an extremely positive one. The course gave me the platform to enhance my career and develop the core competencies to achieve my goals.

As part of the application chartered-engineer status, I was required to outline my future development statement. This course, in particular, has helped me achieve a lot of my short-, medium- and even long-term goals within two years of completing the course.

The course is well placed as it suits engineers who have a number of years’ postgraduate experience in their respective fields. This experience means that the course content can be learned through real scenarios in the workplace. I would recommend that anyone thinking of applying for the title of chartered engineer strongly consider attending this course.

The programme is designed to accommodate engineers from a range of multi-disciplinary backgrounds. I found that by engaging with my programme colleagues through class-based activities and the team project, I got an insight into various industries and organisations and how my colleagues operated in their respective businesses. I found this most enjoyable as I would not otherwise be exposed to such a variety of companies and multi-disciplinary engineers.

I found that the learning contracts were the most beneficial to my competence development. The learning contracts ensured that I got the most from the modules being taught and the application section ensured that the learning outcomes were tied into my day-to-day work activities, which was fundamental in developing my competencies.

My short-term goal on completion of the CPD diploma was to achieve the status of chartered engineer. The programme gave me the confidence to successfully complete the process and I became chartered within 10 months of completing the programme. The course certifies you with 25 days of CPD, which is important in completing the chartered engineer application. The course also ties in with developing the competencies required to become chartered. The learning contracts assisted with the technical writing aspect of proving the core competencies.

Although I had built up extensive experience in my field, it was important to receive formal recognition from my peers in Engineers Ireland to assist with career progression. I have been able to apply a lot of what I learned in the CPD Diploma course to my work activities.

I successfully achieved a senior engineering position in my organisation within two years of completing the programme. I have been appointed to the role of project manager on a significant continuous improvement project where I used the project charter and risk register which I was taught in two of the modules.

I was required to give two presentations to senior management including the CEO on my projects. I found the module on communication and presentation skills very beneficial in this instance, as it is not a skill that is easily achieved.

Dave Linehan BEng MIEI MSP works in EirGrid’s Programme Management Office, co-ordinating grid development activities across Ireland. He is chair of the Young Engineers Society and the creator of He completed his Diploma in Professional Engineering in 2016.

Dave Linehan

Dave Linehan

I completed the Dublin Institute of Technology-accredited CPD Diploma in Engineering at Engineers Ireland last year, having completed the CPD Certificate course back in 2014.

The course is structured very well, with a nice balance between lecture presentations and group activity. The quality of the tutoring is also first class, with all of the modules delivered by experts from different fields. Continuous support and advice were offered from the lecturers, who were very prompt to respond to any queries throughout the year.

The small class-size and instructors’ vast knowledge both contributed to the fact that the decision to do this diploma has been one of the most rewarding decisions I have made in terms of professional development. By covering a broad set of soft skills in areas such as project management, risk, communication, stakeholder negotiation, lean process and finance for engineers, the diploma has greatly impacted my career.

In particular, the research project element sparked my passion for research. Since completing the course, I have taken that passion back into the workplace, working on a number of interesting projects. The research project also provided me with an opportunity to develop interpersonal and time-management skills.

With successful delivery of projects and programmes at the backbone of any successful organisation, the skills and knowledge I have gained from the course have really allowed me to add value back to my employer in my current role working on a large grid-development programme for EirGrid. For example, the learning contracts and assignments that are completed after each module make the new knowledge applicable in the workplace.

There is no doubt that the course does require personal commitment to attend the sessions and complete the assignments, outside of work time. However, what you learn and experience will refocus your personal career goals, which was the highlight for me. The Future Professionals Series, including both Certificate and Diploma courses, has made me realise that the academic education given in college is just the start of a journey, and that career-relevant continuing professional education is critical for career development. I would highly recommend it to young engineers who are ambitious for their career.

Engineers Ireland’s CPD Training team are currently accepting applications for the next CPD Diploma in Professional Engineering programme. The programme is due to start on Wednesday 17 January 2018 and the closing date for applications is Wednesday 10 January, 2018. To register your interest in the programme, contact Simon Purdue, programme co-ordinator: 1 665 1326. HarringtonCivilCPD,education,Engineers Ireland
Brendan Mitchell MEng BEng CEng MIEI is a chartered engineer and senior consultant in the AECOM Dublin office, part of the Planning and Development team working in the Transportation sector. He completed the CPD Diploma in Professional Engineering in 2015. I found the Future Professional Series a very enjoyable experience...