Future of transport explored in Sligo at Engineers Ireland forum
23 September 2019
Engineers Ireland’s North West committee pictured with Marguerite Sayers, president of Engineers Ireland.
A versatile audience, including industry experts and several engineers working nationally, engaged in an open forum on the future of transport at IT Sligo last Thursday, September 19, 2019.
The event – which was open to the public, students, engineers and business leaders – was organised by Engineers Ireland’s North West regional branch, which covers Sligo and Leitrim and is chaired by local engineer Rowan O’Callaghan.
‘Electric and autonomous vehicles in a connected infrastructure’
Entitled ‘Driving forward: Electric and autonomous vehicles in a connected infrastructure’, there was a particular emphasis on the evening on the use of the private car and the movement towards electric cars.
The speakers also discussed ‘driving towards driverless’ and the new mobility revolution which is sweeping the globe with the introduction of connected and autonomous vehicles (or CAVs), compelling us to reimagine how transport is delivered.
What this all means for the future of our road network, the travel pattern of people and the movement of goods was also discussed.
Speakers included Marguerite Sayers, president of Engineers Ireland and chartered engineer; Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs at AA Ireland; Niall Hogan, head of e-mobility, ESB; Dr John McCarthy, associate director and leader of intelligent mobility, ARUP; Dr James McDonald, computational astrophysicist, computer-vision algorithm developer and embedded lead, Valeo Vision Systems; and Helen Hughes, director of professional services at Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII); and Eamon Dillane, an ecar advocate.
Marguerite Sayers, president of Engineers Ireland, said: “This evening, you our audience, will be provided with the opportunity to learn from and engage with experts, a number of them engineers, working nationally who will talk about the exciting world of transport, something which is so essential in our daily lives.
“Transport helps us to connect with one another more easily and improve the distribution of goods and services over long distances.
‘High dependency on cars’
“Having transport infrastructure that meets the requirements of Irish society and our economy is essential. However, in Ireland, we have a high dependency on cars because of our dispersed settlement pattern around the country and low population density which contribute to a high proportion of journeys being made by private car.
“By 2040 the population of Ireland is expected to grow by over 1 million to 5.7 million people. This growth will drive greater demand for transport. While this is a sign of a vibrant economy, it intensifies our challenge to remove carbon from the air – as transport accounted for 19.8% of Ireland’s greenhouse gases in 2017.
“Furthermore, air pollution emitted from transportation contributes to poor local air quality which harms health.
“Therefore when it comes to how we get from A to B, a significant shift away from internal combustion engine vehicles in the transport sector is needed. We are talking about societal transformation here.”
She added that engineers have a key role to play in the transition to a sustainable, carbon-free society and have a key role to play in developing new technologies, services and infrastructure.
UN Climate Action Summit
“It is no coincidence that ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23 and the Global Climate Strike on Friday, September 20, we are holding this forum in Sligo which at its core is looking at the decarbonisation of transport.”
Sayers concluded by thanking her regional branch members – all local engineers – for their work in organising the Forum. “We’re delighted to be collaborating with members of our branch for this Future Transport forum.
“I would like to thank Rowan O’Callaghan who is chair of this region, but also the other committee members who have worked hard in preparation for this event which is part of Engineers Ireland’s One Society, Our Contribution series of regional events – Francis Fidgeon, Tomás O’Flaherty, Matthew Robb, George Chadda and John O’Gorman.”http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2019/09/23/future-of-transport-explored-in-sligo-at-engineers-ireland-forum/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/a1-47-1024x683.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/a1-47-300x300.jpgNewsIT Sligo,transport,Transport Infrastructure Ireland