Tag Archives: DIT Bolton St

Jacinta Caden blazes trail for women in engineering

Jacinta receiving the WE50 Award from Dawn Childs, President of WES, one of the Awards’
judges and Group Engineering Director at Merlin Entertainments.

However, Jacinta is no stranger to such accolades. She was only the fourth female in 119 years to be elected to the Board of Trustees for the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) in the UK, and in January of this year was named ACR Woman of the Year. She is also a member of the Steering Group for the WiRACHP (Women in Refrigeration Air Conditioning & Heat Pumps) Network. Although WiRACHP is a more industry-specific organisation, its primary focus is very similar to that of WES.

The WE50 awards take place each year to coincide with International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on 23 June, a day endorsed by UNESCO patronage since 2016. INWED celebrates the achievements of women in engineering and related roles, and highlights the opportunities available to engineers of the future Concrete Society.

The WE50 were judged by a panel of industry experts and head judge, Dawn Fitt, commented: “As a former engineering technician apprentice it has been a pleasure, and encouraging, to see at firsthand the fantastic achievements of both current and former apprentices. This is particularly heartening given the push to increase the apprenticeship numbers within the industry.”

Jacinta is the living embodiment of this route to success. She is a qualified refrigeration engineer and has been working in the industry for over 16 years. She began her apprenticeship with an RAC contractor in Dublin while, for the off-the-job phases of her studies, she attended both what were then DIT Bolton St, Dublin and FÁS Cork.

Since then she has progressed from the practical, hands-on side of the industry through to various roles including technical, design, sales and managerial positions. Her role with Critical Project Services (CPS) is to develop the European business through the management of clients who have new-build, retrofit or upgrade requirements on their data centres.

CPS is a management consultancy business dedicated to the mission-critical industry. It predominantly delivers project management, program management, site selection, project control, D&B, procurement, commissioning and assessment services.

Jacinta comes from Mayo where her family have refrigeration, electrical and haulage businesses for over 50 years. She has been immersed in male-dominated industries from the very beginning and it was quite normal for her growing up to explore all things engineering. She now realises how fortunate she was to have had those opportunities and that encouragement. Consequently, promoting women in engineering roles – whatever the discipline – is important to her.

The other passion Jacinta has is for driving. She caught that bug from an early age, to the extent that she has a licence and the qualifications to drive coaches and even articulated trucks. She has a weakness for “anything speed” and says watching truck-racing is her favourite. Her highest tandem parachute jump was from 13,000ft, while she also has a wing-walk under her belt. In addition, she likes climbing mountains, yoga, travelling and going home to Ireland to see family and friends.

“As an RAC engineer myself I know how rare women with this qualification are. Indeed, during my time as an apprentice in Ireland I was the only female doing RAC. Hopefully, that scenario will now change thanks to new initiatives designed to attract not just females, but also males, into refrigeration apprenticeships.”

Jacinta’s story illustrates the importance of the apprenticeship route into engineering, and also clearly demonstrates its value in career development/advancement opportunities. However, there is still a lot to be done. The industry needs to recognise this and act accordingly if it is to attract more young – and enthusiastic – people into the sector.

DIT building services students triumph at awards ceremony

Back Row: Seamus English (M.D. Hevac), Jim Rogers (Varming), Paul Devereux (Hevac), Brian West (CIBSE Chairman), Charles Dunn (RPS), Brian Clare (DIT) Middle Row: Emmett Doogan (level 7 Runner-up), Charlie Myles (level 7 Runner-up), Patrick Flaherty (Level 8 Winner), Robert Ralph (level 8 Runner-up) Front Row: Gregory Leonard (level 7 Winner), Stephen Lyons (level 8 Runner-up)

Back Row: Seamus English (M.D. Hevac), Jim Rogers (Varming), Paul Devereux (Hevac), Brian West (CIBSE Chairman), Charles Dunn (RPS), Brian Clare (DIT)
Middle Row: Emmett Doogan (level 7 Runner-up), Charlie Myles (level 7 Runner-up), Patrick Flaherty (Level 8 Winner), Robert Ralph (level 8 Runner-up)
Front Row: Gregory Leonard (level 7 Winner), Stephen Lyons (level 8 Runner-up)

However, it was Gregory Leonard who took first prize for his study on the role of building management systems. In his presentation Gregory took the audience through the complexities of Croke Park where grow lights and conferences rely on the BMS to keep the grass green and the buildings functioning successfully. His research included interviews with design consultants as well as facilities management personnel on site, to give a very effective cross-industry view from design through to implementation.

Level eight student Stephen Lyons’ paper was on his research into low-energy environmental design (LEED) standard by the US Green Building Council, with specific attention to lighting for offices. Stephen explored how LEED credits can be obtained from the lighting design while creating a better indoor environment using natural daylighting as well as energy efficient sources and suitable controls.

Robert Ralph investigated combined heat and power (CHP) units installed to reduce energy costs and improve the carbon footprint in the hotel industry. Matching thermal heat and electricity loads were reviewed, with cost benefit analysis undertaken that emphasised the benefit of financial incentives grant aid to provide an acceptable financial return on investment.

Patrick Flaherty scooped the top Level 8 prize with his presentation on the future potential of wind energy in Ireland, including case studies from the main wind farm installations in the country that demonstrated the financial success of the technology.

CIBSE Chairman Brian West and Seamus English from sponsor HEVAC presented the prizes, which included a welcome financial boost for the students who will become leaders of Ireland’s building services industry in the coming years.

Brian Clare of DIT brought proceedings to a close and thanked the sponsor and CIBSE for their long-standing support of DIT building services students.

Another Side Of … John Smith — Archer

John Smith, John Sisk & Son

John Smith, John Sisk & Son

John took up archery at the relatively late age of 17, after too many injuries playing rugby meant he had to find a less-exertive sport. Introduced to it by a friend, he took to it with his customary all-o-nothing commitment, shooting anything up to 350/400 arrows a day in training at his peak.

There is a certain irony in the fact that archery is now taking a back seat to his career when it was his prowess at archery that saw him through his building services degree in DIT, right up to his Masters, on a sports scholarship. Apart from the high of once being ranked among the top 100 archers worldwide, John has had some notable achievements over the last few years.

On the home front he is still the current national record holder for Full Fita (1380) and Double Fita (2746); for the 90mts (336/360); and the 50-metre, 15-arrow match play (146/150); he was Outdoor National Champion in 2012; Silver National Champion in 2013; and 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Irish Open and Irish Series in 2015.

There are also indoor tournaments and here again John performed with distinction. His successes include ISAA National Champion 2010-2015; ISSA Indoor National League 2011-2015; and 80/240 European Archery Festival 2014.

His international honours include coming 8th and 6th respectively in the Senior Euronations in 2010 and 2011; winning silver in both the mixed team and mens’ team events at the European Grand Prix in Bulgaria in 2012; 9th in the World University Archery Championship in 2012 in Spain; and 17th in the Individual World University Games in Korea in 2015.

John has also coached and has acted as Junior Irish Compound Coach to Irish teams participating in various world championships and cups. In 2015 Lauren Gaynor won the Junior Ladies Compound World Cup Stage in Marakesh under his tutelage.

John says that archery is 10% physical and 90% mental. It is all about staying calm, keeping you breathing relaxed and your heart beat low. Not so easy when representing you country on the world stage, but its what has to be done as the slightest movement can have a major impact on success or otherwise.

As this illustrates, archery is a very technical sport and not at all like the romanticised, gung-ho adventure exemplified by innumerable Robin Hood movies. That said, John did have his own Robin Hood moment during a world qualification round in Poland when he perfectly speared an arrow already in the target as per the grand finale in many of these movies.

Postcard From Abroad — Ruairi Barnwell in Chicago

Ruairi Barnwell, Principal, DLR Group, Chicago

Ruairi Barnwell, Principal, DLR Group, Chicago

The Irish built Chicago and made it what it is today … the heart and soul of the Midwest and economic fulcrum of the nation. The Irish have always had a prominent role in the development of Chicago as a world-class city, from the Irish workers who dug the ditches in 1900 to reverse the flow of the Chicago river, to the first Mayor Daley who ran the city for 21 years from 1955 to 1976; the second Mayor Daley (his son) who ran the city for 22 years from 1989 to 2011; and the current crop of Irish-born professionals who lead today’s real estate, financial, construction, energy and legal industries.

Chicago is a work-hard/play-hard city. The work-hard part is a given in a city built on blue-collar Midwestern (and Irish) values — you work hard or you don’t survive. The play hard part applies to having fun after work and on the weekends with friends and, later on in life, with family. I have three young daughters so these days I play harder than ever, just in a different setting.

After a few months working at a local bar on the north side of the city called Sheffield’s in 1999, I had my first interview with a firm called Henneman Raufeisen, a well-respected mid-sized Midwest engineering firm. My interview with company principal Al Raufeisen was a few hours long and we chatted about everything from Formula 1 racing to engineering formulas. I spent 10 great years at Henneman Raufeisen. It was a great introduction to the HVAC design industry and Al turned out to be a mentor that heavily influenced my professional career.

I had the perfect head start thanks to the great education I received at DIT Bolton St.  The building services engineering course is a fantastic foundation to build on. Coming straight out of college and being able to lay out piping and ductwork systems, and size major pieces of HVAC equipment like boilers, chillers, pumps, towers etc, gives you all the tools you need to hit the ground running. Engineering graduates in the US typically have a much broader curriculum, so having this skill-set from college is a definite advantage. In my current role I still try hard to hire DIT Bolton St graduates because I know how well-educated they are in the building services industry. Just last year we had four DIT Bolton St graduates in the same office.

When I started out in the industry I was surprised at the attitude towards sustainable and high performance building design. The industry in the US leaned heavily on rules of thumb and safety factors when sizing equipment, and very little priority was given to building simulation or creating energy models. Things started to evolve around 2002 when the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system began to get a foothold in the design and construction industry, and terms like “energy modeling” and “commissioning” became commonplace.

Download Ruairi’s full three-page article in pdf format simply by clicking on “Latest Issue” on the “Home” page and going to page 44.