Tag Archives: DIT

Excellent presentations at SDAR Awards 2018

Back Row: Michael McDonald (DIT) with Charles Dunn (CIBSE/RPS), Dr Avril Behan (DIT) and Gerry Farrelly (DIT)
Front Row : Padraic O’Connor (SISK) with Thomas Shannon, Mona Holtkotter, Camila Dbastiani and Dr Kevin Kelly (DIT)

The SDAR awards promote collaboration between industry and academic institutions. The idea is to encourage applied research and ensure quality and value in innovation projects. The more research papers and post-occupancy evaluations undertaken, the more sustainable design and energy efficacy in future and existing buildings can be encouraged.

The role of CIBSE in this regard is to facilitate this process and disseminate the findings. The event was opened by Dr Kevin Kelly,Head of the School of Multidisciplinary Technologies and Vice-President, CIBSE, and Michael McDonald. Michael is the event organiser, a member of the CIBSE Ireland Committee and alecturer at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

The expert judging panel consisted of Gerry Farrelly and Dr Avril Behan, DIT and Charles Dunn, RPS and CIBSE Committee. First prize went to Mona Holtkötter of the International WELL Building Institute and Secretary of CIBSE Ireland. Mona’s research on the potential impact of the updated Building Regulations Part L on current building design strategies, using a Dublin city centre office building as an example, was a narrow but deserved winner following her excellent presentation. The title of the paper was The new Irish Building Regulations Part L 2017: the impact on city centre developments. Padraic O’Connor, Building Services Department Manager at Sisk & Son, presented her with a cheque for €1000.

The two runners up (in no particular order) were as follows.

— Influence of the biogas generated on the mixing of UASB bioreactors: Comparison of CFD and experiential results by Camila D’Bastiani of DIT (Ph.D. Researcher);

— A case study into the integration of technological and engineering innovations in a manufacturing/distribution facility to support a sustainable future by Tommy Shannon of Excel Industries.

They each received €250 courtesy of CIBSE Ireland, the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the School of Multidisciplinary Technologies.

Lighter/Young Lighter competition                                                                                                                     The second upcoming major event is the CIBSE Irish Lighter/Young Lighter competition. This is well established as a premier national and international lighting competition, and will be accepting abstracts from mid-June.

Contact michael.mcdonald@dit.ie or kevin.kelly@dit.ie

CIBSE AGM looks to 50th celebrations

Group pictured at the CIBSE Ireland AGM recently with Paul Martin, Chairman, pictured centre, front, along with Vice-Chair Damien Flynn and Pat Lehane, Building Services News.

While the usual protocols were observed at the recent CIBSE Ireland AGM in Dublin, there is no denying that the main focus for the coming 12 months will revolve around the 50th anniversary celebrations. The 50th theme will feature across the entire programme for 2018 but will culminate in the gala dinner to be held on 30 November in the Clayton Burlington Hotel, Dublin (details to be announced shortly).

That said, the celebratory mood will also be used to reinforce the position of CIBSE Ireland as a leading force across building services in Ireland, and to strengthen still further its links with the other representative bodies and associations across construction as a whole.

Engagement with government departments and agencies will also be ramped up, especially on nZEB, NSAI standards and the BIM Council of Ireland. In tandem with that the extensive CPD programme will focus on, and reflect, the critical issues facing the industry. These events take a format that encourages dialogue and the sharing of information, and are also open to members of other professional and representative bodies in the sector.

The CIBSE Ireland “reach out” objective on encouraging new people into the industry will also continue. It has always had strong links with DIT but these have now been extended to WIT and IT Tallaght, with plans for a more proactive engagement with the other ITs and colleges in the pipeline. To that effect it partners with WIT and DIT for their respective student awards, and with DIT for the Young Lighter and SDAR Awards. It also co-publishes the SDAR Journal with DIT.

On the social front there will be the annual 5-a-side football tournament and of course the CIBSE Ireland Annual Golf Outing which will be held in Luttrellstown Golf Club on Friday,7 September 2018.

While ostensibly CIBSE Ireland’s 50th celebrations, it is also a celebration for the entire building services sector. The reality is that, throughout the last half-century, the activities of CIBSE Ireland, and that of its members, have always mirrored what was happening in the industry as a whole. So, it is a time of celebration for all.

Paul McEvoy Joins John Sisk & Son

Paul McEvoy, Building Services Engineer, John Sisk & Son

Paul McEvoy has joined John Sisk & Son Ltd and is now working on a large mixed-use development project co-ordinating the mechanical and electrical services. Paul is widely-known and respected within the industry and, despite his young years, has quite a depth of experience across a number of industry segments.

After graduating from Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh) with a degree in architectural engineering (having previously studied building services engineering in DIT), Paul worked on the design and specification of building services plant for Hevac, before moving to sister-company Origen Energy to work on renewable energy technology systems.

Here his work focused mainly on heat pump and combined heat and power (CHP) system design, while also working with Polytherm Heating Systems (another Hevac Group company) on the design and specification of large commercial under floor heating projects.

He joined John Sisk & Son just before Christmas of last year and is now looking forward to the new opportunities and challenges this post will bring.

Contact: Paul McEvoy, John Sisk & Son. Tel: 087 – 614 2794; email: p.mcevoy@sisk.ie


DIT-led initiative on building engineering

Ciara Ahern, Head of Building Engineering, DIT

The urgent need for building engineering graduates has resulted in key industry players joining forces with the ACEI and DIT to promote the Level-8 building engineering course being delivered by DIT in Bolton St. Among the companies supporting the initiative are Jones Engineering, Sirus, Haughton & Young, Designer Group, Ethos, Varmings, Axis, Dornans, OCSC, Metec, Homan O’Brien and Cundall & Partners.

The DIT-led initiative is spearheaded by Ciara Ahern, Head of Building Engineering at DIT and comprises a dynamic advertising and PR campaign taking in all media formats, from traditional print and radio through to Facebook and other online platforms.

In announcing the campaign Ciara highlighted the immense potential for career development in the area, pointing out that the discipline isn’t very well understood, but that it is now at the vanguard of a new engineering revolution that is key to meeting global climate change targets.

She also detailed the excellent career opportunities it presents, stating that building engineers are the highest paid engineers in the construction sector, earning a starting salary that is typically €5,000 more than other graduates”.

Jim Curley, Group Chief Executive at Jones Engineering Group, said: “DIT is an innovator in the building engineering discipline and we are delighted to support the Institute’s campaign. There is a shortage of graduates with the building engineering skills needed by industry and all sectors should actively get behind this initiative.



Sirus Building Engineering Scholarship at DIT

Frank Caul, Managing Director of Sirus with scholarship winner Zoe Elliott.

Ciara Ahern, the Head of Building Engineering in DIT says: “The buildings in which we spend 90% of our time are responsible for about half of global energy use. Society urgently needs building engineers to help realise our ambitious climate change targets for our built environment.”

DIT and Sirus have joined forces to introduce the inaugural Sirus Scholarship in Building Engineering 2017. The scholarship was established with James Byrne, a DIT graduate and his colleague Frank Caul, who joined forces in 1989 to form the very successful Sirus Group. It employs approximately 100 people, many of them building engineering student graduates from DIT, and operates across Ireland and mainland Europe.

The Sirus team specialises in the control and management of building systems across a diverse range of sectors including industry, education, retail, hospitality, healthcare, life sciences, data centres and airports. “Sirus is always looking for good people”, says Frank Caul, “and we prefer to employ the graduates from Building Engineering in DIT as they are able to hit the ground running and contribute to the company quickly. These graduates invariably climb the career ladder very quickly.”

The two talented students awarded this year’s Sirus Scholarship are Zoe Elliott, from Newtownmountkenndy, Co Wicklow and Pauric O’Connell, from Virginia in Cavan. Both are third-year students of Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Building Engineering (Course code: DT026) at DIT. DIT has an open access policy to education and allows students access the system at apprenticeship level, and without honours maths. “If you want in, there is a way in”, says Ciara Ahern. “Some of our best students are those who access the system at apprenticeship level and ordinary degree level”.

“Stick-with-it” attitude                                                                                                                                     James Byrne is an excellent example of this, starting off his career as an apprentice plumber in DIT. “This is why we set up the scholarship based on the attributes of grit and perseverance, rather than academic merit”, says James. “At the end of the day it is a ‘stick-with-it’ attitude that gets you through tough times in education, business and in life in general.”

To support the initiative Sirus also donated a state-of-the-art recirculating air conditioning teaching system to the college which DIT is excited to put into use.

Paul Martin elected Chairman of CIBSE Ireland

Paul Martin (left), newly-elected Chairman of CIBSE Ireland being congratulated by outgoing Chairman Brian West

The annual general meeting of CIBSE Ireland was held recently in the Sandymount Hotel in Dublin. Outgoing Chairman Brian West reported on the successful year and summarised events held throughout the latter end of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

These included 24 CPD events at various locations throughout the country, along with the Irish Lighter Awards, the membership briefing, WIT and DIT student awards, the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering student awards, the SDAR Awards, the Pat Benson lecture and the Annual Christmas Lunch.

New Chairman Paul Martin and Vice Chairman Damien Flynn were elected, along with a new committee for 2016/17, including some fresh faces. The formalities concluded with a meal, networking and social interaction.

The new committee will work on the forthcoming programme of events over the summer months but the season will kick off with the CIBSE Ireland annual golf outing at Castlewarden Golf & Country Club on Friday, 1 September next. Main sponsor is Heat Merchants Group but there are also other sponsorship opportunities.

For details, and to enter a team, log on to http://www.cibseireland.org/


joe-hogan-1-of-2What prompted this article was that many of us at the table had in fact been in class together at various times and had gone on to serve in various sectors of the industry. When we started in the industry there were no full-time building services courses. The majority of would-be engineers went to the UK to do the IHVE exams. The City and Guilds Course in the 1960s and early 1970s served many who went on the become leaders in various sectors of the industry. They (both guys and girls) went on to work in consultants’ design offices on drawing boards, behind the counter in merchant providers, as sales engineers and as junior contracts managers.

In the early 1970s Don Byrne and Pat Benson set up the Building Services Course in DIT Bolton St which, in the main, served the industry well up to the recent construction industry crash. Many of the current principals of consultancy practices and directors of M&E contracting firms attended DIT courses and qualified as Chartered CIBSE Engineers. A significant number started with the part-time courses before going on to attend full-time courses and obtain a full engineering degree in building services.

A large percentage of these people also freely gave of their time through the various industry bodies such as MEBSCA and CIBSE Ireland to devise and establish the structures that have served the sector so well. Many consulting engineers gave lectures in DIT colleges to augment the full-time lecturers.

However, that scenario has changed dramatically. While the intake to the DIT first-year common engineering programme still attracts a healthy 100 plus students, the numbers opting to study building services as opposed to the other engineering disciplines is but a handful. The present incumbents involved in the colleges, I am informed, are doing some serious soul-searching with even the title “Building Services Engineering” being called in to question.

Either way, the industry needs a call to arms to ensure we promote the opportunities to not just school leavers but people already in the industry. There has always been a demand from people on site, or in sales, or in various businesses in the industry to further their education and these people need to be encouraged and accommodated within the various Institute of Technology courses and systems.

The present position is that the sector needs everything we can get from our colleges, from more apprentices, craftsmen  foremen, trainee engineers, technician engineers and qualified engineers to meet the demand of the broader building services sector. Recently, a significant Irish firm went on national radio and announced it was looking for some 500 engineering personnel.

So, if they need – and attract – that many from a diminished pool, what will be left for the rest of us? Our destiny is in our own hands. It is inconceivable that the established building services course in DIT might disappear, or indeed the relative newer programmes of WIT and CIT. The industry needs to support those involved in running these courses.

Equally so, the colleges need to devise courses, and perhaps more importantly a manner of delivery, that attracts young people into the industry. It is obvious young people are still interested in engineering … it is now up to all in building services to sell it as a desirable career choice.

The Government has stated that it wants to encourage more people into engineering courses and the current system can accommodate this intake … all we now need is the willpower to stand up and fight for what we know our industry needs.

High Standard at Student Awards

Back Row: Brian West, and CIBSE Ireland Vice-Chair with Ciara Ahern, DIT; Micheál O’Flaherty, DIT; and David Doherty, Chair, CIBSE Ireland. Middle Row, Level 8: Callum O’Toole, Runner-up with David Keogh, Winner and Sean Flynn O’Connor, Runner-up. Front Row, Level 7: Seamus Murphy, Winner with Andrew Cruise and Gerard O’Neill, both Runner-up.

Back Row: Brian West, and CIBSE Ireland Vice-Chair with Ciara Ahern, DIT; Micheál
O’Flaherty, DIT; and David Doherty, Chair, CIBSE Ireland. Middle Row, Level 8: Callum O’Toole, Runner-up with David Keogh, Winner and Sean Flynn O’Connor, Runner-up.                                               Front Row, Level 7: Seamus Murphy, Winner with Andrew Cruise and Gerard O’Neill, both Runner-up.

This year the competition was very tight with judges commenting that the standard was getting tougher. In the BEng Technician Programme (Level 7), Andrew Cruise presented on “Micro CHP for Residental and Commercial Applications”. He delivered a convincing argument for CHP, offering details on  running costs for actual projects.

Second up saw Ger O’Neill take to the podium with “VAV & Displacement Ventilation Systems”. Ger explained and compared the two systems, detailing the pros and cons.

Finally, Seamus Murphy presented his project on “Applications of Geothermal Heat Pumps”. He explained the principal operation and benefits of a heat pump and different types of collectors.

The second part of the afternoon saw presentations from BEng (Hons) Programme (Level 8). First to present was Sean Flynn O’Connor on “Economic and Environmental Benefits of CHP Systems”. Sean detailed his findings and summarised his project.

Callum O’Toole then presented on “District Heating and its Feasibility in Ireland”. He offered actual site data from a live site to present his findings.

Last to present was David Keogh on “Cleanroom Technology & Design Analysis”. He displayed flowcharts on air movement within cleanrooms.

The awards were sponsored by CIBSE Ireland and presentations were again made by David Doherty, CIBSE Chairman. David Keogh was confirmed as winner by the judges.

CIBSE Membership Briefing Meeting

Gill Francis, CIBSE with Kevin Kelly, DIT and David Doherty, Chairman, CIBSE Ireland

Tom Keane, PM Group with Gill Francis, CIBSE and Kevin Kelly, DIT

CIBSE Ireland hosted a membership briefing at the Dean Hotel in Dublin recently at which Gillian Francis, CIBSE Senior Membership Officer, gave an informative presentation on grades available to candidates in CIBSE. She also detailed their options on achieving chartership through academic and experience routes.

Following the presentation the audience heard first hand from a recent MCIBSE candidate, Kevin Coleman, CIT, on his experience of gaining membership. In addition, two CIBSE interviewers – Tom Keane, PM Group and Kevin Kelly, DIT – gave a short address on what they look for from candidates at the interview stage.

The event concluded with a lively Q&A from the floor, followed by networking and informal questions over food and refreshments.

Experiences of a foreign DIT student in Ireland

Revathi Muthul

Revathi Muthul

That said, the confusion then was in choosing the country and college to attend. After a great deal of research about my various options I finally decided on Ireland and DIT. I was so keen on joining DIT that I just waited until I heard from them and did not apply anywhere else. Luckily I got accepted and registered myself in DIT, Kevin Street, in the energy management course.

Like a balloon, I flew to Ireland with lots of hope and looking forward to exploring a new place. The thought of meeting different people and experiencing a different culture also excited me. I arrived in Dublin on 14 September, 2014 and so started my new life. In the beginning it was a bit difficult to adjust to the difference in climate from 35°C in Chennai to 10°C in Dublin. This was my first time away from home and of course I was homesick. But soon I realised that this was my choice and this was all I wanted and I can’t be weak now. I got adjusted to everything in no time.

I was lucky in three things – college, friends and accommodation.

College                                                                                                                                                I started my classes the very next day after my arrival. My class numbered 22 and I was the youngest in my batch. I got to see peoples’ interest towards learning despite of their age. I saw the passion that each of them had for learning rather than simply to get a job. It inspired me a lot.

I selected many interesting modules  regarding renewables and the professors were friendly and helpful. The Students’ Union organised many interesting programmes and events. It took a while for me to adjust to the different education system and to my new environment. In this student life, apart from academics, it was a great opportunity to learn a new culture and traditions.

Friends                                                                                                                                                                            I remembered a famous quote by Mark Twain who said “Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life”. This itself conveys everything. Dublin gave me loads of international friends who can walk with me throughout my life.

Accommodation                                                                                                                                                    Finding accommodation in Dublin is a tough task. I found accommodation close to the city centre sharing with others from India. Though we are from the same country and different states by destiny, we got to know each other. We celebrate all Indian festivals and share our happiness.

Dublin life                                                                                                                                                           People in Dublin are kind-hearted, polite and helpful. Once I got lost on my way to college and asked an old man for help, not aware that he was also new to the city like me. But he made sure that he checked on the maps for my college and guided me. That was really kind of him. I like the way people treat and respect women. Like this, there are loads of memories that are close to my heart. I have been to other counties and I personally like life in the country rather than in the city. Sports impressed me and I found a liking for sports like hiking and other activities that I had never tried back home.

Dublin helped me to improve my skills and also to recognise my hidden talents. I am planning to learn a foreign language. The year passed very quickly and it was the time to get my results. Successfully, I graduated and my dream finally came true on 17 October, 2015. My graduation ceremony was the most awaited moment of my life. I dressed in traditional attire, which is a Sarie, and the only thing missing was my parents. But the best part of the day was that I had a job in hand while I was graduating.

Career                                                                                                                                                                             I was impressed by this host country and decided to seek work here. Finding a job in Dublin is a bit difficult as companies have to sponsor a visa for international students. But everything depends on the efforts you put in and your own luck. I got an opportunity to work on an interesting project for a leading electrical company. I wanted to visit my family before starting my work and planned it in such a way to fly back for a period of three weeks, the very next day after my graduation.

It was such an amazing feeling to go back to India after a year away, and with a masters degree. I am the first graduate to hold a masters degree in my whole family. I felt like I achieved something in life and received a warm welcome from my entire family and friends. The days at home passed just like that and I was pampered with full love and Mom’s food. Nothing is best in the world other than having food prepared by Mom. But now it’s time to fly back to Dublin and to have a new start.

Life in Dublin gave me loads of good memories to look back on and cherish. I took this opportunity to travel and explore the world without any commitment but also to study and learn new things. I recognised my independent nature of living all by myself in a new environment and adapt to diverse situations.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my parents, friends and teachers who helped me realise my success. I remember a saying in Sanskrit – “Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam” (Mom, Dad, teacher, God). Mom gives birth, Dad comes second as Mom knows that he is best, and teacher comes next to parents. I follow this and respect all three of them in my life. I convey my sincere gratitude to Mr Pat who gave me an opportunity to share my experience in Ireland with the building services community and finally thanks to Dublin for giving me wonderful moments.