Tag Archives: DIT

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.

SDAR Awards 2016 – Now Open for Submissions

SDAR Awards 2016 outlined logoShort abstracts (between 100/200 words max) for entry into the SDAR* Awards 2016 must be submitted by Monday, 14 December 2015, by email directly to Michael McDonald and/or Kevin Kelly of DIT at michael.mcdonald@dit.ie and kevin.kelly@dit.ie

The SDAR* Awards is a joint initiative between CIBSE Ireland and DIT, supported by Building Services News, and sponsored by John Sisk & Son. The awards are unique in that they are intended to disseminate knowledge, encourage research in sustainable design of the built environment and raise the quality of innovation and evaluation of such projects. Entries are required to critically evaluate real life data, and examine both successes and challenges within leading-edge projects throughout Ireland or further afield. This competition is open to architects, engineers and all professionals involved in construction projects.

Now more than ever as positive signs ripple through the built environment, this unique synergy between industry and academia allows greater potential for integration of modern low-carbon technologies and low-energy design methodologies.

The SDAR* Awards competition is intended to create a platform for the growth of applied research in the expanding green economy. Post occupancy evaluations and similar critical appraisal of low-energy projects facilitates the transition from ideologically-driven innovations, sometimes offering poor value, to evidence-based applied research that proves value or identifies weaknesses that the industry can learn from. These successes and failures help inform the professional community across all the building industry disciplines.

From the abstracts submitted by the Monday, 14 December 2015 deadline, a shortlist will be selected by peer review, and those selected will be invited to prepare final papers by 1 February 2016.

Candidates that present at the awards also have a chance of publishing their papers in the SDAR* Journalarrow.dit.ie/sdar/

Next year’s final will take place in March 2016 in DIT, Kevin Street.

For further information contact: michael.mcdonald@dit.ie or kevin.kelly@dit.ie

Doherty elected CIBSE Ireland Chairman

David Doherty, newly-elected Chairman CIBSE Ireland being congratulated by outgoing chairman Sean Dowd.

David Doherty, newly-elected Chairman CIBSE Ireland being congratulated by outgoing chairman Sean Dowd.

David Doherty, previously Vice-Chair, was unanimously elected Chairman of CIBSE Ireland at the recent annual general meeting in Dublin. In his outgoing address former Chairman Sean Dowd reported on the many successes of the last 12 months, and in particular on the emergence of CIBSE YEN as an active representative force for young engineers within the Institute.

As Sean’s “shadow” over the last 12 months David has been actively involved in all events and activities. He now intends to develop and build on recent achievements to further strengthen the membership, and authority, of CIBSE Ireland within the building services sector.

The CIBSE YEN technical evening and BBQ at the end of May signals the start of summer, the end of the CIBSE Ireland programme, and always attracts a great attendance.

This year was no different with the business end of the evening commencing with a number of lectures and discussion in DIT Kevin St before everyone adjourned to the famous (infamous?) Dicey Reilly’s in Harcourt St for burgers, pints, chat and craic.

Engineers young and old mingled together until late into the evening before the sensible “oldies” made their excuses and left, while those without sense tried to recapture lost youth and paid for it the next day!

Excellent Presentations at SDAR Awards Final

21. Dr. Mick McKeever (DIT, SDAR Winner), Padraic O'Connor (SISK, Sponsor)

SDAR Award Overall Winner Dr Mick McKeever, DIT, receiving his award from Padraic O’Connor, SISK,  the  SDAR Awards sponsor

Two of the presentations came from graduates of the DIT BSc Electrical Services and Energy Management programme. Stuart Dunne’s presentation covered energy management protocols he developed for the Mater Hospital while Aidan Byrne discussed his role in the certification of the Aviva Stadium to ISO 50001. Both completed these projects as undergraduate students.

Stuart’s work resulted in a saving of €115,800pa for the Mater Hospital, whereas Aidan’s work led to the Aviva being the first sports stadium globally to be accredited to the ISO 50001 standard. Aidan’s work is already published in both the SDAR Journal (arrow.dit.ie/sdar/) and the CIBSE Journal (portfolio.cpl.co.uk/CIBSE/201503/aviva-stadium/).

DIT’s Dr Mick McKeever (also of Dragon’s Den fame) presented pioneering work in energy entrepreneurship. His paper considered how to build market sentiment for his “Phase Change Material Thermal Energy Storage Tank/Micro-CHP” project (including recently-patented technology) and how it achieves a factor 6.5 times more heat energy storage capacity when compared to a standard water thermal energy system.

Conor McManus, an MPhil candidate in the School of Construction Department of Construction Management, presented thought-provoking arguments on construction philosophies. He asked if the focus on reducing operational energy usage through technology is failing to consider national eco-systems and broader sustainable development goals.

Another example of energy entrepreneurship was presented by DIT lecturer Dr Niall Holmes. His work concerns a novel approach to sustain the integrity of steel concrete reinforcement through an innovative cement-based battery system to power cathodic protection in reinforced concrete structures.
The judges for the competition included Brian Geraghty, BGA and CIBSE; Paul Martin, SEAI and CIBSE; and Kevin Gaughan, DIT School of Multi Disciplinary Technologies (formerly of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering).

The standard of paper/presentation was excellent but there can still be only one winner. On this occasion Dr McKeever’s work was chosen. He was presented with his prize of €1000 by SISK Buildings Services Department Manager, Mr Padraic O’Connor, who is the main sponsor of the SDAR Awards.

All the other participants were awarded €250 runner-up prizes and certificates of participation.

SDAR Journal 2014 — latest edition of Ireland’s only dedicated building services research journal now available


Pat Lehane, Publisher & Editor,Buiding Services News with Dr Kevin kelly, Editor, SDAR Journal 2014 and Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive Officer, SEAI

Pat Lehane, Publisher & Editor, Building Services News with Dr Kevin Kelly, Editor, SDAR Journal 2014 and Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive Officer, SEAI

The latest edition of Ireland’s only dedicated building services research journal — SDAR Journal 2014 — was formerly introduced by Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive, SEAI at a ceremony held in DIT Bolton St recently.

The journal’s objective is to foster innovative practice in low-energy design of the built environment, and to encourage applied research among professional practitioners and new researchers in academia. The papers published are intended to inform design practice in construction and to assist innovative engineers striving towards optimisation of building integrated renewable technologies.

CIBSE and DIT came together four years ago to jointly publish this journal. The intention then was to disseminate insightful findings to the professional community involved in the built environment. This is still the case. The reader is taken to be a sceptic who will be convinced by evidence, not green bling on buildings, or unproven designs.

While the publishers want to hear what works well, they are conscious of the fact that the professional community can also be informed by what went wrong. Therefore they encourage critical reflection and objective evaluation of real-world projects. Post-occupancy evaluation of innovations that support more sustainable and energy-efficient practice leads to mainstreaming of good-quality, leading-edge projects.

The building services sector is data rich but sometimes time poor. SDAR Journal encourages and supports in practical terms synergies with academia. Academics are eager to support this applied research process and will provide time on task in exchange for access to useful data.

Would-be contributors are encouraged to submit abstracts for the annual SDAR Awards and Irish Lighter competitions. Both competitions are effectively feeders for this journal. The publishers particularly encourage novice researchers and industry professionals to submit short abstracts of their work, either to the above competitions or directly to the Editor.

Contact: kevin.kelly@dit.ie

DIT Advanced Plumbing and Heating Course

Professor Brian Norton, DIT Preisdent, with successful graduates of the Advanced Plumbing and Heating Technology Programme DT151a.

Professor Brian Norton, DIT Preisdent, with successful graduates of the Advanced Plumbing and Heating Technology
Programme DT151a.

Students who attended the Dublin Institute of Technology Advanced Plumbing and Heating Technology Programme DT151a were presented with their certificates at the DIT graduation ceremony which was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in November.

This is a two-year part-time Level 6 Higher Certificate programme run in the Bolton St Campus. The programme is available to qualified craftspersons who wish to advance to higher levels within the industry. It is designed to enhance and develop existing skills and to provide, within a modular framework, a sound understanding of the technology and techniques employed in today’s plumbing and heating industry.

The main emphasis of the programme relates to system design and plant selection, management, employment and communication techniques. The range of modules on offer gives graduates the capacity and confidence to face the challenges that are likely to confront them in the workplace.

This includes a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of mechanical building services principles, techniques and methods, combined with a high level of management competence in communicating, planning, organising, controlling, motivating and forecasting. Graduates may also seek progression to management and supervisory level within the mechanical services industry.

Anyone interested in participating on the programme should contact Michael Gleeson, Programme Chair DT151a, at email: michaelj.gleeson@dit.ie