PJ Rudden opens 2012 Engineers Ireland Annual Conference in Belfast in April 2012
At the end of May, PJ Rudden, Group Business Director for RPS in Ireland, completed his year as President of Engineers Ireland. He is succeeded by Michael Phillips, who is the Dublin City Engineer and Director of Transportation for Dublin City Council. This marked the end of a busy, but very rewarding year of national and international events.
Engineers Ireland is the representative body for engineers in Ireland with over 24,000 members across industry, the public service, semi-state organisations and academic institutions.
During his time as President, PJ met Ministers of Government and senior officials and discussed policy issues in transport, energy, water, environment, education, agriculture and marine. He also visited many infrastructural projects, third level colleges and research institutes. He was hosted in Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Headquarters, Great George Street, London by President of the ICE, Richard Coackley, Director of Energy and Environment WYG, and Vice President Alan Stilwell, who is Director of Integrated Transport at Merseyside Transport Authority. He was given a Civic Welcome by various Elected County Councils as he visited the regional cities and towns.
In his last month as President, PJ opened the 2012 Engineers Ireland Annual Conference in Belfast, which was titled Engineering Enterprise in Times of Change. He welcomed guest speakers Alex Atwood, MLA, Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Eddie O’Connor, CEO Mainstream, John Barry, MD Bord Gáis, Dermot Byrne, CEO EirGrid and Bob Hanna, Chief Technical Adviser at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
Speaking about “Developing and Harnessing Creativity’ PJ said that engineers have an enormous opportunity in stressed economies to prove their value as innovators and creators, “Being innovative requires economies to do things that have simply not been done before. Keeping doing the same things won’t work. To succeed economies have to be creative and to innovate to remain competitive technically and financially. In industrialised society people expect originality, ingenuity and novelty from new or improved products and services. This presents the engineer with a challenge and even an opportunity to prove the added value of creativity and innovation.”
With World Congress on Water, Climate & Energy Chairman, Ray Earle in May 2012
On May 14th, PJ opened the World Congress on Water Climate and Energy in the Dublin Convention Centre, together with Irish MEP Mairéad McGuinness and Dr. Glen Daigger, President of the International Water Association (IWA). The conference ran for four days and was attended by 1,200 delegates from all over the world. He used the opportunity to update the Congress on the new Irish Government initiative on Irish Water and to set this development in the context of European Water Policy generally, looking forward to the new EU Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources due to be published by the end of 2012.
Speaking about Engineers Ireland’s support for the new water utility model, PJ said “While there is some political opposition to this proposal I want to say here that Engineers Ireland fully support the Government’s action, including the introduction of water charges on domestic dwellings. This not only makes economic sense - it also makes good environmental sense in terms of the “polluter pays” principle as an incentive to conserve the finite resource that is water. Householders currently pay for every other utility like electricity, gas and communications, so why not also for water on a ‘pay by use’ system. It should not however have taken an economic crisis in Ireland for us to come to our senses in this regard.”
In addition to the many meetings and events on a weekly basis, the President is also Chairman of the Council (44 man body representing all sectors and regions, which sets strategy and policy for the organisation) and Chairman of the Executive Board (14 man body, responsible for operational direction of Engineers Ireland). This year PJ led the radical overhaul of the Corporate Strategy Plan and Institution Byelaws as part of ‘change management’ to make the organisation fit for purpose towards the challenges of rebuilding national recovery. He also embarked on the first ever TV marketing campaign for Chartered Engineer with much success.
For further information on PJ Rudden’s activities throughout his year as President of Engineers Ireland, visit his blog: http://apresidentsblogbypjrudden.blogspot.com
Meeting Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and UCD President Dr. Hugh Brady at Government Buildings in July 2011
Launching National Compost Standard with Environment Minister Phil Hogan TD and CEO of the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) Maurice Buckley in September 2011
Launching the State of Ireland Report with Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources and John Power, Director General Engineers Ireland in February 2012
At reception to announce Dublin’s shortlisting as World Design Capital, together with Dublin City Manager Dr. John Tierney and President of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland Paul Keogh in June 2011
At Annual Conference Belfast with Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Alex Atwood MLA in April 2012
Meeting Transport, Tourism & Sport Minister Leo Varadkar TD at the official opening of the Mizen Head Bridge, with Cork County Manager, Martin Riordan (partly hidden) and Cork County Engineer Noel O’Keeffe
Meeting Agriculture, Food & Marine Minister, Simon Coveney TD at RPS Stand at the National Food & Agribusiness Summit in May 2012
Celebrating 10 years of CPD in Dublin City Council with Michael Phillips, City Engineer and current President of Engineers Ireland, John Power, Director General Engineers Ireland, Dublin Lord Mayor Cllr. Andrew Montague, Education & Skills Minister Ruairí Quinn TD and Tom Leahy, Executive Manager Engineering for Dublin City Council in September 2011
At opening of new University Engineering Building in NUI Galway, with President of Galway Chamber of Commerce Carmel Brennan, Mayor of Galway Cllr. Hildegarde Naughton and President of NUI Galway Dr. Jim Browne in July 2011
At Conferring Ceremony for new Chartered Engineers in the Cork Region in April 2012
With Don Keigher, Chairman of the GB Region of Engineers Ireland and Richard Coackley, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) following the Presidential Address to the Great Britain (GB) Region at ICE London in February 2012