Monday, 18 July 2011

New NUIG Engineering Building Opened by Taoiseach

I was invited by Dr Jim Browne President of NUIG (and Past President of Engineers Ireland) to attend the Official Opening of the new NUIG Engineering Building ( by Taoiseach Enda Kenny last Friday. NUIG's Engineering School is the largest in Ireland with 1,100 students and 110 staff, offering nine fully accredited undergraduates programmes in areas as diverse as civil and environmental engineering, computer and electronic engineering and biochemical engineering.

Pictured at the Official Opening of the new Engineering School in NUIG were Professor Padraic O'Donoghue Chairman of West Region Engineers Ireland, P J Rudden President of Engineers Ireland and Dr Jim Browne President of NUIG

Also present from Engineers Ireland ( at the Opening were Vice President John O'Dea who is based in Galway, Chairman of our Finance Committee Murt Coleman and Executive Board Members Professor Padraic O'Donoghue (Chairman of the West Region) Domhnall Blair and Kieran Feighan together with Engineers Ireland Registar Damien Owens and Director of Communications Fionnuala Kilbane. Past President John Killeen was also present.

Carmel Brennan President of Galway Chamber of Commerce, P J Rudden President of Engineers Ireland, Mayor of Galway Cllr Hildegarde Naughton and Dr Jim Browne President of NUIG

The Opening of the Building was a tremendous credit to President Jim Browne in particular, together with Padraic O'Donoghue Professor of Civil Engineering and Former Dean and the current Dean of Engineering and Informatics Professor Gerry Lyons.

In addition to the Taoiseach, I was also happy to meet the Mayor of Galway Cllr Hildegarde Naughton (, City Manager Joe O'Neill and President of Galway Chamber of Commerce ( Carmel Brennan at                                                                                            the Opening which was truly a major cause for celebration throughout Galway City. There were in excess of 350 people attending.

The new NUIG Engineering Building is truly an iconic curved structure designed to blend with the gentle curves of the River Corrib on whose banks it sits. The building has been designed to be a 'teaching tool' in itself with exposed construction techniques and an array of green building methods.

NUI Galway offers a degree in energy systems engineering and has a significant focus on research into environmental technologies. The engineering building itself contains a range of green technologies which will add to the 'hands on' experience of students. There is large scale rainwater harvesting, a biomass boiler, low- embodied energy materials, such as zinc, grass roofs for water attenuation, heat exchangers and many other cutting-edge technologies.

The structure is among the first in Ireland to employ the use of voided slab systems. The innovation introduces 'plastic bubbles' into the concrete reducing its weight and quantity of concrete used. Areas of the building such as the plant room will be accessible to showcase to students the industrial biomass boiler and combined heat and power unit at work.

All Irish engineers can be justly proud of this new national learning centre in NUIG, as Learning and Research Institutes are the future of Irish Engineering and the roots of future Job Creation.

That's why I've decided during my year as President of Engineers Ireland to visit a number of Research Institutes around Ireland like Tyndall Institute in Cork (, Marine Institute in Galway ( and many others in addition to also visiting various Infrastructural Projects in the Regions to highlight their role in Job Creation and in balanced regional development.

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic new facility and it is hoped that it will play a significant role in the economic development of Galway, the West Region and Ireland. Bringing all of the engineering disciplines together in the one building will help to promote innovation and is most welcome.