Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Calling all Environmental Scientists

Engineers Ireland knows that we cannot rebuild a national recovery or even engineer a new Ireland on our own. While international companies exporting computing, medical and pharma products account for much of our current growth these enterprises employ a lot of different professions.

While there are many engineers involved in the design and manufacture of products and services there are also many other professionals contributing also to this great endeavour. The same is true of infrastructural projects in the Transport, Energy, Water, Food, Process and Environmental sectors where Engineers work closely with Scientists, Geologists, Statisticians etc.

That is why Engineers Ireland decided to open up our membership in recent years to 'cognate professions'. These are professions akin to engineering whose graduates are working 'in an engineering role' i.e. working on engineering projects or services. For instance, there are many environmental scientists working in engineering firms on Environmental Impact Assessments and Strategic Environmental Assessments.

These cognate professionals many with level 8 (BSc Hons) and 9 (MSc) qualifications can now become Members of Engineers Ireland (MIEI). If after suitable professional experience in an engineering role, they can then graduate to the title of Chartered Engineer (CEng MIEI) and when they become eminent in their field can apply for Fellowship of Engineers Ireland (CEng FIEI).

Last year my predecessor as President Martin Lowery conferred a Fellowship by Presidential Invitation on Elizabeth Arnett a Senior Environmental Scientist. Elizabeth qualified with a BAgrSc and MAgrSc by research from UCD, then worked as Green Schools Officer with An Taisce before joining MCOS as an Environmental Scientist in the late 1990s.

Martin Lowery President of Engineers Ireland, New Chartered Engineer and
Fellow of Engineers Ireland Elizabeth Arnett MSc and John Power Director
General Engineers Ireland at the Conferring of Titles in May 2011.

She subsequently developed her own brand of Stakeholder Engagement on sensitive infrastructural projects. That business then grew into an integrated Project Communications team employing environmental and social scientists, engineers, communications scientists and media consultants.

Elizabeth is now Director of Project Communications with RPS in Dublin leading communications on many national engineering projects. She has frequently been interviewed on national media shows such as Morning Ireland, The Right Hook, The Last Word and Prime Time.

Elizabeth as a scientist is not unique in gaining membership of Engineers Ireland. But she is a role model to demonstrate that Engineers Ireland membership at all levels is now open to other allied professions. I personally know a number of geologists who have also become members and apart from scientists I also know a forestry graduate engaged in GIS for engineering projects who has achieved MIEI in recent months.

So I'm calling on all those professions who work closely with us on engineering projects to consider membership of Engineers Ireland. Application forms are available on our website at

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