Sunday, 9 October 2011

CPD Company of the Year Awards

On Wednesday morning I hosted the presentation of the CPD Company of the Year Awards which is one of the highlights of the Engineers Ireland year. CPD is Continuing Professional Development which is the means by which people maintain and grow their knowledge and skills related to their professional lives.

Our Guest Keynote Speaker was Colin Cadas Specialist in Knowledge Management (KM) from Rolls Royce. His company branding speaks for itself. He was inspirational and gave logical expression to many our intuitive human KM techniques.

Pictured at the Presentation of the Engineers Ireland Public Sector
'Company of the Year 2011' to Cavan County Council
L-R: Ger Finn Director of Services to Cavan County Council,
John Power Director General Engineers Ireland, Jack Keyes Cavan County Manager,
PJ Rudden President Engineers Ireland, John Brannigan, Brendan Jennings
and Kevin Smith of Cavan County Council Staff
This year there were five awards to five very excellent companies all of whom have used CPD to drive increased national and company enterprise to create jobs and for many to expand into international markets:
  • Small-sized Company Award - Jennings & O'Donovan, Consulting Engineers, Sligo
  • Medium-sized Company Award - MCS Kenny, Marine Consultants, Galway
  • Large-sized Company Award - Farrans (Construction) Ltd Belfast
  • Public Sector Award - Cavan County Council
  • OVERALL WINNER - Openhydro Tidal Technology, Greenore Co Louth
Openhydro the overall winner is a truly remarkable company. Founded in 2005 they are a technology business that designs and manufactures marine turbines to generate renewable energy from tidal streams at the bed of the ocean. The electricity produced is completely renewable since it relies on tides that are created by the gravitational effect of the sun and the moon.

Openhydro Technology on surface

Openhydro Technology on seabed

Openhydro currently employ some 50 people in their R&D facility in Greenore County Louth and have announced plans for taking on 20 additional staff including project engineers and managers, manufacturing engineers as well as finite element and structural engineers. I will certainly be visiting their facility in Greenore as part of my national tour this year of research and infrastructure sites to see this example of 'growing Enterprise through Innovation'.

Openhydro won the award for using CPD to go from a start up R&D firm to becoming a global player in marine turbines that generate renewable energy from tidal streams.

Equally remarkable I thought was the achievement of Cavan County Council for winning the Public Sector Award for a very innovative application of CPD. Through a comprehensive CPD approach the Council ran a most successful Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in 2010 and 2011.

A town of 10,000 population was transformed into a tourism footfall of 250,000 visitors for the Fleadh week and brought an additional €35million to the local economy each year. Such was its success that Cavan has now won the privilege of staging it also in 2012 - that's a truly remarkable injection of €105 million into the Cavan economy over 3 years.
Session on the 'Rig' at Cavan Fleadh 2011
Courtesy of
Spearheading this achievement is Jack Keyes Chartered Engineer and Cavan County Manager supported by his engineering and administrative staff. Jack was in fact also Chairman of Cavan's Fleadh Executive Committee.
The CPD achievement was to marshall the technical and managerial resources of the Council through leadership and training to deal with the many logistic challenges that these national events bring to a small town. They include traffic management, parking, crowd control, water and waste management, street cleaning and overall environmental management.

Finally let me say that none of this marvellous CPD effort through Engineers Ireland nor the CPD Company of the Year would be possible without the inspirational leadership of Engineers Ireland CPD Director Aiden Harney supported by CPD staff members Dee Keogh, Ronan Kearns and Kelly Scott. Thanks also to Director General John Power who opened the event. Our Vice President John O'Dea who chaired the Panel Discussion with Patrick Duffy of Boston Scientific, Gerry Duane of Fingal County Council, Conor McCarthy of Jennings & O'Donovan and Kieran Kavanagh of MCS Kenny. Michael Hayden chaired the Judging Panel for the Awards. The entire event was kindly sponsored by Aveva.

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