2019 Special Commemoration Year for Chartered Engineers and Engineers Ireland

2019 Special Commemoration Year for Chartered Engineers and Engineers Ireland

09 January 2019 at 18:32
 
  • Inauguration of the Chartered Engineer Commemoration Year
  • New book ‘Called to Serve Two’ compiled by Dr Ronald Cox
 The establishment in Ireland 50 years ago this year, of the professional title of Chartered Engineer, considered to be the gold standard of the profession, was celebrated this evening by Engineers Ireland, the professional membership body for engineers across the island of Ireland.  
 
The passing of an Act of the Oireachtas in 1969 provided for the establishment of this registered professional title which is internationally recognised and, under Irish Law, certain engineering work is reserved for Chartered Engineers*. Within the Republic of Ireland, Engineers Ireland is the sole authority to award the title.  
 
In addition to the establishment of the title of Chartered Engineer, the Act of the Oireachtas in 1969 also provided for the merger of two engineering bodies, Cumann na nInnealtóirí (The Engineers Association) and the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland (ICEI), into one more wide-ranging organisation, to represent the engineering profession in Ireland titled The Institution of Engineers of Ireland or Cumann na nInnealtóirí – now trading as Engineers Ireland.
 
logo.jpg
At the event in its offices in Dublin, the organisation also celebrated the publication of Called to Serve Two, which captures the annual addresses made by Engineers Ireland’s Presidents from 1969 to 2018.  Its author is the engineering historian, Dr Ronald Cox, Fellow of Engineers Ireland, Chairman of its Heritage Society and former Dean of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin.
 
Formally inaugurating the Chartered Engineer Commemoration Year and welcoming the publication of Called to Serve Two, which is sponsored by ESB, Peter Quinn, President of Engineers Ireland, said: “2019 is an exciting year for Engineers Ireland and marks the establishment of our Chartered Engineer title 50 years ago. Beyond the specific statutory functions reserved for Chartered Engineers, achieving this registered professional title is a public statement of an engineer’s competence to practice as a professional. It is a seal of approval by their peers that they have developed an ability beyond that achieved during their academic years to that of a professional practitioner. 
 
“It is also a mark of an engineer’s commitment to the continuing development of their professional expertise and ethical practice. Why is this important? Because, regardless of whether an engineer is writing code, developing a medical device, designing a wind farm interconnector or teaching our next generation of engineers, as a Chartered Engineer, they are reassuring the public of their respect and consideration for our society, its safety and security. The public no longer desire this reassurance, they demand it. Achieving the registered professional title of Chartered Engineer is therefore an important goal in any professional engineer’s career.”
 
Engineers Ireland recently agreed the Access Pathways Agreement (APA) with the Engineering Council, the registration body for engineers in the UK, to ensure the continued recognition of Professional Titles held by registered engineers post-Brexit.  The two statutory bodies for engineers have agreed to recognise one another’s professional engineering titles awarded by professional engineering organisations both in Ireland and in the UK.
 
Congratulating Dr Cox on the publication of Called to Serve Two, the follow up to Called to Serve, 2014, Peter Quinn added: “I wish to congratulate Dr Ronald Cox on his significant, new historical publication Called to Serve Two, which is a wide-ranging and thorough study of each address made by the Presidents of Engineers Ireland from the time of unification or bringing together of the profession in Ireland in 1969 up to 2018.  Abstracts from the addresses are preceded by a continuation of the brief history of the organisation in order to provide a framework within which the addresses may be considered. A major portion of the book is devoted to biographical sketches of each of the Presidents – from Jock Harbison in 1969 to the present day.  Based extensively on original sources, I thank Dr Cox for the time and care he has put in to this project, for his dedication to documenting the thoughts, concerns, reflections and ideas of each of our Presidents during that period. This is an important publication for engineers in Ireland and a wonderful addition to Dr Cox’s invaluable canon of work in this area.”
 
SON1941_0095-(1).jpg
Pictured: Pat O’Doherty, ESB CEO, Dr. Ron Cox, author of Called to Serve Two, Engineers Ireland President, Peter Quinn and Brendan Delaney, ESB Archives and Heritage Manager pictured at the 50th Anniversary Commemoration Event and Launch of Called to Serve Two.

Speaking about Called to Serve Two, its author, Dr Ronald Cox, said: “Although members of the engineering profession are generally concerned with solving present-day problems and new developments, the recording and understanding of our engineering heritage has time and again proved invaluable when considering solutions to engineering problems inherited from the past.
 
“Past Presidents of Engineers Ireland have interpreted their role in a variety of ways, including chairing meetings of the Council and Executive, presiding at the presentation of technical papers, and representing the Institution and the engineering profession, both nationally and internationally. Each President has addressed the membership in their own individual style, often drawing on the experiences gained during their respective careers,” Dr Cox added.
 
Dr Cox also thanked the ESB for sponsoring the publication of both volumes, which contain the biographies and presidential addresses of a number of distinguished engineers who contributed significantly to the achievements of the ESB over many years.'
 
To download a copy of Called to Serve Two, please click here.
To view Dr Ron Cox's presentation, please click here.
To read Peter Quinn's speech from the event, please click here
 
Editor’s Notes
 
*In relation to specific work reserved for Chartered Engineers, Under the Building Control Act 2007, Chartered Engineers are recognised as one of only three professional groups empowered to act as assigned certifiers.  Therefore, the integrity and experience of Chartered Engineers as certifiers is integral to this process.  Chartered Engineers also have specific powers in relation to Fire and Safety Certification and the construction of Childcare Facilities and Nursing Homes. 
 
In 2005, the Institution of the Engineers of Ireland was re-named Engineers Ireland. Its full legal title remains The Institution of Engineers of Ireland and in the Irish language, Cumann na nInnealtóirí.
 
Engineers Ireland has over 25,000 members and represents all disciplines of the engineering profession. Its membership is based in the Republic of Ireland, but the organisation also has Regional branches in Northern Ireland, GB and in Australia/New Zealand.
 
The registered professional title of Chartered Engineer is recognised internationally as the title to be used by professional engineers who are members of Engineers Ireland.  It has the same status as the professional engineering titles used in other countries. For example, in the US and Canada the title Professional Engineer (PE) is used, in Japan the title is Registered Engineer (RE), in Australia and New Zealand the title is Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng), while the UK uses the title as in Ireland which is CEng.
 
Dr Ronald Cox is an Engineering Historian and is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. He was formerly a Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering and one-time Dean of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin.
 
He is a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of Engineers Ireland, a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering, and a Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Recent books include Ireland’s Bridges (2003), Engineering Ireland (2006), Ireland’s Civil Engineering Heritage (2013) and Called to Serve (2014).
 
The passing of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland (Charter Amendment) Act in May 1969 provided for the formation of a new body to represent the engineering profession in Ireland, namely the Institution of Engineers of Ireland (IEI), now Engineers Ireland. As well as widening the range of activities, the Act embraced most areas of specialisation in engineering and provided an umbrella and platform for the development of these various specialisms and combined the aims and objectives of both Cumann na nInnealtóirí (The Engineers Association) and the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland (ICEI), resulting in the unification of the engineering profession in Ireland.
 
The Act also authorised the use of the title Chartered Engineer, confined to a category of engineers who satisfy the Council of their professional competence and experience, or who are authorised so to describe themselves by a professional body recognised by the Council.
 
The 2019 50th anniversary commemoration year will be referenced and highlighted in all of Engineers Ireland 2019 corporate activity i.e. Annual Ball on 18 January, Engineers Week in March, four Regional Fora, May AGM, Presidential Address by Ms Marguerite Sayers and our Excellence Awards 2019, with its Chartered Engineer of the Year category. 
 
John Henry (‘Jock’) Harbison (1921-1975) is regarded as having made the greatest contribution of all to the unification of the Irish engineering profession. He was one of its main driving forces and it was entirely fitting that he should become the first President of The Institution of Engineers of Ireland in November 1969.
In his presidential address, Harbison stated that the Institution was as vigorous as ever before and keenly desirous of being a meaningful element of the social fabric of ‘this small and hopeful community’.