Director General

Role of the Director General

The Director General of Engineers Ireland has overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the institution. The Director General takes forward the operational work of the institution in line with the Bye-laws, legislative requirements, and according to the strategic objectives, annual business plan, policies and procedures. In addition to ensuring that all decisions and policies of Council and Executive Board are implemented the Director General ensures that sufficient resources are in place to support the work of the institutions’ Boards and Committees.

Duties and responsibilities


  • Implement Council and Executive Board approved decisions and policies.
  • Develop and present the strategic plan and annual business plans for Executive Board review and Council approval.
  • Ensure that policy development and implementation are properly executed by the management team, with clear, impartial and well-founded advice and recommendations being offered to Council and Executive as required.
  • Ensure that a comprehensive risk management framework is in place to facilitate the identification, measurement and mitigation of risks to Engineers Ireland.
  • Organise induction training and other appropriate learning and development opportunities for Council, and Executive Board members. Manage the Council evaluation process.
  • The DG also performs specific responsibilities set out in Bye-laws, including but not limited to:
    • a. Secretary to Council and Council Recorder
    • b. Secretary to the Ethics and Disciplinary Board
    • c. Responsible for the Roll of Members and the Register of Chartered Engineers.


Lead the day-to-day management of the institution;

  • Ensure the work of the institution reflects the views of the members and represents the collective interest of the profession;
  • Address members at key Engineers Ireland events;
  • Act as advocate for the institution and its policies.

The President and Officer Group

  • Support the President during his/her term of office.
  • Maintain regular contact with the President, working in partnership with him/her to ensure the effective conduct of business.
  • Alert the President and/or Council and Executive Board of any forthcoming complex, contentious or sensitive issues arising of which they may not otherwise be aware.
  • Provide specific support to the Remuneration, Development and Nomination Committee (RDNC).


  • Manage the resources of Engineers Ireland efficiently and effectively in accordance with the Bye Laws and national legislation to achieve the objectives of the institution.
  • Report to the Executive Board and Council on progress against the strategic and annual business plans. Typically reporting against the annual business plan, budget and performance metrics to the Executive Board on a quarterly basis.

The Directors and Staff

  • Take a leadership role in developing the institution’s culture ensuring there is alignment between strategy and culture and structure and processes.
  • Lead the Senior Management Team that comprises the Directors and Senior Managers who are accountable to the DG. Chair Senior Management Team meetings.
  • Support a culture of quality, performance and member centricity among the staff of the institution.

External Relationships

Represent Engineers Ireland on various external groups and at stakeholder engagements including meetings with Government Departments, Oireachtas Committee meetings and meetings with other bodies.
Engage with the media on the institution’s behalf as appropriate and in accordance with Engineers Ireland’s Media Policies.

Damien Owens


Damien Owens is the Director General of Engineers Ireland.

An electronic engineer, Damien joined Engineers Ireland in 2010, serving as its Registrar and Chief Risk Officer. Key aspects of the position included the setting and maintaining of academic and professional standards for the engineering profession, including implementing an active accreditation process for engineering programmes delivered in Ireland to ensure adherence to the best international standards.

Damien has represented Engineers Ireland in both national and international matters and was elected president of the European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE) for the 2019-2022 terms and chair of the International Engineering Alliance for 2019-2022 – both organisations set standards for engineering education and mobility across the globe. He is a former member of the Accreditation Board of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, a board member of the European Society for Engineering Education, QQI Policies and Standards Committee and a member of the Medical Devices Committee of Ireland’s National Office for Research Ethics Committees.  

Prior to joining Engineers Ireland in 2010, Damien worked in the telecommunications sector focusing on product development and strategic alliances. He worked with Amdahl Computers and Eircom in a wide variety of roles. He was active on a number of national and international standards bodies including ITU and ETCI and currently participates in a number of national consultative groups.

A native of Dublin, Damien graduated as an Electronic Engineer from Trinity College Dublin in 1983 and later secured a Higher Diploma in Computer Modelling and Simulation, a Masters in Engineering and an MBA. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland.