This week’s Sector Spotlight focuses on events by the Geotechnical society, MEETA Asset Management society, North West region, Energy, Environment and Climate Action division, and North East region.

The Gjerdrum Norway quick clay slide of 30th December 2020 & Irish peat slides 2020 – some parallels

A devastating landslide in quick clay struck the community of Gjerdrum in Southern Norway at 4am on the 30th December 2020, leaving 10 people dead. After some “quiet” years with respect to landslides in peat there were several significant slides in Ireland in 2020, namely at Drumkerrin, Co. Leitrim Meenbog, Co. Donegal and Mount Eagle Co. Kerry. This lecture hosted by the Geotechnical society examined recent landslides - how they happened and how to reduce the risk of future slides. The purpose of this talk by Dr Mike Long (UCD) was to describe the events and the unusual “non-textbook” geomaterials which are at play. The talk drew links between the events in terms of the nature of the failures, the triggering mechanisms, the use of modern exploration tools to characterise the materials and to the application of geophysics to study the slides and mitigate against the risk of future slides.

Reliability and Maintenance in a Digital World

As Manufacturing Plants cope with rising complexity, increased costs and regulation, more manufacturers are looking to ‘Industry 4.0’ as a solution. In this webinar by the MEETA Asset Management Society, Gary Ingram (Sales Manager UK & Ireland, Reliability & Plantweb Solutions at Emerson) discussed how industrial wireless technologies can enable more efficient maintenance practices. Wireless Technology is not only the enabler on which Digital Plants are built, but from the ground up permits increased visibility of asset health, a mobile workforce in a ‘Working from Home’ world, safety mustering and location awareness of site personnel. Watch this webinar to learn more about wireless technology and how it can help you achieve your maintenance and reliability goals.

Brexit Lecture Series: The Impact of Brexit and the Pandemic on Engineering in the North West

Brexit and the pandemic are having such a widespread impact on how we do business and go about our daily lives that it is impossible to ignore. The purpose of this webinar by the North West Region was to explore the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on the North West. A panel of speakers provided perspectives on the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on engineering industry, on how business is done with Europe, changes needed to engineering education, and the opportunities presented to the North West. The MC for the event was Dr Brendan McCormack, President of IT Sligo. The panel featured: Maurice Buckley (Chairman of the OPW and President of Engineers Ireland), Dr Chris O’Malley (Vice President of Research, Innovation and Engagement at IT Sligo) and Brendan Dolan (Isopod, Sligo).

Transmission to Enable Decarbonisation

The Energy, Environment and Climate Action division hosted John Fitzgerald, CEO of Supernode Ltd, on transmission to enable decarbonisation. John discussed SuperNode and their mission to update network infrastructure for the enhanced electricity age. They are working on technology to enable the transportation of Renewable Energy from source to market and ultimately to connect markets in a way that enables an economic transition to carbon neutrality. SuperNode is developing more efficient Superconducting Cable Systems to enable higher level, bulk power transfer and novel implementation scenarios.

The Sustainability Grand Tour: Sustainable Living

This talk by the North East region examined sustainable living through sustainable heating and transportation. Anthony Walsh, Manager Future Network Development in ESBN Asset Management, discussed the development of the distribution network for the electrification of heat and transport, including the reinforcement of the distribution network for coping with EVs and HPs, touching on new transformer designs in the North East region. Eamon Dillane then discussed his own 4kW Peak Solar PV installation with its merits. He detailed his journey to date from a 2015 24kwhr Nissan Leaf to a New 64 Kwhr Hyundai Kona in 2019 and onto his current car the 2015 90Kwhr Tesla Model S. He outlines the limits for homeowners’ microgeneration at 6kW Max, with future network concerns over voltage rise, harmonics and transformer capacities to accept Solar export back onto the HT network from clusters of houses in estates for example with solar PV.

Coming up in Sector events this week:

  • Monday, 19 April at 6.30pm: ‘Pearse Station Roof Replacement Project’ by the Civil division in association with the Structures and Construction division and Heritage society, register here
  • Tuesday, 20 April at 1pm:Design and Construction of Bohill River Bridge (N22 Road Project)’ by the Cork region in association with An Ríocht, register here
  • Tuesday, 20 April at 6.30pm:Efficient Pump Design, System & Technologies’ by the Mechanical and Manufacturing division, register here
  • Wednesday, 21 April at 5pm:South East region webinar series 2020/21: Housing Delivery Coordination Office - Assisting in Delivering Social & Affordable Housing’ by the Local Government division, register here
  • Wednesday, 21 April at 7pm:The Sustainability Grand Tour: Fast Tracking the Race to Zero Emissions in the Maritime Sector’ by the Northern region, register here
  • Thursday, 22 April at 1pm:Water Management as a land use issue - applying the Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) concept towards reinstating functional ecosystems for water management’ by the Civil Division, register here
  • Thursday, 22 April at 7pm:Elastomer Asset Management - Soft Parts Reliability for cGMP Compliant Manufacturing’ by the MEETA Asset Management society, register here

The Sector Spotlight series showcases and celebrates the events of our Regions, Divisions and Societies. This community facilitates networking and connectivity, encourages continuing professional development and the exchange of knowledge and expertise, and informs public policy. You can join these communities and groups by logging into your member dashboard here.