Chartered Engineer of the Year

The professional title of chartered engineer, considered to be the gold standard of our profession, was established in Ireland over 50 years ago. Chartered Engineers are leaders in their industry. They are ethical practitioners who maintain the highest level of competence and professional integrity. They develop new technology and use innovative methods to solve complex problems.

Within the Republic of Ireland, Engineers Ireland is the sole authority to award the title, which is granted to professional engineers who, through a rigorous review process, have shown their ability to apply their professional competencies in the workplace. 

The Chartered Engineer title attained through Engineers Ireland is an accolade associated with the very best of the engineering profession. It is an important and valuable milestone in the career of any engineer.

In 2020, six chartered engineers were shortlisted for our Chartered Engineer of the Year Award, supported by Arup. The winner was Donal Kelly, CEng MIEI, and congratulations to him. Planning is in place to award the 2021 honour this year.

Find out more about those shortlisted in 2020:

Patrick Calnan, Chartered Engineer

Project Title: Decarbonising the power grid - the economic and engineering opportunity

Patrick is Portfolio and Risk Manager for Brookfield Renewable UK and Ireland assets, responsible for maximising revenues for existing assets and the development of new assets through commercial contracts negotiations.

He joined Brookfield Renewable in 2014 through Brookfield’s acquisition of Bord Gáis Energy’s onshore wind assets; Brookfield’s first renewable acquisition in Europe. Patrick worked to establish Brookfield’s European renewable platform, notably in setting up its Trading, Risk and Analytics functions.

Prior to Brookfield he worked in Bord Gáis as its Lead Analyst for its Trading business with focus on the interactions of the Whitegate Power Station in the market.

He has worked as a Project Manager for SWS Energy (acquired by Bord Gáis in 2010) and a Project Engineer for Punch Consulting.

Patrick graduated from UCC with a B. Eng (Civil) and a M Eng Sc (via research on power system economics) and has Pg. Dip (Renewable Energy) from the University of Ulster.

Rachael Gannon, Chartered Engineer

Project Title - Digital Transformation in Civil Engineering

Rachael is a Digital Consultant in Accenture in Ireland. She has 7 years’ experience in project delivery. Since joining Accenture in February 2020, she has worked on the implementation and delivery of Adobe Experience Manager CMS platform. She has a deep understanding of stakeholder management and project delivery. 

She joined Accenture in 2020 from Arup Consulting Engineers where her role was Digital Coordinator, Senior Engineer and Project Manager in the Infrastructure and Advisory Group. Her previous roles were with AECOM (formerly URS Ireland) and Ryan Hanley.

Rachael is a Chartered Engineer (CEng MIEI) and a NUI Galway civil engineering graduate (First Class Honours). Rachael also received a first-class honours in a Level 8 NFQ higher diploma in science in computing (Software Development, DBS 2018) which she completed part time. 

Rachael has a keen interest in community engagement and volunteering. She has volunteered both in Ireland and abroad. Rachael is passionate about encouraging STEM in the younger generation and our alignment to the UN SDGs.

Donal Kelly, Chartered Engineer

Project Title: Tunnelling at the Bank Station Upgrade

Donal Kelly is a Civil Engineer specialising in tunnelling and project management. After graduating with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering in 2008 from NUI Galway, in his native county, he worked in Dublin for a year before moving to London.

Initially gaining experience as a site engineer on tunnelling projects, Donal rapidly progressed into management positions. Notable projects Donal has worked  on include the Crossrail Stepney Green Caverns, which at 17m wide were the largest soft- ground caverns in Europe, and he led the construction of the technically challenging Crossrail C305 Cross Passages.

Since 2017, Donal has worked as the Tunnel Manager on the £654m Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Project, responsible for the delivery of 1.3km of complex tunnelling works which are weaved around the existing 100-year-old  operational station.

Both as an engineer and project manager, he has built a reputation for pushing innovation within the industry, creative problem solving and successfully delivering major infrastructure projects.

Thomas Loftus, Chartered Engineer

Project Title: Delivering Containerised and Modular Potable Water Treatment in Rural Ireland

Thomas is a Chartered Engineer with an B.Eng in Environmental Engineering from NUI Galway and an MSc in Water and Wastewater Engineering from Cranfield University. 
Thomas has over 10 years’ experience, primarily in the design, build and operation of water and wastewater infrastructure across Ireland and the UK.  Notably as Engineering Director and General Manager at Coffey Water, Thomas led teams of over sixty engineers and technicians in the delivery of complex DB/DBO projects covering both municipal and industrial applications. 
In leading projects, Thomas encourages collaboration, innovative problem solving, and pragmatic decision making.  He strongly advocates that engineers take a lead role in addressing the current and emerging challenges both technical and commercial to deliver sustainable infrastructure. 
In his current role as an Associate at AECOM in the Infrastructure Cost Management team, Thomas draws from his experience in engineering and management to provide programme, cost and consultancy services for infrastructure clients.  

Emer McSwiney, Chartered Engineer

Project Title: The design and construction of the first European Manufacturing facility for Edwards Lifesciences - global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease

Engineering has always been part of Emer’s life, with her whole family being civil/structural engineers. She commenced her career with Jacobs Engineering on their Semi-conductor manufacturing project in Leixlip as part of her Civil Engineering course placement with U.L. 

Upon graduating with an honours degree in 2014, she moved to the UK, where she worked on a variety of projects across different sectors including but not limited to York Plasma Institute, a new research facility in the University of York, Scarborough Leisure Village and the 2.9 Billion Hinkley Point. 

However, it was during her time in London where her passion for conservation engineering grew, while leading the Ram Quarter heritage project in Wandsworth, London with Malachy Walsh and Partners. 

She later moved home to Cork, returning to Jacobs, and now leads the structural design of multiple 100+Million global projects and manages engineering teams across the world.  She has also been involved in several initiatives within Jacobs relating to women in engineering and student/graduate mentor programs.

James Patrick Ryle, Chartered Engineer

Project title: Novel particle monitoring solution using lensless digital holographic microscopy

James graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering and went on to perform research leading to a PhD degree from University College Dublin.  His doctoral research focused on advancing digital holographic imaging systems and also developing speckle metrology systems to measure biophysical signals of brainstem activity.

Shortly after his PhD, he designed the initial technology used in the field trials of an equine light therapy mask.  This aides healthy and efficient thoroughbred reproduction and resulted in a university spin-out company.

He held a postdoctoral fellowship at Maynooth University and was a visiting scientist at Technische Universitat Ilmenau in Germany.  He returned to UCD where he was awarded an innovation prize.  He has collaborated with and been funded by research wings of multinational corporations to advance their new technology offerings.

In 2019, he joined Eaton Corporation’s Centre for Intelligent Power as a senior specialist.  Here, he contributes to industrial machine vision research projects, investigates emerging technologies and identifies collaboration opportunities for the centre.

Previous winners

2020 winner

Donal Kelly, Chartered Engineer, Dragados

2020 Chartered Engineer of the Year Award, sponsored by Arup.

Project Title: Tunnelling at the Bank Station Upgrade.


2019 winner

650x366 Dr Cristina Paduano

Dr Cristina Paduano, Chartered Engineer, B-Fluid

2019 Chartered Engineer of the Year Award, sponsored by Arup.

Project Title: Scoring a Goal with Multi-Physics Virtual Design.


2018 winner

650x366 Aoife Murphy

Aoife Murphy, Chartered Engineer, David Kelly Partnership

2018 Chartered Engineer of the Year Award, sponsored by Arup.

Project Title: Earthquake: The Silver Lining - An Opportunity In A Time Of Disaster.


2017 winner

650x366 Captain Eoghan Carton

Captain Eoghan Carton, Engineer Officer, Irish Defence Forces

2017 Chartered Engineer of the Year Award, sponsored by Arup.

Project Title: Lead Nation Changeover 2016: The changeover of combat engineering, infrastructure and utilities support from Finland to Ireland in UNIFIL.


2016 winner

650x366 Marcello Corsi

Marcello Corsi, Chartered Engineer, Transport Infrastructure Ireland

2016 Chartered Engineer of the Year Award, sponsored by Arup.

Project Title: Innovative Track Design for Urban Railways – the State of the Art on Luas.


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