Six finalists are in the running for the prestigious Chartered Engineer of the Year Award title, part of Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, which will be held in association with ESB in November.

The professional title of chartered engineer, considered to be the gold standard of the profession, was established in Ireland 50 years ago this year.

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.

Six competition finalists, selected from the large number of engineers who achieve their chartered title in a given 12-month period, will present their 'chartered engineer' interview project to a panel of judges on October 17.

The Chartered Engineer of the Year Award will be subsequently presented at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards on November 15, 2019.

The six shortlisted finalists:

Declan Gavigan, chartered engineer
From Ardara in Donegal, Gavigan graduated from NUI Galway in 2009 with a first class honours degree in civil engineering, obtaining the highest results in the class and received the Gold Medal Award.

Gavigan has more than nine years’ engineering experience. Following three years of research at NUI Galway, he joined an international marine energy business in 2013.

He was promoted to group R&D engineering manager, leading a multidisciplinary team and managing several innovative projects across Europe and Canada.

Gavigan was responsible for securing €18 million of European funding in 2016 and is an inventor for a European patent filing as well as an author in various publications.

In 2018, he was awarded the Young Researcher of the Year Award from CERAI for his outstanding contribution to research.

He recently joined pharmaceutical company, MSD, as lead engineer in the development and construction of a new €900 million biotechnology facility in Dublin. He is also finishing the write-up of a PhD researching the environmental impact of buildings.

Ciarán Hanley, chartered engineer
Ciarán Hanley is a chartered engineer at Malachy Walsh and Partners and adjunct lecturer at University College Cork (UCC). He graduated from there in 2012 and subsequently undertook doctoral research on probabilistic life-cycle assessment of bridges.

His work involved collaboration with a number of international leaders in the field and has resulted in more than a dozen publications on performance-based design and life-cycle assessment of bridges, structural safety and reliability assessment of the structures, and multivariate analysis of bridge management systems.

He completed his PhD in 2017 and thereafter joined Malachy Walsh and Partners, where he works primarily in the design and assessment of bridges and marine structures.

In his role at UCC, he lectures as part of the civil engineering degree and is involved in final year project supervision. In addition, he is a technical reviewer for a number of international journals and conferences.

Tony McGuinness, chartered engineer
Tony McGuinness manages the system services portfolio for ESB Generation. These innovative markets have been developed to incentivise power generators to increase their flexibility.

This will enable an increase in the penetration of renewables on European power networks.

Over the past three years he has been responsible for optimising an ageing power generation fleet to meet the demands of the evolving transmission systems.

Furthermore, he has been leading the development of new stand-alone grid assets that will facilitate future Irish and UK governments in meeting their climate change targets.

McGuinness graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2011 with a bachelor's in mechanical engineering and then pursued an MSc in finance from Imperial College London, specialising in large-scale energy and mineral projects.

He Joined ESB as part of its graduate programme in 2013, initially working on the commissioning of a coal plant in northern Vietnam and then progressing on to overhauling of ESB’s historic hydro fleet.

Frances Murray, chartered engineer
Frances Murray is assistant chief fire officer with Cork County Fire Service. She has more than 30 years’ experience in construction management, fire safety engineering, fire prevention and building control.

She has a particular interest in emergency response planning and operations and develops training modules for industry and public organisations.

Murray is Ireland’s national representative on the project team for the EU Commission for Civil Protection on ‘Tackling the consequences of extreme rainfall and flash flooding’.

Within this project she has specific responsibility for the development and delivery of training modules on communications during emergency events to member states throughout the EU.

Dr Cristina Paduano, chartered engineer
Cristina Paduano is an aerospace engineer specialising in computational fluid dynamics.

She has been working in the buildings and construction industry for more than 10 years, carrying out numerical modelling for wind analysis, fire and smoke, HVAC systems, crowd simulations and thermal studies for developments in Ireland, UK and the Middle East.

In 2015 she obtained a PhD in mechanical engineering for the investigation of the aero-acoustics behaviour of vortex shedding in ducted flows, the knowledge she later applied to predict the air-born noise from perforated façade and louvered screens.

Her work was presented at various international conference such as EuroNoise, AIAA and FIV.

In 2017, Dr Paduano founded B-Fluid (Buildings Fluid Dynamics), the first company in Ireland which employs aerospace specialists to investigate phenomena related to flow movement, heat transfer and fluid-structure interactions for the built environment and where numerical modelling techniques are combined with wind tunnel and airflow testing.

Brian Twohig, chartered engineer
Brian Twohig graduated from UCC in 2006 with a first class honours degree in civil and environmental engineering and joined Arup in Dublin as a graduate structural engineer. He transferred to the firm’s Berlin office in 2010.

During his time in Dublin, Twohig gained experience as a project engineer in all project phases on a number of major projects in Dublin including Grand Canal Theatre, TCD Biosciences and UCD Science East.

Since moving to Berlin, he has worked as a senior engineer on local and international projects with renowned architects including Amorepacific Headquarters in Seoul with David Chipperfield Architects and the new headquarters for Axel Springer AG in Berlin with OMA.

Twohig has extensive experience in reinforced concrete and steel construction, and has further knowledge of structural timber and masonry.

He regularly supports architects in design competitions and concept development using his creative engineering skills and design experience to contribute innovative solutions.

The winner of the Chartered Engineer of the Year Award will be announced at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards on Friday, November 15, 2019. For more information, visit: