EPA Director General Laura Burke has won the UCD Engineering Graduates Association (EGA) Distinguished Graduate Award for 2016.
This award each year recognises a UCD engineering graduate in active service who is making an outstanding contribution to Irish society. This contribution can be in the fields of public policy development or in entrepreneurship, manufacturing, information technology, research, innovation and job creation.
Burke was appointed as director general of the EPA in late 2011. As director general she has the responsibility to lead and strategically manage the EPA. The EPA plays a central role in protecting the environment for the people of Ireland, as a knowledge provider, environmental regulator and advocate for the environment.
“I am both honoured and delighted to receive this Distinguished Graduate Award. I have many happy memories of my time as an engineering student in UCD and the knowledge and experience I gained during that time has been enormously beneficial to me in my career to date,” said Burke.
A clean, healthy and well-protected environment supports a sustainable society and economy. With the growing urgency and increasing public awareness and engagement on key issues such climate change, air quality and radiation protection, water quality, enforcement of environmental legislation and the benefits of a good environment for health and well-being, the role of the EPA becomes ever more pivotal in Irish society.
Burke has been a director of the EPA since 2004, initially serving as the agency’s director of communications and corporate services and more recently as director of the office of climate, licensing, research and resource use.
She is also the chair to the societal challenge 5 (climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials) advisory committee for the European Union’s research programme, Horizon 2020.
Prior to joining the EPA, Burke worked in the private sector. She is a chemical engineer of University College Dublin graduating in 1992 and holds an MSc in Management Practice from Trinity College, Dublin.
“We are very pleased to honour Laura for her outstanding service with the EPA as director general and previously as director of the office of climate, licensing, research and resource use. The role of the EPA will remain centre stage to protect Ireland’s environment as economic growth returns and to assist Ireland to become a low carbon economy in accordance with EU and Government policy,” said EGA president PJ Rudden.