Six chartered engineers have been shortlisted for the prestigious Chartered Engineer of the Year Award, supported by Arup.

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

“On behalf of Arup, I would like to extend my congratulations to each finalist shortlisted for the Chartered Engineer of the Year Award,” said Donal McDaid, transport and resources group leader at Arup in Ireland.

'Milestone in an engineer’s career'

“Attaining chartership is a key milestone in an engineer’s career, demonstrating commitment to continually developing skillsets and furthering the contribution our profession can make to solve the challenges faced in today’s world. We are proud to partner with Engineers Ireland to support the Chartered Engineer of the Year Award and celebrate the achievements of the finalists who reflect our values and our vision to create a more sustainable future.”

Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland, said: “Achieving the registered professional title of Chartered Engineer is an important goal in any professional engineer’s career. Beyond the specific statutory functions reserved for Chartered Engineers, achieving this registered professional title is a public statement of an engineer’s competence to practice as a professional.

"It is a seal of approval by their peers that they have developed an ability beyond that achieved during their academic years to that of a professional practitioner.  It is also a mark of an engineer’s commitment to the continuing development of their professional expertise and ethical practice.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to each of the finalists on being shortlisted for this year’s Chartered Engineer of the Year Award and wish them the very best of luck in advance of the competition final on November 4. I would also thank Arup for their continued support of this award.”

The 2021 shortlist

Eugene Baily

Eugene Baily is a chartered structural engineer with six years’ experience and is employed at TLI Group, where he is engaged in the provision of specialist infrastructure engineering solutions to their clients. He is currently involved in the delivery of more than 140MW of renewable solar and wind energy developments throughout Ireland.

Previously, he was employed at OCSC, where he was involved in the design of residential, infrastructure, and retrofit projects. Prior to this, he was part of the ByrneLooby Galway office structural design team, where he mainly supported their Middle Eastern offices on large-scale substructure infrastructure works.

Baily graduated with a BEng(Ord) from GMIT (Distinction), a BEng(Hons) from NUIG (First Class Honours), a Shell E&P Ireland Ltd. funded Research Masters from NUIG, and a part-time MSc in Structural and Foundation Engineering from Heriot-Watt University (Distinction). 

George Byrne

George Byrne is an Environmental Consultant that has gained technical expertise in his field and has a broad range of experience in Ireland and abroad in multiple industries. He is a graduate of UCD and a Chartered Engineer, and works as an associate director at Environmental Efficiency Consulting Engineers. 

His focus is on three areas: first, quantifying and modelling emissions to assist the design of industrial emission points and appropriate abatement systems in ensuring compliance with relevant legislation.

Second, he also carries out containment assessments for the prevention of pollution; primary, secondary and tertiary reviews for industrial premises, specifically at COMAH and licensed sites in Ireland and the UK. 

Third, and more recently, Byrne has focused on indoor environmental quality in the built environment. He was the first engineer to carry out a LEED IAQ test outside the US in partnership with Sisk. He was one of the first independent WELL Performance Testing Agents to submit a WELL V2 Performance Verification review in Europe.

Cormac Falvey

Cormac Falvey, Chartered Engineer is an assistant chief fire officer with Clare County Council. his current roles include major emergency preparedness and fire prevention.

He ensures that the systems, procedures, facilities, and trained personnel are always ready to respond to major emergencies. Falvey led the development of a web-based information management system for major incidents. This system provides immediate information to decision makers to ensure effective management of complex emergencies.

He graduated from Cork Institute of Technology with a degree in structural engineering, and from University of Limerick with a degree in management practice. Prior to the Fire Service he worked in engineering consultancies in Cork and Limerick.

He has been the incident commander at several significant emergency incidents including flooding, wildland fires, and aircraft emergencies. Falvey is an experienced fire brigade instructor and provides instruction in the management of emergency incidents for the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management.

Kevin Kilcoyne

Kevin Kilcoyne is a structural engineer with an M.Eng in structural engineering with architecture from UCD. After graduation, he joined Arup Consulting Engineers where he worked for five years. In this time Kilcoyne worked as a design engineer, on-site as a resident engineer, and in a voluntary capacity on a remote schools project in India. He now works with DBFL Consulting Engineers, where he is responsible for structural design, coordination, and delivery across a range of projects.

With a family background in construction, he has always endeavoured to marry his practical skills with the technical expertise he gained in college and throughout his career. In taking a collaborative approach towards design and construction, he has been able to deliver practical solutions to complex design problems in difficult environments. 

Kilcoyne believes that engineers have a responsibility to use their networks and skills on a voluntary basis for social good.

Claire Lillis

Claire Lillis is a senior programme manager with Aerogen, the world’s leader in aerosol drug delivery. She studied biomedical engineering at NUI Galway, graduating in 2005. Since joining Aerogen in 2006, Lillis has worked in mechanical design, project management and programme management roles within R&D. She has worked to develop products that help provide life-critical interventions from the ER through to ICU in more than 75 countries.

She completed an MSc in design innovation at Maynooth University in 2019, graduating top of her class. Her master's focused on human-centred design for product, software, and service design.

Lillis has 10 years’ experience project managing the design and manufacture of ‘drug-device combination’ products for clinical trials in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies. For the past six years, she has acted as programme manager on Aerogen’s aerosolised surfactant delivery programme, a complex product designed to treat premature babies in respiratory distress shortly after birth. The product is currently in Phase 2b clinical trials in the US.

John Smee

John Smee has a BE in industrial engineering and information systems from NUI Galway and an MEngSc in mechanical engineering (manufacturing, process and automation systems) from UCC. His work consists of the research, development, and commercialisation of novel cooling system designs for his business Kilkenny Cooling Systems.
Notable projects of his include the design and development of ATEX (potentially explosive atmosphere) cooling systems used in power generation facilities internationally, and high-volume custom beverage cooling systems installed in Copenhagen’s Royal Arena and Sydney's Olympic Park. 
Smee has previously been shortlisted for an Engineers Ireland Excellence Award for Technical Innovation for his VS Cooler project. 

He is currently vice-president of the Institute of Refrigeration Ireland and has previously sat on the organisation's technical committee. This year he filed for patent protection for an innovative, ultra-fast drinks cooling system for the events sector – commercialised via his 2021 spinout business: TurboChillers.

For more information about the Chartered Engineer of the Year Award, supported by Arup, visit: