Each week the Sector Spotlight Series will showcase and celebrate the achievements of our regions, divisions and societies. This week, Carol Kavanagh, chairperson of the Roads and Transportation Society, highlights a number of its standout events over the past 12 months.

The Roads and Transportation Society was established for engineers with an interest in road and rail design, transport planning, traffic engineering and subsequent delivery of transport projects.

CPD opportunities

Over the past 12 months, the society has been incredibly busy organising a number of free CPD opportunities, all webcast online, for engineers working (smarter) within the transportation sector. 

In October, the Roads and Transportation Society provided members with the opportunity to keep up to date with changes to the Traffic Signs Manual and Temporary Traffic Management Design and Operations Guidance documents. 

This presentation, held in conjunction with the civil division, was delivered by Charlie Kerr of Tobair Seagais, Aidan Creagh form Cork County Council and Stephen Barry from Arup.

In a further update for members, the Road and Transportation Society has recently been informed by DTTAS that the department wishes to advise that the transition period for the implementation of Chapter 8 of the 'Traffic Signs Manual and Temporary Traffic Management' has been extended due to current COVID-19 restrictions.

In November, and in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, the society organised a free CPD event on ‘BusConnects Infrastructure Programme  – a Planning Process Status Update’, delivered by John Fleming, BusConnects infrastructure director with the NTA. 

Following the presentations, the society held a networking event in Cafe Clyde to provide members with the opportunity to discuss the many faucets of the BusConnects infrastructure programme.

In early January, the Roads and Transportation Society was delighted to support the Structures and Construction Division at the Engineers Ireland stand at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

A number of our society’s members made themselves available throughout the exhibition to promote and encourage interest in the varied field of engineering. It was very rewarding to interact with people of all ages at the event and Engineers Ireland received a very positive response from secondary and third-level institutions. 

Intelligent mobility

The Roads and Transportation Society unveiled ‘2020 – The year of Intelligent Mobility’ in conjunction with Arup in February. Our aim is to create greater awareness of the concept and importance of intelligent mobility (IM), and to gain deeper insights on the core areas of the IM ecosystem: Connected and Autonomous vehicles; Electrification and Greening; Mobility as a Service; and Systems and Operation. 

We were excited to collaborate with Arup to create this forum for conversation around intelligent mobility, to drive improved transport solutions for all, and build on the rapid pace of change currently taking place within the sector.  

We hope to bring public, private and commercial organisations together to generate a vision for the future of integrated transport, to understand the opportunities and challenges that exist, and to implement innovative technological solutions to provide wholly integrated transport systems. 

The launch event included a number of presentations from Arup’s Dr John McCarthy and Padraig Kenny, and featured a panel discussion from a range of organisations including TII, Jaguar Land Rover, FreeNow, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Dublin City Council, to discuss innovative solutions and the current challenges faced by the industry and policy makers alike. 

This event was followed up with a presentation on ‘Dublin – A Smart City’, delivered by Jamie Cudden of Dublin City Council, discussing how smart technologies are transforming cities. This event was co-hosted with ITS Ireland.

In March, our society and Arup also hosted the next lecture in the intelligent mobility lecture series, ‘Sustainable Mobility – The Road Ahead’, given by Cathal Masterson and Rachel Cahill of TII. 

This event was not only part of ‘2020 - The year of Intelligent Mobility’ but was the first pilot ‘Lunch and Learn’ lecture run our society, providing an opportunity for engineers and CPD accredited employers to avail of a free live webcast during their lunch breaks. 

The event was a great success, with the highest number of online views of any live webcast to date. Our society will look to continue running ‘lunch and learn’ events in order to provide CPD in an increasing flexible way.  


Our Annual Road and Transportation Society seminar took place during STEPS Engineers week and focused on the topic of ‘Climate Friendly Transport – Adapting the sector’. 

This seminar was very well received, and featured a wide range of organisations such as TU Dublin, An Taisce, DCC, NTA, SEAI, DTTAS, DLRCC, Cycling Ireland, and Easy Go.

RTS 2020 Seminar ‘Climate Friendly Transport – Adapting the Sector’ (L-R) Dr. Damien Ó Tuama (National Cycling Coordinator Cyclist.ie), Carol Kavanagh (Chair Roads and Transportation Society), Gerard Flaherty (Senior Executive Engineer, DLRCC), Chris Kelly (CarCharger.ie), Roy O’Connor (Vice-Chair RTS)

Work of the committee

The programme of events this year could not have been delivered without the hard work, commitment and innovation of our committee members, in particular the committee officers, who have been a fantastic support.  

Our focus this year has been on building connections and engaging with other divisions, organisations and third-level institutions, and we thank everyone that has worked so closely with us.

Looking forward, we have many ideas to deliver on but the remainder of this year will continue to be challenging. There will be huge challenges for the transportation sector as we emerge from COVID-19 restrictions, particularly around the use of public transport. 

The Roads and Transportation Society will continue to support engineers working in this sector and the delivery of sustainable and intelligent transport solutions. 

Our society has launched a LinkedIn page - https://ie.linkedin.com/in/rts-engineers-ireland-07a8b61a0, as a means of communicating informally with those working in transportation.

Our society would be pleased to welcome new members, so feel free to engage with us and let us keep other transport professionals informed about developments across the industry.  


The Road and Transportation society’s AGM will take place on May 20. This virtual meeting will enable members to join from home.

New committee members are always welcome, so if you are interested in joining the committee for 2020-2021, you can do so by registering your attendance today: https://www.engineersireland.ie/Events/event/6778