I hope you and your family members are well. As we approach the Engineers Ireland AGM in June, I wish to thank you, our community of engineers, for the wonderful opportunity I have had to serve as your President for the past year. 

As referenced in my Review within the 2019 Annual Report (link below), at the start of any year, time seems to stretch out in front of you, but it always goes by very quickly. The Engineers Ireland calendar has an existence - a palpable life and pace of its own. Getting to attend a wide variety of events and hearing about the amazing work being done in various sectors, has been a real privilege. 

Above all, the reward for me has been in my encounters with our members - all committed individuals like yourself, and all at different stages of your working lives, contributing and positively impacting on your communities. The vibrancy of the engineering sector on our island reflects your commitment. I want to especially thank our volunteer members for the work you do, whether it’s on committees, interviewing those going forward for professional titles or bringing engineering to life with our youngest citizens as part of the STEPS programme. Your unique perspectives, passion and energy form the life blood of our organisation. With Covid-19 restrictions I did not get to meet as many of you as I would have hoped, but I know we will meet again in the future.

I have been very proud in recent weeks, to see engineers and engineering firms large and small respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, through the delivery and development of medical supplies and new innovations to support healthcare workers and wider society. Engineers must continue to drive these solutions which will support the treatment and mitigation of the impact of the virus. Our utility companies and their services, such as clean water, gas, electricity and broadband, have too played a critical role in sustaining healthcare, businesses and supporting families, including older people and workers at home.

As the country starts to rebuild our economy, Engineers Ireland is committed to channelling the expertise of our professional engineering membership in finding practical and cost-effective solutions to the significant societal challenges we will face. Our role and long tradition as innovators will play an important part in fostering the dynamism that will be needed to get our country through this period of great uncertainty and back to a position of strength. 

Engineering is integral to modern life, from the production of medicines, to the design of buildings and of the computerised networks of devices we all use every day and on the infrastructure our society depends.

The challenges we face, including improving efficiency and making use of digital technologies, will all require and benefit from engineering.  

As an engineering community, we also need to get back to strengthening the focus on mitigating and adapting to climate change. The world is understandably focussed right now on the coronavirus situation. However, frightening as it is to consider, the impacts of climate change have the potential to have far greater consequences for the human race; they are just happening at a slower pace. The resolution at our February 2020 Council Meeting to declare a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, also reflects the urgency and our role as engineers in that effort. 

Once again, I thank you the members, for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your President.  It has been a truly special year and one which I will cherish forever.

With best wishes

Marguerite Sayers, CEng

President, Engineers Ireland, 2019-2020

Please click here to access the Engineers Ireland 2019 Annual Report.
This Report will be an agenda item at our 2020 AGM on Tuesday 30 June.