With a career that spans over 38 years, Gerry shares an extraordinarily unique insight into some of Ireland’s largest and most crucial infrastructures.

Having led the delivery of PPP capital projects for highways, water, healthcare, schools and flood relief, Gerry shares how his approach to planning has evolved from his earlier career, working on the Dublin to Galway motorway, to how achievable he believes EU targets banning all carbon vehicles by 2035 really are.

Learn about the Glasgow industrial investment area project, that lead to RPS being named one of the first carbon champions by the institute of civil engineers. Gerry also explores how to overcoming the challenges of controversial planning projects and explains why transparency is vital.

Gerry describes an engineer as someone who is motivated to do good and as he reflects on his wealth of work, he can be proud of the incredible amount of good work he has done for Irish infrastructure.

Listen below or on your podcast player!

Topics we discussed include:

01:38 – What inspired him to become an engineer

05:36 – Why was the Corrib Gas Fields project controversial

07:27 – How to handle situations where there is conflict

15:47 -  His work with the EPA and the controversy surrounding the Poolbeg Incinerator.

26:31 – How Covid accelerated the development of new technical solutions to support remote working.

28:03 – The development of digital solutions such as 3D design and how it assists in planning projects such as housing,  illustrating how factors such as height might impact a design.

28:30 – What is Digital Twin?

33:11 – The issue of climate change due to emissions and the need to reduce the use of fossil fuels and find alternatives.

36:15 - Looking forward to Ireland’s future and the need for better if we are to achieve the desired target for electric vehicles.

Guest details

Gerry has over 38 years’ experience working as an engineer, environmental consultant, regulator and Director in the private and public sectors.

This has included leading strategic reviews, strategy development and implementation of change programmes across a range of companies. He has chaired a number of national committees and has acted as an advisor and programme reviewer to third level institutions, EU governments and public authorities. Currently he is Senior Consultant of RPS Group Limited and RPS Consulting Engineers Limited.

He chairs the management boards of both organisations. Gerry is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Water and Environmental Manager and a Fellow of Engineers Ireland. In 2018 Gerry was selected as European Engineering Consultancy CEO of the year. He is currently President of the Association of Consulting Engineers in Ireland and a member of the Construction Industry Council. He has led the delivery of PPP capital projects for highways, water, healthcare, schools, flood relief and other public infrastructure.

Contact details



More information

Looking for ways to explore or advance a career in the field of engineering? Visit Engineers Ireland to learn more about the many programs and resources on offer. https://www.engineersireland.ie/


A metro in Dublin has been proposed for many, many years. A city like Dublin ultimately will have to have a metro if it continues to grow.

Over the last 20 years, the planning process has become so complicated and difficult, that the time periods to get a project like the Galway - Athlone motorway through the system are now double to triple the time is what it took 10 to 15 years ago.

One of the big, controversial projects at the time was the proposal to build an incinerator in Poolbeg. Dublin's waste was being dumped literally in the counties adjacent to Dublin and that caused a huge amount of pollution.

Our approach is always to be as open and transparent as possible. You know, if you are intending to develop something, and it has an impact on people and on an area or region, set out what you intend to do, set it out, clearly communicated clearly engage with the public know, generally, there is wide acceptance of something that is perceived to be of benefit at that very early stage, where issues often arise as you get to the selection stage where you're looking at two or three options.

In Ireland's context, very significant onshore wind development in the last 20 years, at one point in November 60% of our electricity, on particular days came from renewables, which is fantastic.

Much like broadband needs to be rolled out nationally, motorways need to be rolled out nationally and the national infrastructure for electric vehicles needs to be rolled out. There is a gap in the infrastructure of the country at the moment.


For your convenience, here is a 90% accurate AI transcription of the episode.

Dusty Rhodes  0:01 

Right now on amplified the engineers journal podcast, we're about to meet Senior Consultant at RPS group Gerry Carty.

Gerry Carty  0:08 

What kind of first makes an engineer I think a person who is motivated to do good basically, I don't think there's a stereotype for wanting you can't do an engineering is both the trend or the core of so engineering relies upon learning for what you have done and doing it better. There are all those innovative solutions, but they're also basketcase solutions. So having learned a lot through experience using that experience, well is a very apart and hard to find engineers development.

Dusty Rhodes  0:59 

Hello, my name is Dusty Rhodes and welcome to amplified the engineers journal podcast, which is a we're chatting with the Senior Consultant at RPS group, a professional services firm of 5000 consultants and service providers operating in 125 countries globally. A chartered engineer, he has worked as an engineer, environmental consultant, regulator and director. And today he'll be sharing some of his 38 years of very significant experience in the industry. It's a pleasure to welcome Gerry Carty. Gerry, how are you? Very well, dusty.

Gerry Carty  1:29 

Thank you.

Dusty Rhodes  1:30 

So Jerry, what hit you to become an engineer when you're a kid? Were you a little 10 year old guy, I want to do that, or did you find the light later in

Gerry Carty  1:38 

life? I think I discovered I wanted to be an engineer around my 50 or in in secondary school. I grew up on a small farm. And typical another west of Ireland family. Nobody had gone to college, I got interested in social issues and saw this course advertised for a new ag at the time, which was called industrial engineering, but it was actually not industrial engineering, as it were sold and marketed. It was more of a social engineering, looking at communities and looking at how to improve society. And I suppose the motivation was to do course, like Das, which would help me contribute towards probably the betterment of society. And that was a, I suppose, a laudable ambition at the time. It didn't quite work out, actually.

Dusty Rhodes  2:31 

Well, now, I argue with you there. I think you've had a very illustrious career which we'll go over a few of the highlights tell me about RPS though Firstly, because it's a very sizable group. I said it's 5000 people 125 countries. Tell us a little bit about the the Irish operation.

Gerry Carty  2:47 

Sitting in Ireland we have five main offices in Dublin, core Galway, we have an office in Sligo, another office in Belfast. And we provide a what I call integrated engineering and environmental services that includes planning includes communication. So it involves taking projects from a concept as in somebody says, Well, we think we might like to do something developing that far them developing out the kind of concept into a business plan are into a feasibility stage. And then taking it through from there right through the whole process of getting planning, approvals, which can be a very lengthy process and difficult process through to tendering, selecting a contractor managing the construction, Afters, ie the maintenance period and then in right into operation. So our services span the full range of activities, we imply engineers, we imply planners, we imply scientists, communication specialists, if if you have a scale of any kind, we practically imply people from multi multi backgrounds. And interestingly in recent years, there has been a huge downturn in numbers going into engineering courses across Ireland. So our range of specialists now includes maths graduates, physics graduates, people from multiple backgrounds who can very easily adapt to the engineering wars and the digital world that we're at.

Dusty Rhodes  4:17 

And what kind of jobs would the company be known for recent stuff that you've done?

Gerry Carty  4:20 

So starting in Dublin, the extension of Dublin airport terminal one would have been quite a significant project in the Celtic Tiger era. Probably the range of projects we're best known for is the development of the national motorway network. So back in the late 90s, a study was done called the national roads needs study, which was basically a framework for the development of roads and motorways nationally and the government of the day decided to go with a more or less we're in this work. We completed the first connection which was the Galway, the West Coast to Dublin back in 2009. So roads broke draped all over the country, including roads projects in Scotland, and the UK, we have done things like the upgrading of the ballymore Eustace water treatment plant, which is the principal Water Treatment Plant serving the city of Dublin. We have done the gas pipeline to the west, which was the expansion of the network from when it was largely Doblin centric to the west coast and down to Limerick, which has facilitated the connection, for example of the carob gasfields, which is another project Tweed Heads, usually controversial at the time, but actually hugely beneficial to the economy and to the niche now as as as a source of energy.

Dusty Rhodes  5:43 

Why was it controversial?

Gerry Carty  5:44 

It was controversial for a number of reasons. I think one of them was that it was initially promoted by a relatively small company, and they got into difficulties at the planning stage. Perhaps, you know, in hindsight, they didn't have the resources sufficient to deliver a major project, and that men stashed. They want to proceed, but perhaps we're not in a position to invest as much as they showed, they selected a site to come onshore, they applied for planning, they were refused planning, it was taken over then by by shell. And at that point in time, we were appointed and had to see a whole new planning for the project, etc. But there were certain constraints on on the project at that, by that time, what were they now there were things like where we could come ashore, prior work had had identified particular locations, and, you know, various issues, then a rule was set in terms of the pressure off the gas, and the pipeline, its proximity to housing, all of these are reasonable concerns. We we do have specialist advice and assistance. And we worked our way through all of those issues, took quite a number of years, took quite a lot, roughly years and with the local community, what eventually in 2016 17, the project was completed. But that was about 17 years from commencement of the process to completion. And that that wouldn't be on typical of what's now happening nationally on major projects today.

Dusty Rhodes  7:27 

So if you are approaching a project, and it is controversial in nature, or are there are people who are very, very against the project, what kind of course of action would you advise to take? Well,

Gerry Carty  7:39 

our approach is always to be as open and transparent as possible. You know, if you are intending to develop something, and it has an impact on people and on an area or region, set out what you intend to do, set it out, clearly communicated clearly engage with the public know, generally, there is wide acceptance of something that is perceived to be of benefit at that very early stage, where issues often arise as you get to the selection stage where you're looking at two or three options. And then the lobby groups decide that they do not want it's it's it's like housing. Currently, a lot of the objections to housing come from people who already have houses, and often good quality houses in the vicinity of where a development is needed as desirable, perhaps even necessary, because it's well serviced by public services. But they see the opportunity to object and there is an objection closure out there. It is very rare to see proponents of a project or infrastructure, getting positive publicity on a regular basis, the media do look for the controversy, and they look for a controversial angle. And they will cover that because that generates interest and publicity.

Dusty Rhodes  9:01 

So you think that a good way to tackle that is to be open, give information, make it accessible to people, but not to get too detailed? Because you need the flexibility to be able to reach a compromise?

Gerry Carty  9:12 

Exactly. The objective is to find the best solution or the optimum solution. It's not to find the only solution. There is always more than one solution. We do a lot of what I would call public infrastructure, which is infrastructure of benefit to society. And it's very interesting that people think in terms of the short term, generally in Ireland, rather than the long term, the long term infrastructure that we would deliver. The typical planning period should be somewhere between about 25 and 100 years, depending on what you're building. Now, how many people actually are willing to take forward for example, Ireland is due to have a population of around 8 million by 2040. That's the figure in the national plan. break that down into the increase East that's going to be needed in our major towns and cities where most of those people will be housed. And you can guarantee dash. So for example, one of the objectives of dasht plan or framework is to have balanced regional development. That would mean massive population increases in the designated cities such as Limerick. Slagle Washford. Cork, it means a level of planning, which is not your local increase, it means doubling the population of some of those locations. But that level of planning is required, if we are to have a well serviced functioning infrastructure that meets the needs of our society by 2040 to 2060. And there's no getting away from that and people will people do have great difficulty understanding that. But yes, it is an absolute necessity for society, otherwise, we will end up in chaos. And one of the big things that's positive things happening at the moment is the review of planning legislation, because our planning system has has descended into an almost endless cycle of objections, court cases, and judicial reviews. Basically,

Dusty Rhodes  11:12 

you say you're planning for 2550 100 years into the future when you first started working on the Galway Dublin motorway project. I mean, you were kind of new ish in the game, would that be fair to say?

Gerry Carty  11:25 

Hey, it will be very fair to say it would be it would be fair to say?

Dusty Rhodes  11:32 

Well, what I was gonna ask was, I mean, you have an awful lot of experience, and you've given very sage insight. But when you were working on the Dublin Galway motorway that was kind of all new to you, what lessons did you learn from that, that you would apply to that long term planning?

Gerry Carty  11:49 

Well, to give you to give you an idea, the appointment to work on that project happened around the turn of the era. So around 2000 by 2004, we had gossips at the stage where we were going into an oral hearing to get the rules approved. So the selection process had had largely been completed, and it was waiting the confirmation by unboard fanola. That got approved in 2005 started construction in 2007 and was opened in 2009. So that's less than a 10 year cycle. And that probably is reasonably acceptable for a large project. If I was to do a comparison of a project today, and take the Galois ring road as a comparison, it started life earlier. It's still on the cohorts 23 years later. That's the practical difficulties that are occurring in Ireland today. Other projects, other major infrastructure will be hitting similar bottlenecks. So the planning system was amended back in 2002 as a new Planning and Development Act. In fact, over the last 20 years, the planning process has become so complicated and difficult, that the time periods to get a project like the Galway ad low and through the system are now doubled to triple the time is what it took 1015 years ago. In other jurisdictions, the timeline required is far shorter, the opportunities to contribute exist at particular stages, they're within defined time limits, they deal with the issues in a very practical way. And therefore they get their projects and the necessary developments through the system. And nobody is suggesting that we should have undesirable developments on an ongoing basis, we largely work I'd say on national level infrastructure, I think there are very few of any projects we have ever worked on that ultimately are not bits. And they're they're proposed for a reason. They're not speculative. They're not geared towards just generating a big return for an investor. They are there for the public good. They are there to serve the people of the country. And I think that's the gap and understanding is that the modern era people and psychologists will say this, I have a very short term horizon as in what's in it for me in the next six months or next year. How do I benefit from it? Will this inconvenience me in any way as sustained firm? How will it assist us? So even if this was for example, putting in a bus lane on a local road, you guaranteed it will be object even if the demand is there on that road, far better public services for a regular timetable, etc. So it's it's it's a cultural issue as well as a political issue. But certainly more effort needs to go into communicating the positive benefits of doing things right doing work and doing them for the right reason, particularly on large infrastructure, particularly on public projects. It all, for example, the Metro in Dublin has been proposed for many, many years. A city like Dublin, ultimately will have to have a metro if it continues to grow. There isn't only one solution, there is the solution that is on the table at the moment, which would make its way through the process, it would be an interesting exercise, to see how long it actually takes to get through the current process, or if the amendments that the government are now proposing to the planning acts, whether it would be possible to process them in a shorter timeline, but looking at the current planning process, that project could be in the planning process for the next 10 years.

Dusty Rhodes  15:47 

You were talking a lot from a civil engineers point of view and objections from various different bodies. But you've also worn the hat as a regulator, because you did some time with a did some time. I don't mean it that way. But you were with the Environmental Protection Agency for a number of years was that kind of like going from poacher to gatekeeper it's, it's different hats completely, isn't it?

Gerry Carty  16:08 

It's different hats completely. The end of 93, I was at a point in my career where I had worked in a company, a number of companies, I had done some overseas work, and a brand new organization, the Environmental Protection Agency was being set up. And I saw it as an opportunity to do I suppose wash I felt motivated to do which was helped improve society, to some degree, what I would have taught when I went to college, originally, DPA was being set up, there were a lot of environmental issues in Ireland at the time, there were more controversies about dumps and waste and pollution of rivers than almost anything else. And they were top of the political agenda. At the time, I was offered a senior position. I took it and I was one of the first people in the door. So over the next couple of years, it was a very exciting time. The EPA is independent of government. It has independent decision making powers. And you know, at the time, the whole licensing of major industry, the licensing, our float authority, landfills and other waste facilities, all of these issues were introduced in that mid 90s to 2000 period. And, you know, you can see the benefits of that today. In terms of overall society, because there is now very little controversy or argument around the performance are the regulation of major industries. And equally, the whole blight on the countryside of dumps and landfills was resolved within about a 10 year period. Now, one of the big, controversial projects at the time was the proposal to build an incinerator in paperbag, Dublin's waste was being dumped literally in the counties adjacent to doubler. And that caused a huge amount of pollution. One of the projects that was proposed fairly early on and licensed by the EPA was the Poolbeg incinerator. And as we know, that probably was the most controversial project in the country over about a 10 year period. And again, why was it controversial? It was controversial because people in the area of Sandy mountain rings end where it was going, did not want a facility in the location. Ironically, for a Green Party, all Green parties to Europe supporters, incineration and the use of energy of waste to generate energy but the Green Party in Ireland decided that it was against it. For several years, the Minister for the Environment was a Green Party representative of so various reasons, but it was a big project. It was hugely needed. It's been hugely successful, was the worry that it will be billowing the smoke, or smoke is not the issue. It's actually the content of what will be released, it will be the substances that will be contained in it. Invisible gases that you can see. Yes. So I mean, why put something into the ground that's going to pollute it for the next 500 years, where you can burn it generated energy and control of the content are substances in the emissions.

Dusty Rhodes  19:34 

Is that possible? Is that was that the solution? That when

Gerry Carty  19:37 

it has been the solution, how much controversy has there been over its operations since it went into place five years ago, six years ago? I haven't heard very much and I don't see any coverage over the mean. There have been a couple of issues around whether it's it had opened it might have had short term issues at particular times, but in general as a facility For the national capital, he was absolutely essential that it be developed. It's operated by a private sector operator, some would see that as good, some would not see that as good. I don't think that's the relevant point. The relevant point is a facility of that nature was clearly needed. It ultimately got developed. But it took 20 years from concept through to actual delivery, but hugely opposed and vehemently opposed over a long period of time. I don't see anything wrong with people putting up their point of view, and and are doing, but there's a point at which you have to reconcile facts and supposition and rumor. We're always in that game, we we, we imply quite a lot of communications people and they're experts in the area and at it is ultimately a case of people understanding, I think a lack of understanding is at the root of a lot of opposition. And you know, if the if the message or the factual information is distorted, and there is a tendency in modern social media, with the channels available to absolutely distort the information. And we see that currently where you know, factual information, good quality information is pushed out there. It's deliberately misinterpreted deliberately misquoted, it is deliberately circulated. Without control that generates fear. It generates opposition is agitates people and irritates people. So it doesn't serve any positive purpose other than a negative purpose of of heightening people's stress tension. And that energy does not come from those in responsible positions. It comes from from people who do not want something in their vicinity are even within Ireland, even people overseas said

Dusty Rhodes  21:57 

so yeah, but the one the one key words that you said that does help everybody is information, absolutely making it available now from a negative side of things to the positive side of things. rps was named on the same topic, RPS was named as one of the first ever carbon champions by the Institution of Civil Engineers, which which one of the projects was involved in that

Gerry Carty  22:18 

that's a an overseas project, it's it's called the it's Glasgow industrial investment area, it's adjacent to Glasgow airport. It's a site that was contaminated and had to be remediated and the Scottish Government designations for development of new industry, we were employed by the contractor who was appointed to design the several and other infrastructure for the site. And one of the issues that arose on the site was there was a an old idle cooled high voltage transmission cable, or running through the site and this cable required cooling, which is why the heavy oil was there, the power transmission cable is buried underground need to be cooled. So in removing contamination and developing the site, this existing cable was top priority to protect it because it's served with 50 electricity needs of Glasgow, we came up with a very unique solution, which was rather than concrete, the complete cable was to build what I call crib work using, of course, would be described as fast sticks, but plastic box type components using high quality engineering methods in to construct a dash around the cables and avoid using of concrete and the benefit of that was the concrete if used would have had a huge carbon footprint, whereas the alternative had almost a zero carbon footprint. So one of our staff, senior geotechnical engineer of Kane McGinnis won the award for ice champion. And we've placed a huge emphasis on projects where we can reduce carbon over the last seven or eight years, we have developed our own sustainability team, an approach to net carbon zero, where we we incorporate it at every stage of our design process. We've trained every staff member within the company, in terms of it. And just recently, engineers Ireland awarded that particular project, the Annual Award for Excellence for digital innovation also. So net carbon zero is huge way to tackle carbon emissions, particularly in our area, we're in infrastructure, can we reduce the carbon content that is embodied in the materials can we reduce the carbon content during use of the facility afterwards? Um, that might be developing alternative heating compared to Heil burning or fossil fuel use, etc. So we place a significant emphasis on that at all stages of our project development now. It's great to see it recognized. And it was great to see Keane recognized for Farley outstanding work in the area. And we continue to do that. So when we are doing projects, now, we look right through the project cycle from concept to completion, what materials are available? So for example, it's can we use timber, which is locally grown? Are stainable and replaceable versus using steel? Can we use alternatives to concrete? In terms of paving are there new or alternative substances available to replace traditional asphalt are are similar materials. So it's been a huge emphasis for the last couple of years. And we continue, we intend to continue down that route. So certainly, clients are looking for it, and is now become a demand nationally, under the climate change action plan where project savings must be illustrated.

Dusty Rhodes  26:11 

We're in a changing world at the moment. And as you say, that project was in Glasgow, you're doing quite a bit of overseas work and at quite a distance as well. If that is a challenge, working on something that is 1000s of miles away, how do you how do you handle it?

Gerry Carty  26:25 

Hopefully we do it well.

Dusty Rhodes  26:28 

That's, that's a given Jerry, that's a given.

Gerry Carty  26:31 

What's really facilitated is ironic to say, but COVID COVID was the generator of being able to work remotely, anywhere in the world. So when COVID Hische, in March 2020, within a couple of weeks, we had all of our staff working from home, most staff had laptops, we had a proportion working from home part time or full time. But certainly we had to go from everybody or have close to everybody in the office to nobody in the office. And business impacts potentially could have been huge. Our IT people did a fantastic job, we got up and running. I then we were working with our colleagues in places like Australia, and the US at the time doing some infrastructure. We were developing our digital and digitalization capacity in parallel for quite a number of years. And we we had a national leader Mark Arsenal in our business in Galway. And over time, he and his team began to develop technical solutions to how do you deal with issues so for example, on on planning, typically, people look at two dimensional drawings, and they see something, but they may not understand the height or the impact of it, or how it might look from their house or what it might look like in 510 years. So suddenly, with 3d digital design, our team could actually illustrate and do a virtual show. So it would be basically, we can give you a tour of something that we have as concept as a concept, we can show you what it would look like, what it would be washable droplight from your window are flush impact it will have you know, as the landscape matures, etc. I don't know if you've heard the term digital twin, but the concept of a digital twin became rooted very quickly. So a digital twin is basically a digital model where you can do live walkthroughs are run throughs as if the project actually existed, as if the building or the road. So one I'm thinking of is we did a project in Cork, the extension of the car to Ringaskiddy motorway, the M 28. And we did visualizations for that which showed what it would look like what a watch. So you could actually drive a vehicle down this yet to be constructed road. You could see where you could turn off, you could look out from your house and see what it looked like. Now, what it would look like when there was constructors when it would look like in 2030 years time. All of this capacity was developed in house with the assistance of big IT companies, external providers. And that enabled us then to let others in RFPs in the various countries around the world nor the capacity and then resulted in some very prestigious projects. So taking not just future projects, but taking existing projects and doing very detailed surveys then turning that into a model and illustrating it far, far people so I'll give you two examples. Sydney Opera House is one. So the Sydney Opera House Plaza we might The last for the Australians. So how do you walk around it currently? How could you enhance it? What could you do to developers? If you implemented your proposed solutions? What would it look like etc. So that was one. A second project that I was going to mention was Houston, which is a city of about 8 million in the US. We've been involved in a number of infrastructure projects there. And because of our digital capacity, we arrived has to model what I would call the multimodal inter motor connections between rail Metro roads, cycleways pedestrian ways, etc. And that modeling has been continuing over a lengthy period of about three, four years at this stage. But it's interesting that we are we have the technology and the technical capability and the people who can deliver at that type of strategic overview. I mean, if you're trying to tell somebody class, a new motorway through the middle of a city at an elevation of about 5060 meters, overground and a new railway line crossing Andhra, it looks like it's not that easy to understand the concepts when you see them on on a paper drawing, you actually get a real appreciation of them. And the level of detail that you can do in these models is fascinating. I mean, we can take a project now and model every stage of the project from airily commencement through to completion of construction, if the information is available, so depending on the level of information available, so on construction projects, nowadays, sometimes there is demand to understand how the process works, and how it can be made more efficient, and the whole industry needs to modernize and become more efficient. And one way of doing that is to understand how you get from something on a drawing, to actually construction to actual use. And if you do the digital model, you can save potentially a significant amount of material, and you can get a better in product. And you can also use what are called modern methods of construction, prefabricated off site, etc in a controlled environment, which means you have less construction impacts, which also means you can construct a project quicker and into a better quantity.

Dusty Rhodes  32:28 

So digital is no doubt making a massive difference to the way everything is planned and be able to coordinate and giving information to people who would have concerns about it. And I believe you're able to meld real life footage with the intended project that you're planning and to do that all in 3d these days as well, which is just mind blowing. 2035 seems to be a big year, I hear it over and over again 2035 This that the other, it's a little over 10 years away, it's going to be a watershed year for everybody. For example, in 2035 combustion engines will stop being sold in the EU. That's it all electric from there on, what issues do you consider will be important over the next 10 years leading up to 2035?

Gerry Carty  33:11 

Well, any an area that we are hugely involved in now is the whole area of renewables and finding alternatives made. If you look at climate change, largely driven by emissions, how do you reduce emissions, one of the clear ways is reduced the use of fossil fuels and dependency on them. So developing renewables is absolutely key to that. Now, if you take that, in Ireland's context, very significant onshore wind development in the last 20 years, at one point in November 60% of our electricity, on particular days came from renewables, which is fantastic. But there are significant developments now proposed offshore. So we're quite involved in developing the concepts, preparing the planning applications doing the environmental assessments and studies necessary to get permission for those. So finding and implementing, firstly, renewable energy solutions is absolute key. And Ireland as one of the world's leading economies and with a very high standard of living needs to show examples of how it can be done to others. within the country. I think one of the biggest challenges is to be energy efficient. And that, for example, in terms of vehicles, when you say is zero, fossil fuel use and vehicles in 2035 It's a fantastic ambition. But we are now 2023 there is little or no infrastructure that would serve us electric vehicles around the country by had the experience of traveling with a friend of mine recently on about a 220 kilometer journey and he spent about four hours searching for a charge main point that was vacant so he could charge his character to do the return journey that just isn't acceptable if we are going to go down the route of having alternatives. So much like broadband needs to be rolled out nationally, motorways needs to be rolled out nationally, the national infrastructure for electric vehicles needs to be rolled out. It's fear of gap in the infrastructure of the country at the moment. If by 2030, we have made significant progress, we might get somewhere towards having alternative fuels or alternative energy sources and use and transport within another 1520 years. But right now, there is no prospect of achieving no carbon vehicles by by 2035. They simply infrastructure simply hasn't been planned, it's not been implemented. And the national plan just isn't there for it.

Dusty Rhodes  35:56 

I think the plan is that they're going to stop selling the cars in 2035. And then over the next 10 to 15 years after that, they would eventually just fade out. And I suppose that gives them the impetus then to put the infrastructure into play that looks decent. I'm not an engineer, I don't know what the grand plan is.

Gerry Carty  36:13 

Every contribution as welcome. A second one would be our building stock. refurbishing is absolutely essential. It's moving in the right direction, it needs to move an awful lot faster. But when people talk about things like this and Ireland's we need to realize that we are a wealthy country relative to other countries, we have a high already have a high standard of living. And if we can't afford to go down this route Guca. So you know it the positive part is that Irish people have a fantastic can do attitude, sadness, the the government support, and the national approach is there to support the contractors necessary will be there. We have nearly full employment. But we have a lot of people coming into the country looking for work and love people wanting to return. And once they see continuity of employment, they will work in these areas.

Dusty Rhodes  37:06 

Gerry, you've had an amazing career. And you've seen so many brilliant things solve so many developments over the years. And a lot of what you're talking about is just indicating that these amazing things. And these amazing developments are just going to continue for the next 2030 4050 years. Certainly, you also mentioned that there is a shortage of new people coming into the business. So how do you kind of pitch engineering as an opportunity for people as a job,

Gerry Carty  37:34 

when you look at it as not just I mean, the traditional engineer, had a calculator, sat down with a slide rule and worked out fakers handed them to someone else, and they got on with doing it. The modern engineer is somebody who sits at a laptop, our seminar, as much of their skill is working with others as it is new America, there is a huge variety of opportunities in I wouldn't say just engineering in infrastructure, generally in construction industry. And part of the attraction is that almost every time we do a project, it's a new project. There's something different. We don't produce widgets, we learn from my experience, we learn, hopefully, positive lessons, there are lots of lessons that we learn. In fact, it is fair to say that as an engineer, and I would say this in my own career, I've learned a lot more from my failures than I have from my successes. And everybody has has it as failures at some point and learning to cope with and learn from them. So one of the things we do internally is we have a very detailed lessons learned database. And if you go on dash internally, and you're a member of staff, you will see some of the things we have done that didn't work that well, which we are which typically a lesson learned is here's how we did something, here's what we did that went wrong. How did we correct us what we do next. So if you like the challenging environment, then there are endless opportunities in engineering, they are now more technology driven than ever. I mean, when I started an engineering or design office was an office with a few we didn't even have calculators I think largely at the time. There certainly were no PCs. Nowadays, it is driven by an entirely different skill set. So the numerator says search is still important. But it's actually the ability to communicate, interact, understand, work with other people work in work with integrated teams work and build teams. And that brings very interesting challenges and the challenges you know, in our business. The challenges are multifaceted in that. You could be working today on a roads project, and two years time you might have transferred to a team constructing a project and on site, you need your knowledge, but you need a different skill set. You need to know about contracts you need to know about. So it's the variety of work, I think is one part of it. It's the mix of challenge. And, you know, everybody has skills. If you can find the niche where your skills are useful, and you enjoy it, I think that's the key. And what we want is people working with us who enjoy what they do, who enjoy their day to day activity. We don't want people in the office, late in the evening, are working at home late in the evening. We want them to do their day's work, enjoy it, feel fulfilled, feel motivated to do a good job. We had a saying in the office here a number of years ago, which has served us very well, which is if you work here, leave your ego outside the door. If you

Dusty Rhodes  40:51 

want to work here, leave your ego at the door. I totally love that phrase that can be employed in so many ways. Gerry Carty, Senior Consultant of RPS group, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today.

Gerry Carty  41:01 

Thank you just stay here and join us.

Dusty Rhodes  41:03 

If you'd like to find out more about what we spoke about on the podcast today. You'll find notes and the link details in the show notes or description area of our podcast on your podcast player right now. And of course you'll find more information and advanced episodes on our website at engineers ireland.ai. Our podcast today was produced by just pod.io for engineers, Ireland and if you'd like more episodes, do click the Follow button on the podcast player so you get access to our past and future shows automatically. Once next time for myself Dusty Rhodes like fillister