Monday, February 8, 2010

Taoiseach launches Engineers' Week

We were honoured by the Taoiseach at lunchtime today to launch Engineers' Week from Clyde Road.

John Power opened the event by emphasising the role which the engineering profession can play in restoring the economy,  including infrastructure investment.  He also noted the role which engineering can play in the innovation economy by ensuring that new products,  services and processes are safely designed and implemented.    He observed that Engineers Ireland is promoting the highest standards of engineering,  and he called for further regulation and licensing of professional engineering so that health and safety issues,  environmental and cost are all competently addressed in all engineering projects across all engineering disciplines in the economy.

The Taoiseach then spoke.  He was delighted to return to Engineers Ireland again,  and to launch Engineers Week.   He observed that prosperity can only sustainably return to the economy is skills are cultivated and deployed.  He noted how the smart economy will lead to people working more effectively and productively.  He highlighted the important role of Science Foundation Ireland and the R&D investment within the economy.   The opportunity now is to commercialise this R&D and he has been impressed by the level of success by the IDA in attracting R&D investment into the economy.  He noted the role of Engineers,   and delighted to learn that CAO applications in engineering are recently increasing.   He felt that numerically literacy and fluency in mathematics are critical to the economy,  and he looks forward to improvements in this regard.

I then spoke briefly to thank the Taoiseach for launching Engineers Week,  in our 175th year.  I noted the roles that engineers are already playing, and can play,  in restoring a sustainable and innovative economy.  I remarked that we are launching our report on the teaching of mathematics and science at second level next thursday.   I also thanked Discover Science and Engineering for their excellent work in promoting our profession,   and their close co-operation with out STEPS programme.   I also noted linkages to sister organisations such as the IEEE.

I was delighted that the Taoiseach took time to speak to a number of people,  and stayed to have a pot of tea and informal chat afterwards.

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