Arup people and projects recognised at 2019 Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards

Clare O'Loughlin Clare O'Loughlin Europe Press Office, Ireland
19 November 2019

Arup celebrated three award wins at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards 2019 on 15 November. Now in their tenth year, the annual awards showcase and celebrate engineering innovation and excellence with a dinner and awards ceremony, with 400 people gathering for the event at the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin this year.

Connor McGrath was awarded ESB International Engineer of the Year, which recognises the work of Irish engineers overseas. Our work on Fernhill Park and Gardens, a joint entry with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, received the Sustainability Award, a new category in this year’s Excellence Awards. Arup’s work on Mary Elmes Bridge, a joint entry with Cork City Council and Keating Construction, jointly won the Local Authority Engineering Initiative category.

Connor McGrath received the International Engineer of the Year Award in recognition of his work volunteering as the Resident Engineer on a mudslide repair and seismic upgrade programme at the Druk White Lotus School, after it was hit by a major mudslide event in 2010.

In 2018, Connor travelled to Ladakh in northern India to work closely with a local construction manager to coordinate the programme, labour and materials involved in the remedial works.

Connor McGrath (Arup) receiving the International Engineer of the Year Award from Pat O'Doherty (ESB).

“It is an honour to be recognised by Engineers Ireland with this award. Volunteering as the Resident Engineer was an incredible experience – unique in my career so far. I got great insights into the local community’s needs by living and working together, giving me a new appreciation for the importance of user-led design,” said Connor McGrath, Structural Project Engineer.

A first at this year’s Excellence Awards, the newly created Sustainability Award, sponsored by Irish Water, went to the Fernhill Park and Gardens project.

Arup supported Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to develop the sustainability masterplan, which delivers a much-needed public resource whilst conserving and enhancing both the wider environment and the biodiversity of the park and gardens.

“Fernhill is a wonderful and unique place. We devised the masterplan with the aim of meeting the needs of the park and gardens from within. We are proud that our partnership with DLR Parks Department received the sustainability award, a fantastic achievement on an exciting project, focusing on sustainable development and climate change mitigation,” said Arup Director, Edith Blennerhassett.

Our work on Mary Elmes Bridge received the Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award, sponsored by Colas Bitumen Emulsion, which invites local authorities to submit engineering-led initiatives that benefit their local communities.

Designed to enhance connectivity, Mary Elmes Bridge is a slender, single-span pedestrian bridge which complements the existing fabric of Cork city. The bridge is a key element of Cork reshaping its vision for the future as a more sustainable, commuter friendly city. Since opening, the beautiful views have made Mary Elmes Bridge an attractive meeting point for locals and visitors alike.

Mary Elmes Bridge was the joint winner of the Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award. Photo credit: Henry O'Brien

“We are delighted to have been part of the ground-breaking design of this slender arched bridge, working with Cork City Council and the design team to deliver this new city link. It has been well received by the people of Cork, creating both a link and a focal point to visit and enjoy,” said Robert Ryan, Associate | Bridges and Civil Structures.

Arup was shortlisted in multiple categories, including Brian Twohig from Arup’s Berlin office who earned a place on the shortlist for the Chartered Engineer of the Year Award, the IAA Visual Control Tower, Dublin Airport in the Engineering Project of the Year category, and our project to Improve Drought Resilience of Irish Water Groundwater Supplies in the South West in the Geoscience Ireland Award category.

Arup has continued to support these awards as sponsors of the Chartered Engineer of the Year Award. Aerospace engineer, Dr. Cristina Paduano, won the accolade for her work on computational fluid dynamics.