Griffiths & Armour recently launched its Engineering Futures bursary initiative to support and inspire young people considering traditional Engineering sectors as a viable career path. The announcement of two bursary award winners followed a rigorous application process which included students from colleges across Ireland applying for the bursary by producing an essay entitled ‘Engineering My Future’. This provided applicants the opportunity to share why they had chosen their particular course in Engineering, what the bursary would mean to them and their thoughts on the future of engineering in the built environment. The standard of applications received was extremely high making the assessment process very challenging for the judges, who included ACEI Secretary General, Dr Sarah Ingle and Engineers Ireland Deputy Registrar Dr Richard Manton. A short-list of candidates was selected for interview in November 2018 at the ACEI offices in Dublin.
Pictured in the photo above are the bursary winners, Helen Kelly and Alan Spillane along with Caroline Spillane, Richard Manton, Graeme Tinney and Sarah Ingle.
Helen Kelly is a second year Civil & Structural Engineering student at the Technological University Dublin, while Alan Spillane is a 2nd year Electrical Engineering student at Limerick Institute of Technology. Both recognise the need to promote the opportunities that a career in Engineering can provide and Alan is already heavily involved in promoting engineering to young people in primary and secondary schools by running workshops, delivering presentations and running his own electrical engineering club within his college. As the only female student in a class of 52, Helen is particularly aware of the need to address gender imbalance and for young women to understand the opportunities available to them whilst still in second level education. As well as addressing those issues, both Alan and Helen are hugely aware of the contribution Engineers make to society and are excited about how the profession will help to shape the future of the built environment.
In addition to financial support, this summer Alan and Helen will undertake paid internships in Barrett Mahony Consulting Engineers, Dublin and in Arup's Limerick office, respectively. They will also benefit from a range of exciting experiences throughout the period of their studies and were recently invited as guests to the Young Professionals’ Business day at the European Federation of Consulting Engineering Associations (EFCA) Conference in May which was hosted by ACEI in Dublin. The two winners also had the opportunity to engage with Engineers from across Europe as well as participating in a site visit along with other delegates.
Picking up on their desire to inspire the next generation, as part of the bursary Alan and Helen will also have a platform to share their stories and to influence those who may be considering Engineering as a career. ACEI wishes Helen and Alan well in their internships and the rest of their studies and looks forward to hearing more from them in the future.
Griffiths & Armour is an insurance broker firm with a long and established reputation in Ireland for its expertise in Professional Indemnity Insurance and Risk Management within the construction industry. Graeme Tinney from Griffiths & Armour (who was also on the judging panel) commented “It was a thoroughly enjoyable interview process and the future of engineering is bright with so many inspiring and aspirational young students applying but in the end what stood out with both Helen and Alan was not only their determination and passion for Engineering but a genuine desire to inspire the next generation. Ultimately, that was probably one of the deciding factors in awarding the bursary”.
Sarah Ingle from ACEI commented “ACEI highly commends Griffiths & Armour on this rewarding Engineering Futures Bursary initiative. It was a privilege to be involved in the shortlisting and interviewing of the candidates and based on the high standard of applications the future is bright for engineering in Ireland. ACEI member firms are delighted to provide rewarding internships for Helen and Alan. The association also looks forward with interest to following their engineering careers and assisting them in their professional development”.
Caroline Spillane, Director General, Engineers Ireland said: “Engineering Futures is an excellent industry-driven bursary award for two young engineering students championed by Griffiths & Armour and I offer my sincere congratulations to its recipients Helen Kelly and Alan Spillane. The initiative represents a desire and commitment by Griffiths & Armour to support the profession of engineering and I would like to thank them for their dedication, and particularly to Graeme Tinney, for spearheading this four-year initiative which at its core, aims to support and equip students through their undergraduate years of study. The bursary winner’s announcement is timely, as we recently celebrated Engineers Week, which aims to demonstrate to young people that engineering is a diverse career which is both satisfying and far-reaching”.