On Tuesday 21st June, ASHRAE Ireland Chapter held our AGM, bringing our 2021/22 Society Year to a close. We celebrated the many successes of the last 12 months, including: the re-launch of our HVAC training programme, 17 technical events and seminars including 5 ASHRAE DL’s, almost 50% growth in our student members and 5% growth in our general membership, as well as the launch of our inaugural YEA (Young Engineers in ASHRAE) mentorship programme in association with CIBSE and sponsored by CIM. We achieved record support from our sponsors this year, with 26 companies now providing ASHRAE Ireland Chapter with a solid foundation for the future.
I was delighted and honoured to serve as ASHRAE Ireland President for the last 12 months. When I started my term, I set out three strategic focus areas in support of our members and society: (1) Mentorship; (2) Membership; and (3) Education and Training. We’ve seen significant progress in each of these areas over the last 12 months:
- Mentorship: Launch of the first ASHRAE-CIBSE YEA Mentorship Program, supporting young engineers at the early stages of their career journey, by pairing them with expert mentors to help guide them and foster their networking and career growth. This is coupled with bespoke workshops on topics such as Leadership, Personal Branding and Career development. The program also supported 2 of our mentees to travel to the ASHRAE Annual Conference in Toronto last week, along with our YEA Chair (Conor Deane) and incoming President (Conor Murray). This is a really important initiative within our industry, particularly in the wake of Covid when many new entrants do not have the same travel and networking opportunities that may have been afforded to them in the past. I’d like to extend a sincere thanks to both Conor Deane and Conor Murray for spearheading this initiative over the past few months, as well as our sponsors CIM, who not only provided financial support to the initiative, but were also actively engaged in the programme.
- Membership: We delivered almost 50% growth in student members over the past 12 months, coming through our established student branches (NUIG, UCD and MTU) as well as our national support for new student members of ASHRAE, kindly sponsored by Google and Daikin. Three students also received the ASHRAE Ireland student award, recognising the emerging talent from our Universities and Institutes of Technology. We also saw a 5% uptick in our general membership numbers. Over the coming year’s we expect much of our growth will continue to come through our growing student and YEA members, who recognise the tremendous value that ASHRAE offers for those embarking on a career in the built environment. The global network of members, chapter volunteers, and diverse technical areas covered by ASHRAE is unique in our industry.
- Education and Training: We held 17 technical events and seminars this year, covering a variety of topics from smart grid/buildings, data analytics and IoT, to heat pumps, building management systems (BMS) and building decarbonisation. Most of these are available to view for free on our YouTube Channel. We were fortunate to be able to relaunch our HVAC Design Training this year, albeit still only available as a virtual offering. We had 27 attendees attend the 1-week intensive training course (Level I + Level II). I’d like to extend a warm thanks again to all our speakers who have contributed to our schedule over the past year, and I look forward to a more regular return to live and hybrid events in the near future.
At our AGM, we confirmed the following incoming members of our Board of Governors:
- President: Conor Murray
- Vice-President: Gary O’Sullivan
- Secretary: Conor Deane
- Treasurer: Michael Geraghty
I’d like to wish the incoming President and the Board every success for the year ahead, and extend my thanks to all the volunteers who helped contribute to our growth over this last society year. On a personal note, my wife and I celebrated the birth of our first baby (Darragh) on 8th March this year. Therefore, I will be taking a step back from some of my ASHRAE activities over the coming months in order to spend more time with my family. I’ll continue to serve my remaining year as Regional Vice-Chair for Research promotion within ASHRAE’s Region XIV (Europe), as well as supporting any ad-hoc requests from the ASHRAE Ireland Board where necessary. I hope to return to a more active role in the near future, but for now the Chapter leadership moves to the capable hands of Conor Murray and his leadership team.
Wishing you all the best for the future,