As 2021 draws to a close, I would like to reflect on the year gone by, and look ahead to plans for 2022. Despite the ongoing challenges presented by Covid, we were encouraged to see the growth in our membership, volunteers and sponsors this year. We hosted a record number of events, re-launched our highly-anticipated HVAC Design Essentials training, and commenced our ASHRAE-CIBSE Mentorship Program this year.
Personally, I was honoured to step into the President role this year, having served as Chapter Secretary since it’s foundation in 2015. I’m extremely grateful to all our volunteers and sponsors who have supported us over the years, and it’s been fantastic to see the organisation grow from strength to strength in Ireland, to a position where we can now deliver more meaningful impact to our members. When I took over as President this year, I set out three focus areas for strategic initiatives in 2021-22: (1) Mentorship; (2) Membership; and (3) Training and Education. Through the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, we have been able to deliver results in each of these areas, and I hope that this will serve as a platform for growth for the future.
We kicked off our technical events this year with Prof. Bill Bahnfleth, Chair of ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force (ETF), providing an update on ‘Evolving HVAC Guidance for Airborne Infection Control’. Throughout the pandemic, ASHRAE and the ETF has been at the forefront in providing technical guidance for the management of buildings and HVAC systems. Since then, we’ve hosted a total of 16 technical seminars, with over 800 attendees, and accumulated over 5,200 views on our newly launched YouTube Channel*. You can download a summary of our 2021 events here.
In March, our Young Engineers in ASHRAE (YEA) Chair, Conor Deane, teamed up with his CIBSE YEN counterpart to host the Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Quiz. YEA activities continued in November, when we launched the ASHRAE-CIBSE Ireland Mentorship Program 2021-22, to assist younger engineers in the early stages of their career, providing guidance and support from industry leaders. I believe this will be a fantastic resource for many young engineers in the years to come, providing a truly lasting impact for those who participate.
In June, we held our AGM, where we welcomed 6 new members to our Board of Governors, Edith Blennerhasset, Gary O’Sullivan (OSENG), John Bynum (Arup), Andrew Keegan (PrincipalHVAC), Peter O’Dowd (Jacobs) and Brendan Redington (HSE). Our board currently stands at 21 serving members, but we are always open to welcoming new volunteers. If you are interested in helping out, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In September, we hosted ASHRAE President Mick Schwedler to deliver his Society address: “Personal Growth. Global Impact. Feed the Roots”. In his presentation, Mick emphasised the value of personal connections and the human element behind ASHRAE as a global voluntary organisation. He spoke about the need to leverage technology in the wake of the pandemic to re-embrace these personal connections across the ASHRAE network.
In October, we re-launched our ASHRAE HVAC Design Essentials training, following our previously over-subscribed training event in Dublin in 2019. This training covered fundamental of HVAC design (Level I) as well as more advanced HVAC Applications (Level II). Due to ongoing demand for this training, we plan to re-run the course early in 2022, so make sure you are registered for our mailing list, and various social media pages to stay updated.
We also recently announced the recipients of ASHRAE Ireland Student Awards, now in their third year. Three well-deserved recipients were awarded the top prize from their respective institutions, recognising the contributions of members of ASHRAE student branches to fields related to the Built Environment.
We have a lot to look forward to in 2022, as we continue to build on the successes of the last 12 months. I’m particularly excited about the launch of our new mentorship program, in collaboration with CIBSE, as well as the launch of our Spring/Summer Technical series. I’d like to reiterate my sincere thanks to all of our sponsors and our volunteers who have given generously of their time this year. Finally, on behalf of ASHRAE Ireland, I’d like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Christmas and a prosperous new year.
*Data correct at 8th December 2021