The 3rd Annual EWB Conference “Engineering A Better Future” took place at Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge on Monday 29th February as part of Engineers Week. Once again it was a great success and below are some of the highlights;
The day started off with a lecture in the conference room on “Understanding the Seismic Behaviour of Non-Engineered Building Techniques for Nepal” by Smart Shelter Research. This was attended by representatives of NGOs involved in building projects in Nepal who learned from Martijn Schildkamps extensive experience in building with rubble stone, confined masonry and alternative materials and techniques. Martijn also provided case studies of the schools he built in Nepal which all survived the earthquakes.
The main conference was sponsored by Byrne Looby, an international engineering consultancy practice that provides, civil, structural and geotechnical engineering services. Derek Daly, the QHSE and Tender Manager of Byrne Looby opened the evening session which was held in the Lecture Theatre.
Keynote speaker this year was Martijn Schildkamp. An Architect, Engineer and founder of three Smart Shelter divisions with a passion for alternative materials and experimental construction techniques, Martijn has researched, designed and built numerous projects in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Indonesia. Along with his expertise on earthquake proof construction Martijn gave his views on the current state of the Aid Industry and the treatment of the Rohingya in Burma.
Dominic McSorley, CEO of Concern-Worldwide and renowned humanitarian spoke about lessons learned from Haiti 5 years on. After 30 years of experience with Concern Worldwide Dominic has led or helped lead Concern’s responses to the world’s most devastating humanitarian emergencies and crises in countries including Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haiti.
Tom Oldfield, Director of SORBAS spoke about his work as a humanitarian professional managing a refugee camp for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and in the response to cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. Tom is currently researching the environmental impact of recovering nutrients from agri-food resources.
Sean Byrne and Thomas Carrigg, part of the winning team of “Where There is No Engineer” 2015 gave an update of their recent trip to Marsabit, North Kenya where they built a prototype of the “Modified Airdrop System”.
EWB-Ireland Director Declan Alcock presented a review of what has been a very busy year including the latest relief projects in Nepal, an update on the reconstruction effort in the Langtang Valley for which EWB-Ireland are providing technical advice, collaborations with Habitat for Humanity Ireland, UCDVO and Concern Worldwide, and the continued growth of “Where There is No Engineer”.
MC for the conference was Elaine Doyle, Head of Overseas Placement who did a tremendous job of linking it all together.