Engineers Without Borders (Ireland)

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Engineers Without Borders Ireland is an international development organisation for students and professionals from Ireland who share a common interest in sustainable development through engineering and appropriate technologies.


The organisation was initially founded in 2007, and partook in a 2-week project in the Sonairte: The National Ecology Centre in Co. Meath, Ireland. After a lull in activities, a small group of engineers began discussions on reviving EWB-Ireland in 2009. These discussions led to the formation of EWB-Ireland’s national committee in January 2010 by a multi-disciplinary group of engineers, we signed an MOU with EWB-UK in 2011 to promote knowledge sharing and opportunities, and registered as a company in 2013.

The governance structure comprises a board of directors, a national committee and a local branch network within regional centres. All members are highly committed volunteers and currently the organisation is driven by a number of key individuals. .[1]


Declan Alcock

Declan holds an MSc in Energy and Sustainable Building Design from the Institute of Energy & Sustainable Development, DeMontfort University, is a BREEAM Accredited Professional and a Certified European PassivHaus Designer with 16 years experience in consultancy and sustainability in the built environment. He is also Director of the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC), Project Director at Varming Consulting Engineers and lectures in "Sustainable BIM Design and Construction" at MSc level at Dublin Institute of Technology.

Liam McCarton, Chartered Engineer

Liam is a Chartered Civil Engineer who has over 20 years experience in Environmental Engineering Design, Construction & Commissioning of water & sanitation projects including being project manager for the Irish Red Cross working on post tsunami water and sanitation reconstruction programs in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Maldives and subsequently worked as a water and sanitation advisor to Governments in Sierra Leone, Niger and Nepal. Liam is currently lecturing on Degree and Masters programmes within DIT and leads the DTC research group within the School of Civil and Structural Engineering.

Billy Holland

Billy studied Civil & Environmental Engineering at University College Cork and Postgrad in Accounting & Corporate Finance, Management and Finance. He has played professionally with Munster Rugby since 2005 and has been player representative since 2010. Billy recently captained the Emerging Ireland team to success in the World Tbilisi Cup in 2015. Billy coordinates the south and west regions for EWB-Ireland.


Aoife Wilson

Aoife first became involved with EWB-Ireland upon returning from a placement with the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Uganda. Aoife has a Masters in Energy Management from Dublin Institute of Technology and holds a degree in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering from Trinity College Dublin. She currently works as an Energy Market Modelling Analyst at ESB Trading.

Elaine Doyle

Elaine holds a BEng Manufacturing Engineering from University of Limerick and an MSc Sustainable Development from DIT. She has worked in the waste management and windfarm planning sector as an engineer and the environmental educational sector as a facilitator. Elaine is also founder of environmental education company Boltz.

Stephen Down

Stephen is currently a graduate Structural Engineer at Byrne Looby in Dublin and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (BE), Civil and Environmental Engineering, First Class Honours, from University College Cork.

Vikram Pakrashi

A Chartered Civil Engineer and graduate from Jadavpur University, India, Vikram received his doctorate from Trinity College Dublin specialising in the field of wavelet analysis based health monitoring of structures. He previously worked as a civil engineer with Roughan O’Donovan Consulting Engineers and is now a lecturer in structural engineering at University College Cork.

Conor O’Shea

A final year Computer Engineering student in Trinity College, Dublin Conor joined EWB-Ireland to learn more about how computer engineering can be best used to aid development.


Engineers Without Borders Ireland is dedicated to bridging the gap between academia, industry and NGOs to give Irish engineers and scientists opportunities to learn about and contribute to sustainable development globally.

Our mission is to partner with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through education and implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while promoting global experience for engineers, engineering students, and similarly motivated non-engineers.

The aims of EWB-Ireland are as follows:[2]

  • Promote awareness of issues surrounding sustainable development and the role technology can play in reducing poverty and creating sustainable communities.
  • Assist communities in developing countries through engineering.
  • Facilitate research into engineering solutions for sustainable development.
  • Provide a resource of knowledge and experience for sustainable engineering.
  • Inspire the next generation of development professionals.
  • Assist in the creation and development of branches throughout the country.
  • Create a network between academia, industry, NGOs and engineering institutions.
  • Organise training workshops and discussion evenings which focus on sustainable development and disaster relief.
  • Create a web resource for people interested in engineering for sustainable development.
  • Work with universities to create development based research projects at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Student Branches[edit]

EWB-Ireland has established student branches in University College Dublin and University College Cork. The focus of these college student groups is to foster and promote an active interest and involvement in science and engineering and to encourage consideration and discussion of the challenges facing sustainable engineering in both the engineering and wider community.[3]


Within UCD the branch engage in a number of activities at college level and also within primary and secondary schools through the Engineers Ireland STEPS programme. They organised a number of workshops in 2014 involving practical hands on applications of the fundamental principles of engineering. During 2014 EWB-Ireland assisted the UCD student branch in a design challenge in collaboration with UCD Volunteers Overseas (UCDVO)which took the form of a single day design on the topic of disability in developing countries. The focus was the development of a learning environment for children with disability in Kiziisi in South West Uganda.


The UCC branch of Engineers Without Borders was initiated in 2013 and were awarded Best New Society UCC (2013/2014). EWB-Ireland assisted in UCC branch to hold a number of events during 2014 including a talk by an international guest lecturer, Dr Alain Murphy of Geolimits Consulting, Bedford, Canada, who presented a lecture on his work in defining the legal boundaries continental shelf using ‘The Constitution of the Ocean’.

Where there is no Engineer – Designing for Community Resilience[edit]

"Where there is no Engineer" is an annual design initiative delivered in partnership with Concern Worldwide and Engineers Without Borders Ireland. The program is funded through by an Irish Aid Development Education Grant and coordinated by the Development Technology Research Group. It provides participants with the opportunity to learn about design, teamwork and communication through real, inspiring, sustainable and cross-cultural development projects. By participating in the program, students and professionals have the opportunity to design creative solutions to real life development projects. EWB-Ireland is the partner responsible for organising activities at undergraduate and industry level.

The 2014/2015 competition was based on Marsabit in Northern Kenya and the program was officially launched by An Tánaiste Minister Joan Burton in October 2014 with subsequent launches the program in UCD, TCD and UCC. We participated in a number of development workshops held jointly with Concern Worldwide in DIT and UCD. A number of lunchtime toolboxes were also held with industry to promote the design challenge. The national finals were held in the banquet hall of Smock Alley Theatre on the 6th June 2015. This was again launched by An Tánaiste Minister Joan Burton.

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