Two women and a young girl are looking into the camera at the launch of Engineers Week.
From left: Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland; Loanna Veeramalay (age 6); and Fionnghuala O’Reilly, Engineers Week ambassador and NASA datanaut. Image: Julien Behal

Ireland will see 5,000 new engineering jobs this year, Engineers Ireland says

25 Feb 2020

Ahead of Engineers Week 2020, Engineers Ireland has published a report highlighting persisting demand for engineering talent.

A new report from Engineers Ireland has suggested that more than 5,000 engineering jobs will be created across the country this year, from such areas as the green economy and construction to digital manufacturing and AI.

The finding is based on engagement between Engineers Ireland and industry leaders ahead of the professional membership body’s Engineering 2020 Barometer report during STEPS Engineers Week, which takes place from 29 February to 6 March.

The STEPS programme is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Department of Education, as well as Arup, ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

As part of Engineers Week, young people are being encouraged to think about the possibilities from a career in engineering. It is estimated that more than 75,000 students, teachers and parents will take part in more than 700 activities throughout the week.

‘There tends to be this traditional view that only men in white coats and hard hats are scientists or engineers, but this just isn’t the case any more’

Director general of Engineers Ireland, Caroline Spillane, commented on the survey conducted in advance of this year’s Engineers Week. “It is hugely encouraging that our industry continues to offer so many exceptional job opportunities in such a wide array of engineering disciplines.

“But the challenge is to ensure the supply of talent is there – and that is why support for campaigns like STEPS Engineers Week is so vitally important, not just to the sector but to Ireland’s future skills needs.

“Engineering is at the vanguard of emerging areas such as AI, the green economy, e-health and even space exploration. Our Engineers Week 2020 ambassador Fionnghuala O’Reilly is very much the embodiment of what it means to be a talented Irish engineer in the 21st century.

“I am now issuing our annual call to action to companies, schools and local authorities across the country to register their events and to help us inspire our young people and encourage them to explore the exciting world of science, technology and maths that underpins a rewarding career in engineering.”

‘Demystifying’ careers in engineering

Engineers Week ambassador O’Reilly is a NASA datanaut and was awarded Miss Universe Ireland in August of last year.

She commented on the changing face of engineering and STEM as a whole: “There tends to be this traditional view that only men in white coats and hard hats are scientists or engineers, but this just isn’t the case any more.

“I want to help demystify during Engineers Week 2020 what it looks like to be a modern engineer, and to really showcase all of the amazing career opportunities that can come from a background in math, science and technology.

“As someone who travelled a lot growing up, I have always gravitated towards a career that looks at how to make things work better in the world,” O’Reilly continued. “Now as a systems engineer, which is a relatively new branch of engineering, my job is to make systems work better for society.

“In my role as a director for NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge, I use my systems engineering background to support projects aimed at creating systems that address Earth science and space challenges. We use massive amounts of data to create solutions for things like the devastating wildfires that have happened all over the world or drones that can withstand weather and atmospheric conditions on another planet.”

Free Engineers Week resources are available here.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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