The Career and Industry Fair at NUI Galway Energy Night 2012
Ireland’s vibrant energy sector offers a myriad of opportunities to boost the economy through job creation. With the aim of bringing renowned energy experts together under one roof, NUI Galway students and researchers from a variety of disciplines organised an on-campus Energy Night event on 6 March 2012. Providing an invaluable opportunity for students, academics and business people to network and collaborate, the event comprised a career and industry fair featuring prominent energy employers, a research showcase, a panel discussion and a networking reception. NUIG Energy Night 2012 was a huge success with over 300 delegates in attendance, and the organisers’ hope is that it will become the premier recruiting and networking event in the Irish energy sector.
The idea behind organising the Energy Night was to address the question “How to use energy to jump start Ireland’s economic recovery?”. We believe that the current global economic situation forces us to look at using our existing energy infrastructure and potential energy capability to boost the Irish economy by creating jobs. Furthermore, the energy sector can put Ireland’s business on a more sustainable path by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, thus potentially reducing energy costs for Irish consumers.
Students from a variety of disciplines organised an on-campus event that brought together renowned energy experts under the theme “Putting Energy to Work for Ireland”. NUIG Energy Night 2012 took place in the Bailey Allen Hall in NUI Galway on March 6th, 2012.
It consisted of a reception, comprising an Industry & Career Fair and a Research Poster Session that highlighted the work of business and research people in the energy sector. This was followed by a high-profile structured Panel Discussion.
It was our hope that the NUIG Energy Night would ignite further meaningful debate on the topics raised among attendees, bring up the profile of Irish industry and research in the energy sector and help enthuse the next generation of students.
The NUIG Energy Night 2012 was an entirely student- and researcher- organised event, jointly undertaken by the Chemistry, Energy and Physics Societies at the NUI Galway.
The event was sponsored by EXPLORE, Enerit and Shell, and was approved as the Engineers Ireland CPD Training. The organising team received great support from the Career Development Centre and Societies Office, as well as from many staff members at NUI Galway.
The following companies participated in the Industry & Career Fair: Eirgrid, Enerit, Shell, Nutherm, AER Sustainable Energy, United Technologies Research Centre Ireland, MCS Kenny, GE Energy and EireComposites.
The panel Discussion was moderated by RTÉ’s George Lee. The panel consisted of the energy experts including Norman Crowley – founder of Crowley Carbon, Gabriel D’Arcy - CEO of Bord na Móna, Enterprise Ireland’s Tom Kelly and Alan McGettigan – Finance Director of Petroceltic.
The enthusiasm of the younger members of the organising team combined with the experience and ‘know how’ of the postgraduate students and the NUI Galway staff members ensured the efficient transfer of knowledge and connections for the successful event. The cooperation and support from the University the event received was irreplaceable.
The event was an overwhelming success with more than 300 delegates from academia, local and national industry, policy making organisations and the general public attending.
The combined Poster Showcase and Industry & Career Fair surpassed all expectations and had the Bailey Allen Hall buzzing throughout the day. There were great energy and enthusiasm at the fair. Several company representatives commented on the technical level of the questions asked.
They said the standard of students was higher than they had expected. This type of informing discussion and technical networking helped in forming bonds between industry and academia, which was one of the aims of the event. Students commented on the day, saying it was extremely valuable to talk to the representatives of the different companies. Many of the students found the fair helpful in deciding which direction they should continue their studies.
The Panel Discussion took place in the brilliantly prepared Bailey Allen Hall. The panel was diverse and varied in their fields of work, leading to an extremely interesting and insightful discussion. Norman Crowley’s message of “energy efficiency first” was extremely well received by the audience and all in attendance were simply blown away by Mr. Crowley’s open-minded innovative thinking. This type of attitude and mind set needs to be instilled in students to show them the possibilities that are in the energy sector and other areas. Alan McGettigan of Petroceltic heaped praise on the student’s research posters. Mr. McGettigan expressed that Ireland’s immediate energy security is a very important and worrying issue and showed different directions Ireland could go to secure its energy supply. Tom Kelly demonstrated the support given by Enterprise Ireland to grow Irish businesses, while Gabriel D’Arcy showcased the new direction that Bord na Móna took as an energy company.