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Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

Digital DNA, Belfast

  • Networking
  • Belfast
  • 18 - 19 June 2019
  • 09:00
Digital DNA, Belfast

About this event

Visit ICE’s stand at the Digital DNA event to engage with leading infrastructure specialists and understand how Digital Twinfrastructure will deliver better outcomes to society.

Digital technology is already helping to make our road, rail, water and energy networks more efficient and reliable. Powered AI, big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, plans are now developing for a “digital twinfrastructure” future – an ecosystem of digital twins connected by securely shared data – which could deliver huge benefits to the economy and better outcomes to people and businesses.

ICE’s sessions on the main conference programme will explore how the fourth industrial revolution is transforming the sector and enabling engineers to deliver better services to citizens.

At the Digital DNA event benefit from:

  • 2 days of content across 8 themes
  • 3000 delegates and 150+ speakers
  • 100+ exhibitors
  • 80+ hours of content
Save 50% on the event tickets by quoting our discount code ICE50 at the checkout, or use this direct link to book.



18 June | 10:00 – 10:25
Better data, better places

How might technology transform not just our virtual world, but our physical world and the people who deliver it?

Each year £100bn is invested in creating and maintaining our built environment across the UK, however the construction industry is cited as being highly unproductive and lacking innovation with c.£15bn of value lost each year by not getting things right first time. There have also been some high profile international cases where buildings and infrastructure have failed, resulting in loss of life.

ICE’s Richard Kirk will explore how digital technology can help the construction industry transform delivery and operation of the built environment and the experience of the users: the public.


  • Richard Kirk, Regional Director, Institution of Civil Engineers

18 June | 10:30 – 11:30 
Digitally transforming Northern Ireland’s built environment      

Civil engineers support society by delivering and managing the built environment that surrounds us: roads, railways, bridges, buildings and water and energy networks. Their work is crucial to people and businesses, and digital tools are helping to deliver efficient and high-performing infrastructure that supports growth and improves lives.

This session will:
  • Outline progress, successes and challenges of digital transformation in the built environment to date
  • Highlight the challenges that major engineering organisations face in meeting society’s needs
  • Showcase the future vision for the built environment, including proposals for a “national digital twin” 
  • Peter Browne, Education Specialist, The McAvoy Group 
  • Gary Quinn, Network Maintenance Manager, Department for Infrastructure 
  • Myra Lydon, Research Fellow, Queen’s University Belfast  
  • Peter El Hajj, Information Consultant, Smart Infrastructure, Mott MacDonald  
  • Emer Murnaghan OBE, Vice President, ICE & Head of Sustainable Business, GRAHAM  

19 June | 12:00 – 13:00
Using built environment data to meet the needs of people         

In April 2019, the Institution of Civil Engineers gathered 32 built environment professionals to come up with new ways to manage built environment data and deliver better outcomes for the public.

This session will:
  • Highlight challenges that major engineering organisations face in meeting society’s needs
  • Showcase prototype concept solutions for better managing information digitally and meeting those needs
  • Explore how the concepts could progress and how the tech sector can help make them a reality  


  • Melanie Dawson, Director of Digital Construction, GRAHAM

  • Irene McAleese, Co-founder & CSO, See.Sense
  • Teresa McGrath, Research Fellow, Queen’s University
  • David Gawley, BIM Consultancy Director, Pentagon Solutions
  • David Porter, Divisional Roads Manager, Department for Infrastructure


Peter Browne, Education Specialist, The McAvoy Group 

Peter first joined McAvoy in 2003 working in the education sector in a business development role for its interim modular buildings before progressing to Sales Manager. He also spent two years working for a property development company sourcing office accommodation and delivering Cat A fit-out services. 

Following the repositioning of McAvoy to successfully combine manufacturing and construction and become a major principal contractor for offsite building projects, Peter took on broader business development responsibilities for offsite schemes across Ireland and Scotland. He has particular expertise in working with LEAs, schools and academies to assist in the procurement of education buildings, from extensions to complete schools. 

Peter is a member of the Chartered Institute of Building and is a Chartered Construction Manager. 

Melanie Dawson, Director of Digital Construction, GRAHAM

As Director of Digital Construction at GRAHAM, Melanie brings a wealth of practical hands on knowledge from an extensive and varied construction career over the past 15+ years. Specialising in BIM from 2012, Melanie has led the team at GRAHAM to become dual BSi BIM Kitemark holders - the first Tier 1 Contractor in the UK. She established the GRAHAM BIM Academy which upskills clients, colleagues and supply chain on the use of BIM and digital tools. Melanie is the driving force behind exciting R&D projects undertaken by GRAHAM in the realm of VR/AR and adoption of laser scanning technology.

David Gawley, BIM Consultancy Director, Pentagon Solutions

David Gawley is BIM Director for Pentagon Solutions helping Clients, Designers, Contractors and Supply Chain deliver digital construction projects. David is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and Chartered Construction Manager, who has been providing BIM consultancy for 10 years and worked with construction industry technologies for nearly 25 years.

Richard Kirk, Regional Director, Institution of Civil Engineers

Richard is helping civil engineers explore how they can deliver social value through infrastructure. As ICE Regional Director he is responsible for working with around 2,000 members in NI, enhancing their knowledge, encouraging the next generation of civil engineers and helping the public better understand infrastructure. He works with a wide range of industries, representative bodies, civil servants and politicians and has led the development of Work+ which is the civil engineering apprenticeship in Northern Ireland.

Prior to his role with ICE, Richard worked with the multinational consultancy AECOM, responsible for the delivery of capital infrastructure projects in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Richard is a Fellow of ICE, Chartered Manager and holds a Master of Business Administration. He is the Chair of ClimateNI, a member of the W5 Redevelopment Advisory Group and was Chair of the NI Construction Group in 2017 and was a Non-Executive Director of Colleges NI from 2014-17.

Irene McAleese, Co-founder & CSO, See.Sense

Irene McAleese is Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer of See.Sense, an award-winning cycling tech and data start-up.  Irene leads the data and insights part of the business and brings years of experience to the role, having led transformational change programmes in government and corporates around the world. 


Teresa McGrath, Research Fellow, Queen’s University

Dr Teresa McGrath is a Research Fellow and based in Civil Engineering in the School of Natural & Built Environment in Queen’s University Belfast.

She has worked on a number of projects that have facilitated the effective transfer of knowledge from research to practice, to develop commercially viable products and services.

Her research interests include the use of big data in decision making, energy efficiency in buildings, carbon footprint and climate change adaption within Civil Engineering. 

David Porter, Divisional Roads Manager,  Department for Infrastructure (DfI)

David Porter is currently the Divisional Roads Manager with the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and is responsible for maintenance, development and operations of all public roads in the Northern Division including the delivery of the £0.5 Billion construction schemes on the A6 between Belfast and Derry/Londonderry. David is a Chartered Civil Engineer and is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. 


Gary Quinn, Network Maintenance Manager, DfI Road 

As Network Maintenance Manager for DfI Roads, Gary is responsible for managing maintenance on a quarter of Northern Ireland’s roads. A Chartered Engineer Gary has always had an interest in digital technology and its use within civil engineering, with experience in leading teams on mobile technologies and digital transformation projects. Currently Gary as part of the Roads Digital Group is helping to drive innovate digital solutions within road asset management. His early career was spent with NI Water, where he gained experience in design, procurement and project management on a range of water and wastewater projects. 

Event venue

St George’s Market
12-20 East Bridge Street
Belfast BT1 3NQ
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Kristine Mladenova

e: [email protected]