Graduate and Student Annual Conference, Belfast

12 May, 2017 | 08:30 - 16:30

Don’t miss the highlight of the G&S year!
Don’t miss the highlight of the G&S year!

About this event

Join this special all-day conference for our Graduate and Student (G&S) members.


8.30 - 9.00: Registration, tea & coffee
9.00 - 9.10: Welcome from ICE NI G&S Chair (Grainne McQuaid, RPS)
9.10 - 9.40: Overview of Professional Review Process (Jenny Green, ICE)
9.40 - 10.25: Smart Cities (Jacobs)
10.25 - 10.45: Refreshments and Networking
10.45 - 11.15: Off-Site Modular Construction Technology and its implementation in industry (David Clark, McAvoy Group)
11.15 - 11.45: How could Blockchain transform the Construction Industry
11.45 - 12.45: Development, Implementation and Demonstration of Virtual Reality (RPS)
12.45 - 13.45: Lunch
13.45 - 14.45: Digital Engineering - Your Future (Simon White, Atkins)
14.45 - 15.15: Importance of Data Security for Future Civil Engineering (Stuart Millar)
15.15 - 15.30: Comfort Break
15.30 - 16.00: Structural Health Monitoring (Connor O'Higgins, McFarland Associates)
16.00 - 16.30: Use of Social Media for Project Progression (Graham Construction)
16.30: Conference Close

Event prices

£80 + VAT ICE member early bird rate (available until 21 April)
£110 + VAT non-member early bird rate (available until 21 April)

£100 + VAT ICE member normal rate (from 22 April)
£130 + VAT non-member normal rate (from 22 April)

£10 + VAT for students


For more information about the event and student rates, please contact:

Jude Faloon


Dr Grainne McQuaid, G&S Chairman

Dr Grainne McQuaid

Grainne has worked for RPS Consulting Engineers since 2014 as a Project Engineer. During this time Grainne has specialised in the Civil, Highway and Transportation Section of RPS Belfast. Prior to permanently joining RPS, Grainne spent three years working in Highway research with SABRE at Ulster University. Her work focused on the use of non-contact methods for the measurement of asphalt surface textures and its characteristics. She utilised software and developed highly innovative 3D modelling techniques through her work.

Jenny Green, ICE Membership Development Officer

Jenny Green

Jenny is a Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer, with more than 10 years' experience in structural engineering design consultancy. As MDO for ICE NI, Jenny is the point of contact for any queries relating to membership or professional qualification.

Jenny's presentation will give an overview of the application processes and standards required to achieve professional qualification and membership of ICE, for aspiring Technician Members (EngTech MICE), Incorporated Engineers (IEng MICE) and Chartered Engineers (CEng MICE).

Simon White, Divisional Digital Director, Atkins

Simon White

Simon is a Chartered Civil Engineer who, over that last 20 years, has specialised in providing value added services in multidisciplinary design across a number of sectors both in the UK and internationally. Until recently, he led a UK team of over 270 engineers, driving technical excellence and digital innovation, and is now the Digital Director for Atkins' 3,000 strong Infrastructure division. His current role will help shape Atkins' approach to digital engineering, collaboration and automated design.

David Clark, Innovation Manager, McAvoy Group

David Clark

Innovation Manager, McAvoy Group

David Clark stands at the forefront of innovation within The McAvoy Group and has spent the last number of years dedicating himself to the industry shift towards digital construction and offsite technologies. His vision is to embed innovation into all divisions of the company and align this to the strategic needs of the business.

In a fast paced world of technological change, David has led The McAvoy Group to achieve its goal of being ready to deliver BIM (Building Information Modelling) Level 2 services to its clients. As the construction sector shifts towards a need for greater levels of digital information, including data-rich 3D models of buildings, David has ensured that The McAvoy Group is, and will remain, at the forefront of this "digital revolution" in the offsite construction industry across the UK and Ireland.

Throughout his 20 years working in the construction industry, and in particular the past five years with McAvoy, David has always been involved with design and has kept abreast of the latest 3D software solutions available. This has enabled him to introduce software-enhanced solutions that provide both 3D data to the front-end client interface and the back-end manufacturing and construction needs.

David has a BSc in Manufacturing Management and is currently undertaking part-time study for an MSc in Construction Project Management and BIM at Queen's University Belfast. He seeks to share his knowledge of digital construction with as wide an audience as possible, through keynote presentations at events across the UK.

Peter Smyth, Divisional Director, Jacobs Belfast

Peter Smyth

Peter has over 20 years' experience in the Water and Flood Risk industry. A Civil Engineer, Peter initially worked for Atkins immediately after graduating before moving to Black & Veatch in 2002. At Black & Veatch, Peter managed the design and construction of the Nottingham Flood Alleviation Scheme which was a £50M scheme to protect 26,000 properties at risk from the River Trent.

In 2007, Peter joined Jacobs and led the Flood Risk team in Belfast. He moved to Jacobs Dublin office in 2009 to establish Jacob's Water team in RoI. During this time Peter worked with Dublin City Council to deliver the Dublin Flood Resilience Project and Irish Water on the Dublin Water Supply Project. Peter returned to the Jacobs Belfast office in 2014 where he is now the Office Lead.

Connor O'Higgins, Graduate Engineer, McFarland Associates

Connor O'Higgins

Connor is a Graduate Engineer at McFarland Associates Ltd, having completed his MEng Structural Engineering with Architecture in 2012, from Queen's University Belfast. He has worked in collaboration with QUB's School of Natural and Built Environment research groups, implementing structural health monitoring methods at a number of research sites.

Stuart Millar, Researcher, CSIT

Connor O'Higgins

Stuart is a PhD Cyber Security Researcher at QUB's Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) in Belfast. CSIT has been accredited 'Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research' status by GCHQ, and is the largest UK academic centre researching cyber security.

Stuart's research interests include IoT, machine learning and biometrics, and he was part of the team representing CSIT at this years' UK Inter-ACE CTF competition at Trinity in Cambridge. He holds an MSc Software Development with Distinction and a BSc Business Information Technology, both also from QUB. Stuart has worked closely with Invest NI on multiple FDI projects in IT plus spent several years in broadcasting producing and presenting content for BBC Radio 1 in the UK and RTE in Ireland.

Dr Michael Shaw, Director, RPS CE

Michael Shaw

Michael has extensive experience in most aspects of maritime engineering relating to structural engineering projects. His experience of over 25 years encompasses harbour design, coastal defence structures, berthing facilities, cargo handling, infrastructure, aquaculture, marina development and renewable energy projects.

He is one of the very few Chartered Engineers who holds a HSE commercial diving certificate. Mike, using his diving experience in recent years has also become a renowned expert in the field of Accelerated Low Water Corrosion of marine structures and has sat on the CIRIA panel/steering committee for the publication of new guidelines on dealing with the problem.

Martin Harvey

Martin Harvey

Design & Technical Services Manager, McAvoy Group

Martin Harvey has over 15 years' experience in the construction industry, working in a number of architectural practices in both Northern Ireland and England before joining The McAvoy Group in 2011 as part of the Internal Design Team.

Martin has progressed within the Design Team to lead the POSC Design Management Team and has recently taken up the role of Design Manager of the Design and Technical Services Department. To date, Martin has worked on some of the largest projects carried out by the McAvoy Group in commercial, hire, education and healthcare sectors.

In his day to day role heading up the design team, Martin manages the designs so that they are produced on time and are designed to maximise the use of offsite construction. Martin also ensures designs meet the latest planning legislation, building and CDM regulations, as well as managing both internal designers and external survey and design consultants.

Tommy McClean, Product Designer

Tommy McClean

Tommy has over 16 years' experience within the software industry, helping to develop products for Microsoft, London Insurance Market, Local Higher-Level Education Institutes and The Global Payments Network. Previous to joining PwC, Tommy lead the user experience team for one of the world's largest workforce management software solutions. During his time at InVision, he was pivotal to the transformation of the company as they moved to new development methods and was central to establishing a design lead culture within the organisation. Tommy brings a human centred approach to developing software at PwC. Producing solutions that bring real value to the end user that harness the full power of blockchain.

Andrew Johnston, Technology Consultant

Andrew Johnston

Andrew is on the FNI Graduate Scheme as part of the Blockchain Team in Belfast. Since joining PwC Andrew has been active across several markets, primarily focused on financial services. Most recently Andrew has been directly responsible for developing content exploring blockchain applications in supply chains.

This material has focused on industries such as Energy Utilities & Mining, Agriculture, Government, Automotive, Education & Certification, Freight / Logistics and Construction Financing alternatives utilising Blockchain Technology. Prior to joining PwC, Andrew obtained a BSc (Hons) in Construction Engineering & Management, completing a placement in Virginia Beach, USA where he was responsible for on-site reinforcing steel and structural element inspections for Government clients including the US Department of Justice.