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    ISO 27001 Accreditation for RPS Ireland

    11 January 2018

    ISO 27001 Accreditation for RPS Ireland

    RPS Ireland has received ISO 27001 accreditation from the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI).

    RPS IT Director Connie Wiseman

    The ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management System provides requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving an information security management system (ISMS). Our Irish offices have worked through the planning and implementation of the system over the past 18 months. The NSAI undertook a two-stage audit of the four ROI offices in late 2017 and recommended RPS Ireland for accreditation.

    ISO 27001 can provide a basis for evidence of compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will apply across all EU Member States and has significant implications for businesses operating within the EU market.

    Connie Wiseman, RPS IT Director said “This is a huge achievement and the culmination of many months of work for the IT team here in Ireland and staff throughout the offices. The timing is great and puts us in a strong position as we approach the GDPR deadline of 25th May 2018.”

    Key to implementing the new system is communicating to staff that every RPS employee is responsible for information security. The process has involved changing habits in relation to information security, from locking workstations when stepping away from the desk, to locking laptops away at the end of the day. A clean desk policy has been implemented across all offices to protect sensitive information and personal identifiable information (PII) in line with GDPR. It has required changes to our project filing system and numerous new privacy and security controls. Project managers and teams follow new procedures to ensure the security needs and expectations of all the stakeholders on their projects are considered and all PII is protected.

    Information security and protection of personal data is a top priority for our public and private sector clients as the GDPR deadline approaches. Achieving ISO27001 accreditation is confirmation that we can deliver and manage their projects securely.

    Contact:
    Connie Wiseman
    E: [email protected]

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    UCD Students Awarded RPS Innovation Prizes

    22 December 2017

    UCD Students Awarded RPS Innovation Prizes

    A group of UCD Engineering students were recently awarded RPS Innovation Prizes based on design assignments in Civil Engineering.

    The assignments nominated by RPS sought to introduce first year students, mentored by 4th and 5th year Masters students, to the relevance of civil engineering to national infrastructural development.

    The three nominated assignments were on traffic congestion in urban areas, flooding and renewable energy projects. Students were asked to address specific issues by examining the nature of the challenges, offering alternative solutions, identification of preferred options and a communications strategy on the need for the required infrastructure.

    The assignment was part of the ‘Design by Innovation’ module taken by all first year students in Engineering. It was judged jointly by the Principal for Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Amanda Gibney and the Design Innovation Lecturer Keith Finglas. Prizes were also awarded to the best Masters students who mentored the students during their 3-week assignment in November 2017.

    The assignments will also assist in attracting more students to 2nd year civil engineering and its relevance to growing a sustainable economy in terms of transport, energy and water infrastructure.

    Contact:
    PJ Rudden
    E: [email protected]

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    Construction Commences on Donabate Distributor Road

    15 December 2017

    Construction Commences on Donabate Distributor Road

    Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD turned the sod on the Donabate Distributor Road project this week. He was joined by Fingal County Council Chief Executive, Paul Reid and Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley. This is the first Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) project under the Rebuilding Ireland programme to reach the construction stage.

    This new 4km road is a crucial piece of infrastructure for Fingal County Council and is a key element in its response to deal with the current housing crisis. The €20m project opens up new land for the development of thousands of homes by creating a vital alternative crossing of the railway line.

    L – R: Michael Noonan, Transportation Director RPS; PJ Rudden, Director RPS; Paul Reid, Chief Executive Fingal County Council; Cllr. Mary McCamley, Mayor of Fingal; Eoghan Murphy TD, Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government; and Tom O’Connor, Managing Director MEIC Contractors.

    As well as creating better access to Donabate and Portrane and alleviating traffic congestion in the village, it will also improve access to the strategically important National Forensic Mental Hospital in Portrane when this national facility becomes operational in two years’ time. The Distributor Road will lead to the provision of 1,200 housing units by 2021 with an anticipated potential build of 2,200 units being provided in the long-term.

    The Donabate Distributor Road is scheduled to take 18 months to complete. RPS is Client Representative to Fingal County Council, providing planning, design services as well as contract and construction supervision.

    The €20 million project is co-funded under LIHAF by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (75%) and Fingal County Council (25%). MEIC is the appointed contractor.

    The Donabate Distributor Road is part of the Donabate Local Area Plan 2016-2022 which is designed to deliver social and physical infrastructure to the area in order to create sustainable communities. As well as a phased delivery of a wide range of house types and sizes there are also plans for the development of commercial and recreational facilities including the Donabate Recreation Hub, the Broadmeadow Greenway and the Corballis Nature Park.

    Speaking at the turning of the sod, Paul Reid, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council said: “This is the first of three LIHAF schemes which we have received approval for and when finished they will facilitate the construction of 6,900 new homes in Donabate, Swords and Baldoyle by the public and private sector. The Distributor Road is a key strategic aim of the Donabate Local Area Plan which provides for the future sustainable growth of the town through the implementation of three phases of development across land parcels located to the north, south, east and west of the existing town centre.”

    Contact:
    Michael Noonan
    E: [email protected]

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    SGN NIC Robotics Project Scoops Two UK Business Awards

    24 November 2017

    SGN NIC Robotics Project Scoops Two UK Business Awards

    The UK Business Awards were held on 22nd November at Wembley Stadium. It was a hugely successful evening for our client SGN and their NIC Robotics Innovation Project, which was awarded both the Utilities Award and the Innovation B2C Award.

    RPS provided the technical services consultancy to SGN and ULC Robotics, to support this industry-leading innovation project developing robotic platforms and solutions for the gas utility industry.

    The SGN Robotics team including Colin Osborne, SGN Engineering Policy Manager (second from left), Richard Mason, SGN Innovation Project Manager (third from right) and PJ Rudden, RPS Director (far right)

    The project pioneered the deployment of sensor technology inspection and repair robots in live gas distribution mains that had never been attempted before. It involved the design, manufacture and field testing of the new robots, which were successfully tested in live gas mains in London in November 2015.

    The innovative technology measures wall thickness, stress and strain in pipelines and will allow gas utilities to extend the life of cast iron pipeline infrastructure. Its use will allow pipeline inspection and joint repair operations to take place with minimal disruption to customers, with fewer traffic restrictions, lower road reinstatement costs and no supply restrictions for gas customers. The project was previously awarded the Engineers Ireland Excellence Award for Innovation in 2016.

    Richard Mason SGN Project Manager being presented with Award on Innovation (B2C) at UK Business Awards in Wembley Stadium

    The UK Business Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate exceptional business performance. Awards were presented across a wide range of categories including Financial Services, Retail, Utilities, Business Change or Transformation, Customer Centric Organisation, Disruptive Business Model, Innovation, Inspirational Leader and Best Place to Work.

    Contact:
    PJ Rudden
    E: [email protected]

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    Two RPS Speakers at GIS Ireland 2017 Conference

    23 November 2017

    Two RPS Speakers at GIS Ireland 2017 Conference

    GIS Ireland 2017, the annual conference for GIS professionals organised by IRLOGI (Irish Organisation for Geo-Information) was held last week in Dublin.

    Having been postponed from its original date in October due to Storm Ophelia, the theme of climate change seemed particularly fitting, as climate change is believed to have contributed to that category 3 hurricane.

    The conference brought together industry-elite speakers to evaluate and discuss GI application and trends, challenges and opportunities. The conference also provides an opportunity for knowledge sharing and networking within the GI sector in Ireland and UK.

    Saeed Khan & Justin McGurk speak at the GIS Ireland 2017 Conference

    Two RPS GIS Specialists presented at the conference this year. Our GIS Manager, Saeed Khan provided an overview of CPD for GIS professionals, outlining the various pathways towards achieving accreditation. In 2016, Saeed himself was awarded Chartered Geographer (CGeog) status (there are currently only 650 CGeogs worldwide) and was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London.

    Justin McGurk, Senior GIS Specialist presented on ‘Land Parcels for Compulsory Purchase Orders’ and his work on the M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy project. He described the innovative process for generating accurate CPO land parcels for the motorway project using open source software. He discussed automation, validation and the technologies utilised to generate the required CPO parcels and schedules.

    Contact:
    Saeed Khan
    E: [email protected]

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    RPS Staff Graduate with Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM

    21 November 2017

    RPS Staff Graduate with Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM

    13 RPS staff members have graduated with a Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).

    At the GMIT conferring ceremony last week, Declan Byrne, Bryan Coyle, Dermot Hickey, Pierce Higgins, Marcin Nikonowicz, Nick Stevens, Jonathan Grogan, David Cotter, Denis Cronin, Richard Horgan, Tadgh Hurley, Michael Minehane and Kevin O’Riordan graduated with the Level 8 qualification.

    This is another major achievement for RPS staff and a significant milestone in the award winning outreach education programme developed by GMIT in partnership with RPS.

    Our growing BIM capacity is facilitating Irish design team participation and leadership in major infrastructure projects in the UK and Europe.

    Congratulations to all involved!

    Contact:
    Mark Costello
    E: [email protected]

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    New Chairman of ICE Republic of Ireland Branch

    10 November 2017

    New Chairman of ICE Republic of Ireland Branch

    Cormac Bradley, Construction Manager with RPS, has recently been elected as Chairman of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Republic of Ireland Branch.

    ICE members in the Republic of Ireland are working on a huge range of projects across the country. The ROI Branch and its network of volunteers play a vital role in helping to increase the profile of civil engineering in Ireland through events, site visits and media.

    In 2018, the ICE will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its founding in 1818 when three young engineers met in a London coffee shop and founded the Institution of Civil Engineers, the world’s first professional engineering body. This anniversary will be celebrated at ICE events in 2018, including the ICE President’s visit to Ireland in February 2018, in which Cormac will be greatly involved. Among the many past-Presidents of ICE are Thomas Telford, Robert Stephenson, Thomas Hawksley, Sir Alexander Binnie, Sir Basil Mott and Sir Alexander Gibb. Another famous British Engineer Isambard Brunel was Vice President but died before reaching the post of President.

    Contact:
    Cormac Bradley
    E: [email protected]

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    Timoole Unauthorised Landfill Remediation

    31 October 2017

    Timoole Unauthorised Landfill Remediation

    The contract to remediate the unauthorised landfill at Timoole in County Meath was signed last week after a lengthy process of site investigations, redesigns and public consultations running in parallel with a High Court action.

    RPS was appointed to the project by Meath County Council in 2015 and since then we have been involved in bringing the project to construction stage. The tender for the construction works was published earlier this year and attracted seven tender submissions which were evaluated by RPS and culminated in a recommendation to appoint Priority Construction.

    Since then, we have worked with Meath County Council to resolve a land occupancy issue adjacent to the site and held public consultation meetings with the local community in the area.

    Front row from left: Eoghan McCarthy Priority Construction, Cllr Gerry O Connor Cathaoirleach (Chairman) Meath County Council, Jackie Maguire Chief Executive Officer Meath County Council. Back row from left: Kevin Stewart Director of Service, Pat Keating Priority Construction, Cormac Bradley RPS, Caroline Corrigan Senior Executive Engineer, Larry Whelan Senior Executive Officer.

    The construction phase will see the removal of approximately 40,000m³ of material from the site to a licensed facility and its replacement with suitable clean material. Excavation depths are expected to reach 10m in one corner of the site but in-situ testing of the floor and side walls of the excavation will ultimately determine the extent of the material removal. Construction will begin in November and is expected to continue for 15 months unless ground conditions allow earlier completion.

    RPS has previously undertaken landfill remediation projects on behalf of local authorities in Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Wicklow, Laois and Dublin.

    Contact:
    Cormac Bradley
    E: [email protected]

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    Mersey Gateway Bridge Opens

    23 October 2017

    Mersey Gateway Bridge Opens

    The new Mersey Gateway Bridge to the east of Liverpool is open. The bridge opened to traffic at 00.01 on Saturday 14th October following an impressive fireworks display from the bridge.

    RPS Bridge Engineer Marcin Nikonowicz undertakes a site visit before the bridge opening

    The new six lane toll bridge over the Mersey between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes will relieve the congested and ageing Silver Jubilee Bridge. The cable-stay bridge forms the iconic centrepiece of a new and improved high standard link road, 9.5km long, connecting the national motorway network in north Cheshire with Merseyside. The project includes the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance over the next 30 years of the new bridge and approach roads. It has been successfully completed after three and a half years and almost 5 million man hours during construction.

    RPS and Currie & Brown have acted as Lenders’ Technical Advisors (LTA) for client Macquarie Capital since 2013. This involved due diligence reporting of all the engineering proposals and associated risks on behalf of the major lenders and UK Government Treasury to achieve financial close in March 2014. In line with the construction phase appointment, we monitored and reported on the progress of the works against the contract programme and cost plan. This included updating forecasts of costs to completion and likely completion dates as well as reviewing design or construction quality or technical issues which arise during inspections.

    The bridge has a total length of 2.25km, including the north approach viaduct at 700m and the south approach viaduct at 545m, which also crosses the Manchester Ship Canal. The main bridge is a 1km cable-stay bridge, with four spans supported by cables from three pylons. Construction of the three pylons was completed in November 2016, the outer pylons are over 110m in height and the centre pylon is 80m. Construction of the concrete deck was by means of balanced cantilever methods. The approach viaduct decks were constructed using a Moveable Scaffolding System (MSS), a span by span concrete cast in place method with a forward launch procedure, facilitating casting of concrete sections up to 70m in length. Other works include the Astmoor & Bridgewater viaduct with deck construction using precast beams which were cast and shipped from Ireland, along with remedial works to over 10 existing bridges requiring deck waterproofing, bearing replacement and crash protection.

    The Mersey Gateway Project is expected to help create new jobs, secure inward investment to the area and deliver important regeneration benefits, including improved public transport links across the River Mersey.

    Contact:
    Marcin Nikonowicz
    E: [email protected]

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    RPS Construction Manager gives Evidence to Oireachtas Joint Committee on CIRI Bill

    13 October 2017

    RPS Construction Manager gives Evidence to Oireachtas Joint Committee on CIRI Bill

    Cormac Bradley, RPS Construction Manager and Executive Board Member of Engineers Ireland addressed the Oireachtas (Houses of Parliament) Joint Committee on the Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI) Bill last week.

    CIRI is a voluntary register of competent builders, contractors, specialist sub-contractors and tradespersons, administered by the Construction Industry Federation. It was established as a result of the consultation process on the Building Control Amendment Regulations (BC(A)R). The CIRI Bill would replace the voluntary register with a mandatory statutory register.

    Cormac attended the hearing with Engineers Ireland Director General, Caroline Spillane to outline Engineers Ireland’s support for the Bill, which they believe would promote a greater commitment to compliance with building regulations. This, they maintained, would promote greater safety and quality for the consumer and the wider public.

    The hearing was also attended by representatives of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), who similarly support the idea of a statutory register.

    As a representative of Engineers Ireland, Cormac was involved in the original BC(A)R consultation process and a member of the Working Group that developed the suite of Ancillary Certificates. He is a recognised industry expert on BC(A)R and recently addressed a conference in Dublin on the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations & Key Implications for the Assigned Certifier. His current Assigned Certifier roles include pharmaceutical, commercial and healthcare projects.

    Contact:
    Cormac Bradley
    E: [email protected]

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