International professional services firm Pinsent Masons together with Women in Business and the Energy Institute launched a new network this week to empower women who work, or aspire to work, in the Northern Irish energy sector.
The energy market is adapting to new sources of power to help achieve the government's aim for at least 70% of Ireland's electricity supply to be generated from renewables by 2030. The target creates new opportunities in the market for companies and employees.
The Women in Energy NI programme aspires to provide a local platform for women currently working in the sector or those wanting to get into the sector to network on a regular basis, share ideas and hear from inspirational women about their career in the sector.
Attendees at the first meeting on the newly formed network heard from Eva Jacques from Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, Dr Sile Brennan from Ulster University and Judy McElroy from NIE Networks.
Laura Donnelly an Associate in Pinsent Masons' Belfast Energy team says:
"The first Women in Energy event exceed my expectations with over 50 attendees. The speakers were terrific and all had a fascinating and different career paths.
It is great to be one of the partners to launch the new programme that is designed to promote the energy sector in Northern Ireland and the diversity of everyone involved with the sector. We are keen to hear from anyone interested in collaborating on future events".
Eva Jacques is Commercial Projects and Relations Manager at Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, responsible for the management of a range of R&D and commercial projects, mainly in the area of demand side management, energy storage and the connected electric home. She was Coordinator of the €15.5M Horizon 2020 RealValue project and is actively engaged in the European Commission’s BRIDGE Initiative for Horizon 2020 Smart Grid and Energy Storage projects. Eva is the key project manager for Glen Dimplex’s strategic partnership with OVO Energy which launched a first-of-a-kind Smart Heat proposition to the GB market in early 2019. She is also heavily involved in Glen Dimplex’s national and EU lobbying activities. Eva speaks multiple languages and prior to joining Glen Dimplex four years ago, she worked in challenging roles in London, Moscow and Brussels including in international trade and EU affairs. She is currently Chair of the CBI NI Future Leaders Forum.
Dr Síle Brennan
Dr Sile Brennan was appointed as a lecturer in Hydrogen Safety in 2008 and has been course director of the BEng/MEng Safety Engineering and Disaster Management since 2016.
Dr Brennan’s research interests are in CFD modelling of hydrogen releases and fires and her work in this field has generated refereed papers. She has been involved in a number of large European research contracts. Most recently she has participated in the European project HyIndoor involving pre-normative research on the indoor use of hydrogen and fuel cell systems, and the European H2FC infrastructure project where she coordinated the European technical school on hydrogen and fuel cells.
Dr Brennan obtained a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from University College Dublin before completing her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast. She joined the HySAFER team at Ulster University in 2007.
Judy McElroy is the Transmission Interface Manager at NIE Networks, responsible for managing the Transmission Interface with the System Operator for Northern Ireland (SONI) to represent the company’s interests as the Transmission Electricity Asset Owner. As part of her role at NIE Networks, Judy also manages Asset Management Compliance. Judy’s focus is on optimising NIE Networks asset management capability to ensure effective management of all asset performance and risk. In her role Judy ensures that asset stewardship decisions, policies and practices comply with current legislative and directive requirements.
Judy graduated with a MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast in 2012, where she was sponsored through the IET Power Academy scholarship scheme designed to promote Power Engineering. Prior to her recent maternity leave, Judy worked as a Cable Investment Engineer at NIE Networks where she was responsible for delivering a £10m programme of electricity cable replacement. Following on from that role she undertook the position of Asset Information Manager, where managing a team of 20 individuals she improved the quality of NIE Networks’ asset records threefold to help inform investment decision making. Judy has a voracious appetite for personal development and recently completed a Post Graduate in HR.