2015 Press Releases

EirGrid prize for UCC Sustainable Energy graduate

30 Jul 2015
Pictured (l-r) at EirGrid’s National Control Centre: John O'Keefe, Stephen O’ Keefe, EirGrid CEO Fintan Slye, Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir, Dr. Dominic O’Sullivan.

EirGrid, the operator of the national electricity grid, has awarded its annual prize to UCC’s top Masters graduate in Sustainable Energy.

Stephen O’Keeffe from Raffeen, Co. Cork won the €1,500 award for high achievement in engineering and was presented with the prize by EirGrid CEO Fintan Slye at its National Control Centre in Dublin.

He achieved the highest overall mark in UCC’s MEngSc (Masters of Engineering Science) in Sustainable Energy 2013 - 2014.

EirGrid CEO Fintan Slye said “Stephen and his colleagues at the UCC School of Engineering represent the next generation of Ireland’s engineers, who will continue to grow our knowledge economy into the future. Stephen’s thesis on sustainable energy, and the strong level of competition from his peers, demonstrates how secure and exciting that future is.” 

Stephen's thesis was in intelligent energy efficiency and focused on Virtual Energy Auditing, i.e. building energy audits which can be performed quickly and remotely without the need for a site visit.

Dr. Dominic O’Sullivan, UCC Lecturer in Energy in Buildings and thesis supervisor for Stephen, said he did “an excellent research project on a very important topic – how to develop an approach to auditing the energy performance of a building remotely thereby removing the need and cost associated with a site visit. I wish him all the best in his future career.”

Having completed the programme, Stephen is currently working in Cork for Brookfield Renewables, which owns and operates a significant number of wind farms in Ireland.

“I congratulate Stephen who is very deserving of this prize and wish him well in his career. He performed consistently well in our programme, excelling both in exams and in his research work. I commend EirGrid for continuing to recognise excellence by awarding a prize each year to our top graduate,” commented Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir, Director of UCC’s Masters in Sustainable Energy.

Now in its 10th year, UCC’s School of Engineering taught MEngSc Programme in Sustainable Energy continues to attract considerable interest, both from applicants wishing to participate and employers looking for suitably trained staff.

A core element of the programme is industry involvement, with guest lectures to the programme including EirGrid, Bord Gáis and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

The first EirGrid prize for the top graduate was awarded in 2005 – 2006, when the taught programme was in its first year. This annual EirGrid prize, awarded to the top graduate of UCC’s Masters Programme in Sustainable Energy, demonstrates the strong engagement of UCC with industry and EirGrid’s commitment to excellence. This year it recognises and applauds Stephen’s hard work and achievement. 

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