Patrick O’Donovan, Minister of State (Dept of Finance)

A native of Newcastle West in Co. Limerick, Minister O’Donovan was elected to the Dáil at his first attempt in February 2011. Prior to becoming a TD, he qualified and worked as an industrial chemist before then qualifying as a teacher. He served as a member of Limerick County Council from 2003 to 2011.

Following Minister O’Donovan’s election to the Dáil in 2011 he was selected to be a member of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, whose role it is to promote co-operation between political representatives in Britain and Ireland and build on the close relationships established in recent years between politicians throughout Britain and Ireland. During the 31st Dáil the Taoiseach also appointed him to the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Transport and Communications, and the Public Accounts Committee.

Minister O’Donovan was re- elected to the 32nd Dáil in February 2016 and was appointed by former Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD as the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport. In June 2017 he was appointed Minister of State at the Departments of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD.

Tom Parlon, Director General, Construction Industry Federation (CIF)

Before joining the CIF, Tom served as a TD for Laois Offaly and as Minister for State at the Department of Finance from 2002 until 2007. As Minister he was responsible for the Office for Public Works (OPW).

From 1997 to 2001, Tom was President of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), having previously held several other positions with the association.

Dominic Doheny, President, Construction Industry Federation

Dominic is a graduate of both Bolton Street and Trinity College Dublin and has been the joint Managing Director of John Flanagan Developments since 1989. He is the former Chairman of the Irish Home Builders Association and brings a wealth of personal experience, spanning more than three decades, to the role of President. He will hold the role for two years.

Caroline Spillane, Director General, Engineers Ireland

Caroline Spillane is Director General of Engineers Ireland. Prior to undertaking this role Caroline was the chief executive officer at the Irish Medical Council. Caroline has held senior roles in organisations including Assistant National Director with the HSE, operating within the Children & Families Social Services Directorate and chief executive officer of the Crisis Pregnancy Agency.

Caroline is an economics graduate of University College Cork, and also holds an MA from the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Ian Kehoe, Editor, The Sunday Business Post

Ian is Editor of the Sunday Business Post. An award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster, he is a former presenter and reporter with RTE’s Prime Time programme. He has twice been named as the Ireland’s Business & Economics Journalist of the Year.

Ian has made a number of major documentaries for the state broadcaster RTE, including Namaland and Who’s Buying Ireland?

Danielle Dy Buncio, Co-Founder and President, VIATechnik, Chicago, USA

Danielle Dy Buncio is the Co-Founder and CEO of VIATechnik, a construction and engineering services firm transforming the construction industry through virtual design and construction by blending global human capital with cutting-edge construction technologies. At VIATechnik, Danielle leads the company’s strategic growth efforts and builds and manages client relationships with some of the largest AEC firms around the country. Under Danielle’s leadership, the firm’s innovative and landmark projects have included everything from a point cloud BIM of one of the world’s largest breweries to the creation of a virtual “gaming” environment of a nuclear power plant. Danielle and the VIATechnik team are spearheading advancement of BIM, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence in the industry.Prior to founding VIATechnik, Danielle worked for general contractors in Silicon Valley, Sydney, and Chicago. As a Civil Engineer and a LEED Accredited Professional, she has extensive commercial building, heavy civil, and marine construction experience.Danielle holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Tom Kelly, Head of Division – Industrial, Lifesciences & Consumer, Enterprise Ireland

Tom Kelly is Head of Enterprise Ireland’s Industrial, Lifesciences and Consumer Division. Enterprise Ireland is the government body with the responsibility for the development of Ireland’s indigenous and natural resource based industries.

He has responsibility for developing and implementing the organisations’ strategies in Life Sciences, Construction, Engineering, and related sectors. He is recognised as a “thought leader” on manufacturing and is a member of key Government Fora looking at the future of Manufacturing in Ireland.

He is based at Enterprise Ireland’s offices in East Point Plaza, Dublin 3, and is a member of it’s Executive Committee, and is Chairman of its Finance, Job Expansion and Capital Investment Committees. He is also a member of the Governing Body of Dublin Institute of Technology and a member of the Board of NIBRT (The National Institute of Bio-processing Research and Training)

Prior to taking up his current assignment he was senior manager within the Scaling Division, leading a team of specialists in business development and innovation management, working directly with a select group of fast growth client firms.

Earlier in his career he was Head of Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Development Division, assisting firms to adopt best manufacturing and business practices and to fostering innovation particularly through new product and process R&D and technology transfer.

His earlier career also included the role of Director of IFI Joint Ceramics Research Centre, [1990 -1996], a joint undertaking with the University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland. The Centre was part funded by the International Fund for Ireland and involved working closely with firms in all parts of Ireland to develop new and improved products and processes. The Centre was an active participant in different EU Framework Programmes. Dr. Kelly also worked as Technology Adviser and Evaluator on various EU funded programmes.

Awarded a PhD in Chemistry from University College Galway, for work on the catalytic properties of zeolites, he holds Masters Degrees in Materials Technology from the University of Sheffield and Industrial Engineering from University College Dublin. He is the author of several articles that have appeared in the scientific literature, spanning traditional and advanced ceramics as well as surface engineering technology.

John Foster, European Business Development Manager for BIM, Topcon Europe

John has over 20 years’ experience in AEC and manufacturing software – covering software development, consulting, business development management and sales in his career.

John is responsible for business development across Europe, including Ireland, with a focus on BIM and digital construction primarily within the vertical construction market. A key aspect of his role is developing our software partnerships for integrated technology workflows and developing our distribution partners to bring these advancements to the construction industry.

Dr Alan Hore, Founder CiTA

Dr.Alan Hore is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and currently the Head of Quantity Surveying in the School of Surveying and Construction Management in DIT. He was one of the founders of the Construction IT Alliance and completed a Phd in Construction Informatics in Trinity College Dublin in 2007. He has an extensive portfolio of published work in the discipline area of Construction Informatics and is currently the Principal Investigator on the BIM Innovation Capability programme (BICP) which is funded by Enterprise Ireland

Sean Downey, Director, Specialist Contracting, Construction Industry Federation

Sean is a Chartered and Registered Building Surveyor with over 20 years post graduate, technical and project management experience in Irish and European building projects. Sean manages specialist and subcontractor trade associations to assist in the development of professional, efficient contracting businesses. The aim is to showcase the value of our member companies as ‘best in class’ and to help them achieve their business growth ambitions.Leading initiatives on innovation, BIM and continuous improvement for the construction sector.Specialist support areas primarily include, advising on contract, payment, dispute resolution and procurement issues.

Eoin Vaughan, CEO, Mercury Engineering

Eoin joined Mercury Engineering in 2005 as a Contracts Manager for Mercury’s Munster office. Following 3 years in his primary role, Eoin was promoted to General Manager of Mercury Poland. In a challenging overseas market, Eoin’s leadership qualities became very evident to the wider-Group. It was clear that Eoin possessed the skills and personality to successful lead and manage Mercury operations both at home and abroad. Eoin would spend 5 years serving as GM for Mercury Poland before being re-assigned as the General Manager for Mercury Middle East, in 2012. Over the course of 2 years, Eoin successfully executed the Group’s strategy for the region – once again displaying an ability to overcome a complex operation in a challenging market. In 2014, Eoin would receive the ultimate reward for his distinguished service to the Mercury as he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Mercury Group. As the CEO, Eoin would now lead the Executive Management Team and sit on the Board of the company. From the beginning, in his role as CEO, Eoin was focused and determined on ensuring that the right policies and procedures were in place to enhance the company’s operational capabilities.

In his first year Eoin developed MERCURY 2021- a Group wide strategy aligning all Mercury people with the strategic objectives of the company over the next five years and beyond. Eoin firmly believes in the value of people within a business and has invested greatly in Mercury’s Graduate Programme, in On-site training for our trades people and in the overall professional development of Mercury’s junior and senior employees. Eoin’s primary qualification is in mechanical engineering from the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). He has a post graduate diploma in project management from the University of Limerick (UL), an MBA from the University of Manchester and is an Alumni of Harvard Business School having completed the Executive Education Leadership Programme in 2015. Before joining Mercury, he worked with Project Management Group and Diamond Engineering in various construction management related roles.Eoin also currently sits as the Chairman of the Building Information (BIM), Innovation and Continuous Improvement Committee of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).

Elizabeth Kavanagh, Head of Innovation and Research, Stride Treglown, UK

Elizabeth is Head of HR and Research & Innovation at Stride Treglown, one of the UKs top architectural practices. Stride Treglown is an employee owned company with high levels of employee engagement and the first UK firm to achieve all 8 areas of the Workplace Wellbeing standard. Elizabeth has founded Behaviours4Collaboration which is a partner to the BIM task force and focussed in the development of a culture of collaboration in construction. For further information follow the LinkedIn group Behaviours4Collaboration. She has significant knowledge in Building Information Modelling and cofounded the South West BIM region in collaboration with the University of the West of England. For further information follow the LinkedIn group SW BIM Region. An experienced strengths based and career coach and university lecturer she also enjoys working with charities including her current role as Non Exec Director of Oasis Talk.

Dr Claire Penny, World Wide Solutions Leader, IBM

Claire is a member of the extended leadership team in the IBM Watson IoT business unit. She has a record of successfully converting innovation projects into commercialized revenue generating products, and, for driving results across matrixed global teams. She is renowned for her passion, getting things done, love of evangelizing, and sharing IBM capabilities with internal and external audiences. She attained her PhD in 1998.Claire is the Global Leader for Watson IOT for Buildings. Claire gets to combine all her passion, experience and learning from the past 17 years and focus it into IOT for Buildings and Retail, focusing on the operational phase of a building. This combination means that she can add value to customers, whilst working and collaborating with brilliant teams, to develop and deliver cognitive building solutions. In this role, Claire is also driving IBM’s thinking and vision to strategically shape IBM’s Buildings and Retail cognitive (IOT) solutions, which are helping clients to drive operational efficiencies, cost savings and even generate new revenue streams.She regularly shares her knowledge and passion through public speaking, publications and social media activities. Delivering presentations on topics such as Cognitive Buildings, IoT, BIM, IWMS, Energy Optimisation and Environmental Affairs.

Not one to sit still even after hours, Claire’s external commitments include:

  • Chair of the CitA BICP (BIM Innovation Capability Programme) Client BIM Task Group, Ireland (Jan 2016 – present)
  • Non-executive Director of WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) Ireland, (2005 – present)

Joseph Mady, Managing Director, Digital Construction Technologies Group

Joseph Mady is the Managing Director of the Digital Construction Technologies Group. Joseph is a member of the CIF Lean Construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM), Innovation and Continuous Improvement Committee, a member of the NSAI Technical Committee on Building Information Modelling, and a member of the CitA BIM Eastern Region Steering Committee. Industry work aside, he is a part-time lecturer at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), lecturing on the CPD Certificate in Information Technology for Site Workers and a part-time BIM lecturer at the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland. Joseph has presented at CitA events, this year giving two presentations at the CitA Gathering on his research. He holds BEng Tech and BSc degrees in Electrical Engineering Services Design and an MSc in Applied Building Information Modelling and Management.

Cillian Kelly, BIM Leader Ireland, Sisk Ireland

Cillian has extensive knowledge and experience of BIM within the AEC sector, working as Senior BIM Manager and now BIM Leader Ireland for John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd. Cillian has utilised BIM on a large range of projects across Ireland and the UK. Pharmaceutical projects such as Allergan Biologics Two, Mayo and more recently, Cillian is working on Grangegorman DIT Campus , a large Multinational data centre project, Dublin along with the Bons secours,Cork and the redevelopment of the Curragh Racecourse, Kildare. As BIM Leader Ireland Cillian is responsible for managing all BIM Project across Ireland ensuring Sisk meets the client’s needs and is aligned with PAS 1192-2 and BS 1192. More recently Cillian managed the company through BRE BIM Level 2 accreditation as the first Irish contractors to receive this certification. He is also a BRE Global BIM Informed Professional. Cillian is Co-Chair of the Easter BIM Region and is Vice Chair of the CIF Construction 4.0 Committee.

Maria Mahon, Chairperson, Initiafy

Maria is Chairperson of Initiafy and has had a wide-ranging career, with experience in marketing, branding, management and, for the last several years, as a management consultant for Chief Executives in the start-up phase of their businesses. Coming from a marketing background, she worked on an international branding project with the Irish Tourism Board, before moving to become a Marketing Director with Communicorp. From 1999 – 2007, Maria was Group CEO of the Saon Group, an online jobs site that grew from a small website in Ireland to become the market leader in Ireland and a global company with operations in the UK, South Africa, the Caribbean, South America and China. In addition to these roles, Maria was Chair of the board of the Marketing Institute of Ireland. She currently sits on the board of the Galway International Arts Festival, and is Chairperson of Camara education, a social enterprise that enhances education through the use of technology in predominantly East African countries. Maria set up her own management consultancy in 2007 to mentor Chief Executives in the startup phase of their business and became involved with Initiafy in 2016.