Learn more about our guest speakers who will contribute during the 2020 National Energy Research and Policy Conference online webinar series.

Dermot Byrne

SEAI Board Chairperson

Dermot's background is in utility engineering and management. He was CEO of EirGrid through its initiation and growth phase, from 2005 to 2012. Prior to that he served as Head of ESB Networks. Since retiring from EirGrid, Dermot has served on a number of Boards, including that of Element Power - a wind development company. He currently chairs an Irish overseas development agency, VITA, with a strong focus on rural communities and climate action in East Africa.

Dermot is a Fellow of Engineers Ireland and served as its president in 2016 / 17. On behalf of DCENR (now DCCAE) he chaired an expert group to develop a national Energy Research Strategy. The report of the group, Energy Innovation Ireland was published in 2016.

Sharon Finegan

Head of Climate Action unit, Dept of the Taoiseach

Sharon Finegan is currently Head of the Climate Action Unit in the Department of the Taoiseach. Prior to this she was Secretary to the Citizens’ Assembly from 2016-2018. She has spent the majority of her career working in the Department of the Taoiseach where she has held a number of roles including Head of Protocol, Head of Economic Policy and Deputy Director of the Northern Ireland and International Division. She also worked in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. She holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy Studies from Trinity College Dublin and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Robert Deegan

Principal Officer, Residential Energy Efficiency Division, DECC

Robert Deegan is the Principal Officer with responsibility for leading the Residential Energy Efficiency Division in the Department of Environment, Climate & Communications.  Prior to joining the Department, Robert worked in policy development, finance and evaluation roles in the Department of Health.

David Shipworth

Professor of Energy and the Built Environment at the UCL Energy Institute

David Shipworth is Professor of Energy and the Built Environment at the UCL Energy Institute and Chair of the User-Centred Energy Systems Technology Collaboration Programme by the International Energy Agency. He researches systems for provision of demand flexibility within the energy system, in particular demand side response and peer-to-peer energy trading, and roles of consumers and buildings in delivering these. He has a particular interest in the design and evaluation of field trials for providing evidence to government and business, as well as testing the consumer acceptability of, and response to, different flexibility offerings such as Time of Use Tariffs and Home Energy Management Systems.

He was a founding member of the Strategic Advisory Group of the UK ’Smart Systems and Heat’ programme run by the Energy Systems Catapult on behalf of BEIS. He has been a consultant and advisor to the UK government and industry on smart metering over the last twelve years having done work for BEIS; SEGB; ETI; ESC; EdF; E.ON; SSE; UKPN; Bosch; PassivSystems; and other organisations focused on the role of users in the energy system – as well as sitting on advisory boards for UK and European funded smart energy system projects.

He is currently an investigator on around £20M in research grants in the Demand Side Management area. He is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and is on the Editorial Board of Nature: Scientific Data.”

Donna Gartland

Chief Executive Officer, Codema

Donna took up the position of Chief Executive Officer of Codema in April 2020 and has worked with the company since 2013. She is a qualified electrician with a BEng in Energy and Environmental Engineering from the Institute of Technology Tallaght and a MSc in Sustainable Energy Planning and Management from Aalborg University, Denmark. She is currently completing a PhD in Energy Engineering with University College Cork. In her previous role as Codema’s Senior Energy Planner, Donna worked on monitoring and reporting the progress of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan for Dublin City in line with the Covenant of Mayors Initiative and developed the first Spatial Energy Demand Analyses (SEDA) in Ireland for all four Dublin local authorities in order to integrate energy and spatial planning at a local level. Donna is also working on implementing the first District Heating systems in Dublin with Dublin City and South Dublin County Councils, and is Technical Advisor on the EU Interreg NWE project ‘HeatNet’. She is the lead author of the national level ‘Guide to District Heating in Ireland’ report, funded by the SEAI. 

Ken Cleary

Assistant Principal, Climate Change Unit, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Ken is the assistant principal in the climate change unit of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Before that, he was Assistant Principal Officer at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment where he has worked in the energy efficiency division for over three years. He has also served as First Secretary at the Irish Embassy in Singapore.  He was educated at Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin.


Andrew Moloney

Economist, Dept. of Business, Enterprise & Innovation (DBEI)

Andrew Moloney is an economist working within the Climate Action Policy and Economic Infrastructure Unit in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Andrew completed a Master of Science in Economic Analysis at the University of Limerick in 2016 and has since been working with the Irish Government Economic Evaluation Service within the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. He has a particular interest in the fields of economics for enterprise and economics of climate change.

John FitzGerald

Chairman of the Climate Change Advisory Council

John FitzGerald is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, an Adjunct Professor in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University College Dublin, and Chairman of the Irish government’s Climate Change Advisory Council. He is a former research professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute. He previously served as a member of the Commission of the Central Bank of Ireland and a board member of the Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation.

Josephine Maguire

National Coordinator- Better Energy, SEAI

Josephine has a background in governance and accounting and joined SEAI prior to its establishment in 2001 to lead the set-up of the organisational structures. She later helped establish the Energy Suppliers Obligation Scheme and is currently involved in testing and development of the future strategy for home retrofit.

Kevin Brady

Principal Officer, Business Energy & Gas Division, DECC

Kevin Brady is the Principal Officer leading the Business Energy & Gas Policy division at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC). His responsibilities include energy efficiency policy for the commercial and public sectors and the development of renewable heat in the industrial and commercial sectors. He oversees the development of regulatory policy and the regulatory framework in the gas sector and is also responsible for security of energy supply in the gas and electricity systems.

Dr Muireann Lynch

Senior Research Officer, ESRI

Muireann Lynch is a Senior Research Officer in the Economic Analysis division of the Economic and Social Research Institute. She joined the Institute in 2014. Muireann holds a degree in Mathematics and Economics from Trinity College Dublin and a PhD from the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering in UCD. She has published numerous research articles in diverse areas of energy economics and has co-authored submissions to various public consultations and Government Departments. Muireann is also a Funded Investigator with the Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme and coordinates emerging research focused on the modelling and integration of electricity, gas, heat and water systems. Muireann’s research interests include electricity market regulation, power system economics and renewable generation integration and her research methodologies include stochastic mathematical programming, optimisation and game theory.

Seamus Hoyne

Development & Public Engagement Manager, LIT

Seamus is a highly experienced manager with 25 years’ experience in energy, education and flexible learning environments. He has developed extensive networks regionally, nationally and internationally in the sustainable energy and higher education fields. Seamus has acquired a thorough knowledge and experience of Europe and national funding schemes with experience of coordinating large scale multi-national projects.

He currently manages the growing team within the LIT Development Unit which focuses primarily on issues related to sustainable development at a local, regional, national and international level. He leads and partners in consortia to secure funding from a range of national and EU funding programmes. He manages programmes across H2020, Interreg, Erasmus+ and other programmes providing strategic and project management, technical input and leadership. He is joint Principle Investigator for the Centre for Energy Efficiency and Deep Decarbonisation (CEEDD) which focuses on supporting individuals, communities, businesses and industry to achieve energy transition goals.

He is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Tipperary Energy Agency and Secretary General of FEDARENE, European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and the Environment

Professor Jerry Murphy

Director MaREI, UCC

Professor Jerry Murphy is Director of the SFI MaREI Centre, Professor of Civil Engineering in University College Cork and leads the Biogas Task of the International Energy Agency Bioenergy. He was awarded the Engineers Ireland Excellence Award (2015) for best paper/presentation, The Marine Industry Award for Excellence in Marine Research (2017), an adjunct professorship in University of Southern Queensland (2018), a fellowship of the Irish Academy of Engineers in 2019 and was elected to the international advisory board of DBFZ (German Bioenergy Research Centre) in 2020

He is a leading authority on advanced fuels and the circular economy with more than 155 peer review journal papers, over 10,000 citations and a h-Index of 54. He has supervised 31 postgraduates and currently leads a team of 18 researchers.  

Karen Trant

Director of Energy Networks & Legal, CRU

Karen joined the CRU in 2006 and has been involved in the energy Safety and energy Networks Divisions both as a manager and then senior manager. She was appointed Director of Water in 2018, before moving to her current role as Director of Energy Networks & Legal. Karen has responsibility for the regulation of the electricity and natural gas infrastructures in Ireland, including setting network development and connection policy, approving charges for access to and use of the networks and resolving connection disputes.  Her division also has a general role in advising the organisation on all legal matters. She is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast where she completed and LLB in Law. Karen is a qualified solicitor with the Law Society of Ireland.

Dr Jan Rosenow

Director of European Programmes, Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)

Dr Jan Rosenow is a Principal and Director of European Programmes at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), a global team of highly-skilled energy experts. Jan has several board appointments including the International Energy Agency’s demand-side management programme, the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, and the Efficiency Valuation Organisation. Jan also has a passion for energy research. He is an Honorary Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute. In recognition of his work within the field, Jan was named one of the world’s Top 25 energy influencers.

Declan Meally

Head of Transport and Communities, SEAI

Declan is Head of Department with responsibility for Transport and Communities in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Ireland’s national body for sustainable energy policy and programmes. His portfolio of programmes include community engagement (smart city), renewable energy and energy retrofits and the low emission vehicle programmes.  He is a chartered mechanical engineer and has worked for over twenty five years in management in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining SEAI, Declan worked in management in Xerox Europe Limited and Aer Rianta.

Dr Lucy Corcoran

Programme Executive, Research, Development & Demonstration, SEAI

Lucy Corcoran works on delivery of the SEAI National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme, which supports innovative energy RD&D projects that contribute to Ireland’s transition to a clean and secure energy future. Lucy represents Ireland on Europe’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SETPlan) Steering Group, and represents SEAI on the National Climate Research Coordination Group. Lucy is also the National Contact Point for the European Commission co-funded ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems initiative.

Lucy is an engineer with ten years’ experience in the energy sector, across industry and academia. She holds a BAI (Engineering) and PhD (Hydropower Energy Recovery) from Trinity College Dublin, and is a graduate of the UCD-TCD-QUB Innovation Academy (Innovation and Entrepreneurship).

Dr Rory Monaghan

Principal Investigator, National University of Ireland Galway

Dr Rory Monaghan is the Lecturer of Energy Engineering in the School of Engineering at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway). He is a Principal Investigator in the NUI Galway Ryan Institute, a Funded Investigator in MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, and the Director of the Energy Engineering Programme at NUI Galway. Rory has been researching hydrogen since 2003, when he commenced his graduated studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has won €1.8 million in competitive funding for sustainable energy research in the fields of hydrogen, renewable gas, bioenergy conversion technologies and computational modelling. Rory currently leads the Long-Term Effects work package of the €9.3 million GenComm project, which is funded by the EU Interreg North West Europe Programme. GenComm brings together 10 partners in five countries and aims to demonstrate the role of hydrogen as a feasible means of storing and using renewable energy at community scale when it would otherwise be wasted. Rory is a Board member of Hydrogen Ireland and the founding Chair of the Community Hydrogen Forum.


Jim Scheer

Head of Policy Insights Department, SEAI

Jim is responsible for SEAI’s policy insights and design support, covering statistics, energy modelling and behavioural economics. He joined SEAI in 2007 and prior to that worked for the Government of South Australia. Jim holds a MSc. in Economic Policy Studies from Trinity College Dublin and a primary degree in Environmental Science from Flinders University (South Australia). 

Elizabeth Kearney

Communities Retrofit Programme Lead, Energy Team

Elizabeth has a background in manufacturing and education where she developed her strength in communications. Her administrative experience in manufacturing was with a company who is a world leader in intelligent electric heating and renewable energy solutions. While there she also conducted company sponsored education programmes in the classroom. Elizabeth then continued in education assisting children with special needs.

A founding member of Dunleer Sustainable Energy Community, Elizabeth has successfully implemented the retrofit of 230 premises across County Louth. Her work has delivered sustainable energy solutions to residential, community and commercial premises. From the initial start-up of the scheme, Elizabeth’s communication skills in dealing with homeowners, installers and the SEAI has delivered on timelines and managed budgets to ensure successful implementations.

Dr James Glynn

Research Fellow, UCC

Dr James Glynn (Ph.D., M.Sc., M.A., B.Eng) is a research fellow at the SFI-MaREI Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, based in the Environmental Research Institute in University College Cork. He is one of the Irish representatives at the IEA’s Energy Technology Systems Analysis Programme (IEA-ETSAP) executive committee. Dr Glynn’s research interests focus on integrated energy systems models and their interactions with the climate, economy, and society to find resilient pathways to a future sustainable energy system . He is an expert developer and user of the TIMES source code as well as applications such as IEA ETSAP-TIAM (Global), TIAM-GEO (Global), Irish-TIMES, Irish-TIMES2.0. These model applications have provided insights to Irish, EU and global energy policy in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders.

Dr Emer Dennehy

Data & Insights, Programme Executive, SEAI

Dr. Emer Dennehy is a senior energy analyst currently responsible for Ireland’s national energy projections at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Emer has both national and international experience working as an energy analyst in the energy statistics and modelling groups in SEAI, as well as in the Energy Technology Perspectives Division in the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Sean Armstrong

Climate Action Policy and Construction Industry Regulation Unit, Department of Housing Local Government & Heritage

Seán Armstrong is Head of Climate Action Policy and Construction Industry Regulation Unit in Department of Housing Local Government & Heritage (DHLGH). He leads the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Building Regulations and is the policy lead for Climate Action in DHLGH.

Solène Goy

Programme Executive, Research Development & Demonstration, SEAI

Solène Goy works on delivery of the SEAI National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme, which supports innovative energy RD&D projects that contribute to Ireland’s transition to a clean and secure energy future. Solène is also involved in the Ocean Power Innovation Network (OPIN) project led by SEAI and in the coordination of the SEAI IEA Technology Collaboration Programme Appointment Call.

Solène previously worked in consulting in France on PV power plants. She holds a Master Degree from INSA Lyon (France) and from the University of Oldenburg (Germany), and she completed a PhD thesis about smart buildings at University College Dublin.

Adrian Joyce

Secretary General of the European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EuroACE)

Secretary General of the European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EuroACE), whose members are Europe’s leading companies that provide the products, equipment and services that go together to create high energy performance in buildings.  EuroACE monitors the work of the EU Institutions, and distils those aspects of EU policy and legislation that are of importance to the energy efficiency sector and to the establishment of the market conditions that will encourage, among other things, a significant increase in energy-related renovations to existing buildings.

Adrian Joyce is also the Campaign Director of the Renovate Europe Campaign, which was initiated by EuroACE in 2011 in order to stop energy waste in buildings.  Its ambition is to reduce the energy demand of the building stock in the EU by 80% by 2050 as compared to 2005.

Adrian Joyce is a professionally qualified architect who, having graduated from University College Dublin in 1984, spent 17 years in private practice (working in the UK, France, and Belgium and in his native country, Ireland) before getting involved full-time in architectural policy.  He was, for 18 months commencing in January 2002, the Practice Director of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland before moving to Brussels to join the staff at the Secretariat of the Architects’ Council of Europe where he became Director before leaving in July 2011.  He holds a part-time post teaching Construction Technology at the Catholic University of Louvain-le-Neuve, Faculty of Architecture, Architectural Engineering and Urbanism – LOCI.  He is currently Chairman of the Coalition for Energy Savings.

Dr Marie Coggins

National University of Ireland Galway

Dr. Coggins is a lecturer in Exposure Science at the School of Physics, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). Her research interests include measurement of occupational and Environmental exposure pathways to new and emerging pollutants. She is currently leading an SEAI RD&D 2018 funded research project which will evaluate indoor air quality and occupant comfort pre and post Deep Energy Renovations in Irish domestic dwellings.

Dr James A. McGrath

National University of Ireland Galway

Dr James A. McGrath (BSc, PGDip, PhD, MinstP, CPhys) is currently working as a senior postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, National University of Ireland Galway. His research activities comprise of a numerous research areas: i) the knowledge gap between energy performance, risk of overheating and indoor environmental quality, including the trade-offs between natural, hybrid and mechanical ventilation systems; ii) the application of recent developments in indoor air quality sensor technology (low-cost remote sensors) to obtain large scale data collection; iii) new methodologies to reduce radon measurement durations that are still representative of the annual radon concentration. He currently leads a number of work packages on various nationally funded projects including SEAI-funded VALIDate and ALIVE projects. He was elected to the ISIAQ Board of Directors in 2020, the leading research society in his field. In addition, he serves as an elected committee member of the Aerosol Society of the UK and Ireland (November 2014 - present) and vice-chair of ISIAQ’s STC12 - Source, monitoring and evaluation: Aerosols (July 2018 to present).

Dr Paul O'Sullivan

Munster Technological University

Dr O’Sullivan is Lecturer in Sustainable Energy Engineering at MTU where he also Co-leads the MeSSO Research Group. He is also a Funded Investigator at the SFI MaREI Research Centre and is Principal Investigator on a number of SEAI RD&D Research Projects. His research and professional interests include low energy demand side technologies, building retrofit strategies, indoor thermal environments and ventilative cooling. Prior to his role at MTU he spent 10 years working in industry in both design and project-based engineering roles developing low energy technology solutions for various building and process energy systems. He was sub task leader of the recent IEA-EBC Annex 62 project on Ventilative Cooling

Laura Heuston

Co- Founder, Sustainability Works

Laura Heuston is a Co-Founder of SustainabilityWorks, a boutique sustainability consulting firm that offers a unique blend of skills and experience across sustainability strategy, finance, policy and communications.  A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ireland and a Chartered Tax Adviser, Laura has over 20 years professional experience across industry and practice.  While in KPMG and Airtricity, she specialised in working with corporates and asset managers in the renewable energy and energy efficiency finance sectors, advising on transaction structures for M&A, fundraising and other transactions. She lectures on sustainable finance with the UCD Smurfit Graduate School and the Institute of Banking in Ireland.  Her consulting work covers a broad range of sustainable finance topics, with a particular specialism in energy efficiency finance, community investment in renewables and responsible investment.

Dr David Wall

University College Cork

Dr David Wall is a lecturer in the School of Engineering at University College Cork (UCC) and a member of the SFI MaREI Centre under the research area ‘Advanced Fuels in the Circular Economy’.

David is a PI in the SFI Future Innovator Prize project ‘EFACE: Electrofuels in a Circular Economy’, funded under the Zero Emissions Challenge; and a PI for the SEAI RD&D funded project ‘EcoAD: Developing Economic solutions for On-Farm anaerobic digestion in Ireland’.

David is also a member of the IEA Bioenergy Task 37 group and has co-authored two reports on the future of renewable gas and the integration of biogas in the wider energy system.

Paula Carroll

University College Dublin

Paula Carroll is an assistant lecturer in the School of Business in UCD. She researches on the application of Business Analytics to solve real world problems, particularly Energy Systems Integration problems. She is a member of the UCD Energy Institute. With a BSc in electrical engineering, she worked in industry where she gained valuable management experience, particularly as Business Planning Manager (Wholesale) in eir (Ireland’s former incumbent) during the time when the telecommunications market was deregulated. The combination of her industry roles and current academic post, gives her a unique set of competencies; understanding policy, regulatory and business processes, as well as drivers for academic and scientific actions. She completed a PhD in 2012 on computational tools for telecommunications network design. She has supervised over 70 MSc theses and currently supervises four PhDs and one postdoc. She was academic director of the BComm (International) Programme from 2013 – 2017. She has received Irish Research Council, Sustainability Energy Authority of Ireland and UCD Seed fund awards. She is founder and chair of the EURO WISDOM Forum to promote to support, empower, and encourage the participation of all genders in Operations Research (OR) and Management Science (MS). OR&MS are advanced analytical techniques to model and solve challenging real world problems.

Riccardo Pasquali

GeoServ Solutions

Ric Pasquali (B.A. MSc). has over 20 years of experience in geothermal energy resource development and has extensive experience in geothermal resource assessment studies having managed exploration programmes for private sector clients for deep geothermal plants in Ireland, the UK and the Middle East. Ric has managed projects through planning, permitting and execution and specialises in providing shallow geothermal collector turnkey services for residential and commercial clients providing key design and installation strategies to suit all project scales.  Ric is the Chair of the Geothermal Association of Ireland and a member of the European Geothermal Energy Council

Orla Coyle

Programme Manager Project Support Unit, SEAI

Orla Coyle is a Chartered Engineer who currently manages the Project Support Unit in SEAI which provides capital support for the public sector targeting deep retrofit and renewable heating systems. Previously Orla was Programme Manager for NZEB and High Performance Retrofit which involved the development of policy and programmes to encourage the retrofit of the Irish building stock and methodologies for demonstrating compliance with NZEB. She also represented Ireland on the SET Plan for Energy Efficiency Solutions in Buildings and represents Ireland on the IEA-EBC Energy Code Working Group.  She has 20 years’ experience in the energy performance of buildings both in Ireland and Australia.

Xavier Dubuisson

XD Consulting, Sustainable Energy Engineers

Xavier has 25 years’ experience as an engineer in the field of sustainable energy in Ireland and internationally. He moved over from Belgium in 2001 to work as technical manager at SEAI's Renewable Energy Information Office, where he was instrumental in the rapid expansion of the Irish renewable heat market and the deployment of the Passive House Standard in Ireland. He is one of the leading experts in energy system modelling in Ireland and has contributed to pioneering energy planning initiatives by local authorities and community groups. He is currently completing. He is currently completing a study on behalf of a number of renewable energy industry associations to develop a Renewable Heat Plan for Ireland. Xavier is also co-founder of RetroKit, a software platform dedicated to upscaling energy retrofit in housing.

Dr Aoife Braiden

Research Manager, Geological Survey Ireland

Aoife holds a BSc (Hons) in Earth Science and a PhD in Palaeobiology. She subsequently managed the Geophysics Group in University College Dublin for 9 years and in 2014 established RML Ltd, a company providing research support services. Since 2015 she has been the Research Manager for Geological Survey Ireland and designed and implemented the current GSI Research Programme. Aoife coordinates the GSI's research activities including internal research, external funding programmes and national and international collaborations.

Karl Purcell

Programme Manager, Behavioural Economic Unit, SEAI

Karl Purcell is the Programme Manager of the Behavioural Economics Unit in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Using behavioural insights, the Behavioural Economics Unit at SEAI aims to deliver programmes that are carefully tailored to make it easy and attractive for citizens and businesses to avail of the advantages of clean energy. This will have a range of benefits for people in Ireland, including lower energy bills, warmer homes, improved energy security, and reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions.


Prior to SEAI, Karl previously worked in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland applying behavioural economics to public policymaking. Working with policymakers, senior officials, and frontline staff, he gained invaluable experience driving the adoption of behavioural economics in Irish policymaking. He has published a number of papers summarising his work on the website of the Irish Government Economic Evaluation Service (IGEES).


Karl holds an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Business Studies (Finance) from Dublin City University and an MSc in Behavioural Science for Management from the University of Stirling. He is an active member of the Irish Behavioural Science and Policy Network