Learn more about our expert speakers who delivered talks and workshops at the SEAI Energy Show in April 2018. Our line up for 2019 will be announced soon!

Dr Val Cummins

University College Cork (UCC), Senior lecturer, School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences

Science Foundation Ireland Funded Investigator, working in the governance field, including stakeholder perception and conflict management pertaining to marine renewables; and energy transitions. Co-founder & Director of the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster, (IMERC), 2010 to 2016, concerned with building excellence in research, entrepreneurship, training and innovation via an emerging maritime campus. Awarded UCC staff leadership award 2010, and United States Eisenhower Fellowship, Chaired by Colin Powell in 2012, for emerging, mid-career leaders from around the globe. Developed and led UCC’s Coastal and Marine Research Group from 2001 to 2010. Grew the team to 40 researchers and raised significant funds through European funding. Published in peer review journals & conference proceedings. Married with three young daughters. Enjoys recreational sailing, hill walking and live music.


Martin Howley

SEAI, Statistics

Martin manages SEAI's energy policy statistical support unit. Based in Cork, the unit has a lead role in developing and maintaining comprehensive national and sectoral statistics for energy production, transformation and end use, including energy prices. Martin has worked for over 38 years in various energy related roles in the antecedents of SEAI from IIRS through Eolas, Forbairt, Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Energy Centre.


Caroline Spillane

Engineers Ireland, Director General

As Director General of Engineers Ireland, Caroline Spillane is committed to improving efficiencies, increasing benefits and developing a proactive member-centric organisation. Since beginning her tenure in July 2015 as the first female Director General of the organisation, Caroline has been connecting with the engineering community on how Engineers Ireland can tailor responsive action to support member careers and industry opportunities.

As result, she is leading the executive team in developing and delivering a strategic plan for the future. Priority goals include building the profile and enhancing the reputation of the engineering profession, ensuring the standard of members is regarded as world class and collaborating with members to enable their professional progression.  


Prior to joining Engineers Ireland, Caroline was the Chief Executive Officer at the Irish Medical Council. She has held senior roles in organisations including Assistant National Director with the HSE, and Chief Executive Officer of the CPA. She is a Chartered Director. She is a non-executive director of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), is Chair of the National BIM Council (Building Information Modelling) - a national body to support the advancement of digital in the construction sector and is a former Chair of the Construction Industry Council.


Caroline will be speaking at our Women in Energy Network lunch on Thursday the 19th April at The Energy Show. To request an invitation, please contact events@seai.ie

Matthew Clancy

SEAI, Bioenergy

Matthew is programme manager for bioenergy and combined heat and power (CHP) at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. He joined SEAI in 2009 having previously worked in the power generation section of the ESB. Matthew has a background in mechanical engineering and environmental economics and during his time at SEAI has worked on variety of sustainable energy projects in bioenergy, heat and electricity – most recently providing analytical input to the design of a renewable heat policy for Ireland. Matthew is also the Irish representative on the International Energy Agency’s research collaboration on bioenergy.

Dara Stewart

Dip Arch, B.Arch Sc, MSc, MRIAI

Dara is working in IHER Energy Services, providing energy consultancy services on deep retrofit projects, NZEB and Part L compliance solutions for new dwellings and thermal modelling. Dara has over 15 years experience working in architecture, building energy consultancy and delivery of BER training. Dara has a Masters in Environmental Design of Buildings and is a registered Architect, registered thermal modeller, SEAI registered BER assessor and Technical Advisor.


Brian Denvir

SEAI, Clean Energy Specialist

Brian is a specialist in Solar Photovoltaic technology and policy with SEAI. He worked previously as a consultant in the renewable energy sector in the UK providing strategic advice to government and business on renewable technology and policy.

Brian will be speaking at 15:00 – 15:45 on Thursday 19th April on "Solar PV in Ireland: Present and Future"

Majella Kelleher

SEAI, Head, Business and Public Sector

Majella is Head, Business and Public Sector in SEAI with responsibility for programmes to support the acceleration of energy efficiency in those sectors.  She is a graduate of University College Cork with Civil Engineering degree and of Trinity College Dublin with an MBA and more recently an MSc in Management (Organisational Behaviour). Since joining SEAI she has held a number of management roles before her current one ranging from Corporate Services to Domestic Sector programmes.  Prior to this she worked as a business consultant both in Ireland and abroad.

Majella spoke at the Women in Energy Network lunch.

Joe Durkan

SEAI, Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme

Joe manages Ireland’s Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme at SEAI. He has been involved in a number of programmes across SEAI, including Smart Grid and Smart Meters, the Better Energy Communities programme, the Greener Homes Scheme and the Low Carbon Homes Programme. He also facilitated the implementation of both the Energy Performance in Buildings and the Energy Efficiency Directives. Joe is a qualified mechanical engineer and prior to joining at SEAI, he worked as a research manager for one of the Ireland’s major sawmills.



Karl Purcell

SEAI, Programme Manager, Behavioural Economics Unit

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 – both in terms of energy efficiency and renewable 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.

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. During his studies at the University of Stirling, Karl completed a thesis titled “Exploring the personality profile of the ‘green consumer’ - explaining individual heterogeneity in willingness to pay for environmentally friendly goods”. He is an active member of the Irish Behavioural Science and Policy Network.

Karl will be speaking at 16:00 – 16:45 on Wednesday the 18th April on Applying Behavioural Economics to encourage energy saving behaviours.

Dr Susan Rea

Nimbus Centre, Group Lead and Research Fellow

Dr. Susan Rea is a Group lead and research fellow at the Nimbus Centre in CIT, where she leads research programs in the area of networks and distributed systems for smart cities applications and has significant experience in the areas of cyber-physical systems, distributed networks & ICT for energy management in smart cities applications using blockchain. She has been actively involved in several EU-funded & national projects in these areas, and is currently serving as the scientific manager of the ongoing EU H2020 TOPAs project, focusing on energy performance optimisation for blocks of buildings.

Susan spoke on "Energy R&D Funding in Ireland – SEAI’s RD&D Funding Programme"

Chris Hughes

SEAI, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Chris is a development programme manager within SEAI, with responsibility for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) including Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB). He is a member of the inter departmental EPBD Implementation Group co-ordinating the strategic response to and implementation of all articles / requirements of the Recast EPBD. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Dublin Institute of Technology and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering.

Chris spoke on Overcoming the challenges of NZEB and Major Renovation, in coordination with CIBSE and RIAI.


Susan Andrews

SEAI, Better Energy Homes Programme Executive

Susan is Programme Executive on the Better Energy Homes Programme in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. With a background in strategic management, she has over 17 years of strategy and marketing experience working in various industries including Architecture, Engineering, Pharmaceutical, and Food & Beverage.

Simon Keogh

RIAI, Senior Architect

Simon has over 20 years of post-qualification experience in Ireland, the UK and Malaysia. He is a talented and insightful designer who has completed award winning institutional buildings, and planned mixed use town centre schemes including multiple residential developments. Since joining the Residential Team in Coady’s he has been supporting Paul Lennon in the preparation of tender documents for Rathdrum (20 houses) to achieve BER A3 integrating monobloc air to water heat pumps with underfloor heating, demand controlled ventilation, rainwater butts with high performance thermal and air tightness envelopes and a landscaped central amenity court.


He is conversant with PHPP (Passive House Planning Pack) and lifecycle cost analysis software including Excel LCCA and BLCC5 for residential new build and deep retrofit. He is also familiar with BIM Level 2 protocols to PAS1192 using BIM Tools – Revit Architecture and Navisworks Manage. As Principal with Urban-Asylum Architects he designed and detailed both new build and renovations of private houses, from inception to completion, using proprietary systems for passive stack ventilation, air tightness, biomass heating, solar collector systems, green roofs and low carbon superstructures and insulation systems to surpass Building Regulations. He also managed sustainable design consultants to unite strategies on renewable energy, energy conservation and waste water for 770ha peri-urban lands for the Kilmartin Strategic Area Plan adopted by Fingal County Council in May 2013.

Simon will be speaking on Overcoming the challenges of NZEB and Major Renovation, in coordination with CIBSE and RIAI in the Minerva Suite on Wednesday the 18th April.

Emer Burton

SEAI, Better Energy Homes

Emer Burton is the Programme Manager for the Better Energy Homes grant programme which offers financial incentives for energy efficiency in the residential sector. Emer specialises in market entry strategies for a wide range of products and services.

Emer spoke on "The new heat pump grant – how the supply chain can drive homes towards deeper upgrades"

Jim Scheer

SEAI, Head of Low Carbon Technologies (Interim)


Jim is responsible for SEAI’s analysis, policy support and statistics remits in support of delivery of Ireland’s sustainable energy goals. He joined SEAI in 2007 and prior to that worked for the Government of South Australia. Jim holds a Professional Diploma in Advanced Management Performance from Smurfit Graduate Business School, an MSc. in Economic Policy Studies from Trinity College Dublin and a primary degree in Environmental Science from Flinders University (South Australia).

Jim spoke on "The big picture in numbers: Ireland’s energy progress"


Noel Gavigan

Irish BioEnergy Association, Technical Executive

Noel will be speaking at our Wood Fuel Quality side event. The WFQA was set up in 2010 to allow Irish wood fuel producers gain recognition for the production of quality fuels. The WFQA scheme is part funded by the Department of Agriculture and quality assures producers of woodchip, wood pellets, firewood and wood briquettes to the highest European standards. Compliance with EU standards ensures that wood fuel is adequate for EN certified boilers and appliances, thus ensuring boilers operate correctly and air emissions are correctly controlled. The scheme also assists new suppliers meet the required standards through workshops and one to one advice.

Noel spoke on "Wood Fuel Quality – The Vital Component for Consumer Value and Air Quality"

Robert Duncan

Mabbett, Manager of Energy and Environment Services, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Mr Duncan is a SEAI Registered Energy Auditor & ESOS Lead Assessor who is presenting at the SEAI Energy Show on lessons Learnt from the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Regulations 2014. ESOS is the U.K. equivalent to SI 426 Energy Audit Scheme in Ireland which transposes the EU Energy Efficiency requirements (Article 8 – mandatory energy audits for large undertakings). The Northern Ireland Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) appointed Mabbett to conduct compliance audits of the Northern Irish ESOS obligated businesses. Mr Duncan will discuss the main compliance issues and areas for improvement encountered with the intention Irish businesses will be able to avoid these with smart preparation to ensure effective SI 426 compliance and a robust, valuable energy audit report and recommendations.

Paul Martin

SEAI, Technical Standards Development Manager

Paul Martin, CEng MCIBSE, manages technical standards development at SEAI. A graduate of Northumbria university, Newcastle and Waterford Institute of Technology. Paul is a Member of the CIBSE and current Chairperson of CIBSE Ireland. Paul is also Chair of the Building Service committee with responsibility for the development of Standard Recommendation (S.R.) 50-1 Building Services — Code of Practice — Part 1: Water based heating systems in dwellings.

Paul spoke on "CIBSE Homes for the Future Group: TM60 launch event"



Bernie Comey

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Assistant Principal Officer in Electricity Policy

Bernie Comey is an Assistant Principal Officer in Electricity Policy of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment where she has worked since 2015. Her responsibilities include the development of renewable electricity policy. Bernie has been a key  player in managing implementation of the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP). This plan was devised in 2014 and set out 10 key actions to progress the offshore renewable industry. Bernie is Chairperson of the Infrastructure Working Group which is one of three groups tasked with delivering the OREDP actions. Over the past year, Bernie has led the management of the Interim Review of the OREDP.

Bernie is also involved in the ongoing negotiations on the new Renewable Energy Directive under the Clean Energy Package. On climate change policy, Bernie had responsibility for the development and drafting of mitigation measures for electricity, under the National Mitigation Plan, published in 2017, and oversaw the delivery of the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Electricity and Gas Networks published recently. Prior to her current role Bernie worked in the Gas Regulation Division of the Department.

Bernie presented on the outcome of the interim review of the OREDP in the Energy Theatre.


Dr Phil Hemmingway

SEAI, Head of Low Carbon Technologies (Interim)

Phil is responsible for a range of research & innovation, behavioural economics, modelling, statistics and technical activities that support SEAI’s vision for Ireland’s energy to be sustainable, secure, affordable and clean. Prior to joining SEAI, Phil worked at Science Foundation Ireland where he was responsible for the development & governance of multi-million Euro R&D investment programmes and leadership of SFI energy, engineering & environment activities. He also worked at UCD where he was a Lecturer in the School of Biosystems Engineering with responsibility for the MSc in Sustainable Energy & Green Technologies and prior to this he worked with RPS as an energy consultant/design engineer on major energy infrastructure development, strategic policy development, project management and renewable energy technologies. Phil is a Chartered Engineer and holds Bachelors (engineering) & Doctoral (energy) degrees from UCD.

Phil spokel on "Energy R&D Funding in Ireland – SEAI’s RD&D Funding Programme"

Dr Alan McGibney

Nimbus Centre, Principal Investigator

Dr. Alan McGibney is a principal investigator at the Nimbus Centre with research interests in the area of Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber Physical Systems. He has acted as a technical lead on a number of EU and nationally funded projects with a particular focus on the application of IoT for smart building automation, integration and energy management. He has extensive experience in the areas of distributed optimisation, tool and service development, software architectures and platforms

Ivan Sproule

SEAI, Business team

Ivan manages a number of different programmes at SEAI that are directed at the SME sector and large industry energy users. Most recently he launched the dairy pilot scheme and the smart lighting grant scheme. He has been involved in the development and delivery of several grants schemes across the residential, public and industrial sectors.

Ivan spoke on "Optimising energy efficiency in SMEs - a focus on lighting grants" and also on "Energy Audits and SI426 Compliance"

Sarah Neary

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Principal Adviser (Housing Advisers &Building Standards)

Sarah Neary is Principal Adviser (Housing Advisers &Building Standards) in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

Her responsibilities include managing a multi-disciplinary team to:

  • assess and advise on capital works projects in accordance with procurement requirements, sustainable communities polices, quality building and value for money,  largely in the context of social housing at present,
  • provide a strong and evolving building code and regulatory framework, through implementation and development of Building Control Acts, Building Control Regulations, Building Regulations and accompanying Technical Guidance Documents
  • implement and ensure compliance with the EU requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Construction Products Regulations etc.  

She is a Chartered Engineer, holds a Civil Engineering Degree from NUI Galway and an MBA from UCD. Prior to joining the Department, Sarah worked as a Structural Design Engineer with Ryan Hanley consulting engineers in Galway.

Sarah chaired the side event on "Overcoming the challenges of NZEB and Major Renovation, in coordination with CIBSE and RIAI"

PJ McCarthy

Renewable Gas Forum Ireland, Chair

Chair of the Renewable Gas Forum Ireland (RGFI) – 3 years. 15 years’ experience in project management – previous positions included PM consultancy work with Deloitte, KPMG, ACC Bank, Ulster Bank. 6 years with PHM Project Management Ltd – Project Management, Contract Management.

PJ spoke at our "Renewable gas in business - opportunities for clean energy" session in the Energy Theatre.

Calin Tasnadi

Heat Pump Association of Ireland, Chair

Calin Tasnadi moved to Ireland fifteen years ago and for over ten years has been heavily involved in the Irish heating and renewables sector. A graduate of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Building Services Engineering, he has shown early interest in renewables technology, including this in his graduation thesis.

He is currently the Chair of the Heat Pump Association of Ireland and Residential Heating Product Manager for Daikin Ireland, driving the development of the “Heat Pumps Code of Practice – Installation Guidelines” document working, closely with SEAI on this. He is committed to continuously promoting renewables technology and creating a cleaner and safer environment for the future.

Calin spoke on the new heat pump grant – how the supply chain can drive homes towards deeper upgrades.

Fergus Sharkey

SEAI, Energy Efficiency Technical Support Unit

Fergus is a Chartered Engineer with over 13 years in the Energy Industry. At SEAI, Fergus is a programme manager within the Business and Public Sector team. Prior to joining SEAI in 2017, Fergus worked for ESB, holding leading roles in retrofits of conventional thermal generation, ocean energy project development, and rooftop solar PV. He leads a team in SEAI focussed on accelerating energy efficiency project activity with our public and private sector clients. His team provides a range of supports including information and training on best practice, project development grants, capital partnership programmes, and energy contracting support.

Fergus spoke on Grants and Supports for Large Energy Users

Donagh Cagney

Ocean Energy Europe, Policy Director

Donagh Cagney is Policy Director at Ocean Energy Europe, the largest network of ocean energy professionals in the world. Ocean Energy Europe acts as the main link between Europe’s ocean energy industry and the EU institutions, and EU Member States.

Previously Donagh was at UK energy regulator Ofgem, where he led work on the EU’s Clean Energy Package and worked on security of supply issues. Before that he was responsible for economic policy at the European airport industry body, covering areas such as competition, State aid and regulation. Prior to this he worked at Dublin Airport Authority. He holds an MSc in Economics from Trinity College Dublin.

Donagh spoke on Ireland's Offshore Energy Opportunities in the Energy Theatre

Rachel Joyce

Central Solutions, Lean & Green Skillnet Network Manager

The Lean & Green Skillnet, a Department of Education funded initiative, aims to address the need for upskilling and professional development of those employed in the areas of continuous improvement, environmental, sustainability, water and energy management.  

Rachel presented at the Introduction to ISO50001 and Behaviour for Energy Change Workshops

Michael O Brien

Waterford & Wexford Education and Training Board, Innovation and Development Manager

Michael O Brien is currently employed as Innovation and Development Manager with Waterford & Wexford Education and Training Board. In 1989, he graduated with a BSC  from UCC followed by a H Dip Ed in 1990. In 2010, Michael was awarded with a MEd(Sc) from UCC.

Michael is working with WWETB since graduating and has served many roles including as a Teacher of Physics, Science and Mathematics, Education Officer, Director of Schools and Further Education and Training Manager.

Michael has many years of experience in the field of Curriculum Development having served as a member on the Physics Curriculum Development Committee (NCCA) as well as a member of the Board of NCCA. He is currently a member of the Board for Senior Cycle (NCCA).

Michael spoke on overcoming the challenges of NZEB and Major Renovation, in coordination with CIBSE and RIAI.

Gary O'Sullivan

NSAI, Certification & Inspection Officer, Sustainability & the Built Environment

Gary is a Chartered Engineer with experience in building fabric performance. He has been involved in Agrément certification for innovative construction products and CE marking of construction products which are covered by harmonised European Standards (hENs). Construction systems/products include ETICS systems, a wide range of insulations, building membranes, stormwater/attenuation systems, off-site modular building systems and window/door systems. Responsible for CE marking of cement, EN 206 Concrete certification scheme, Window Energy Performance (WEP) Scheme, Air Tightness Testing scheme and Thermal modelling registration scheme.

Gary spoke at our "Working towards Near Zero Energy Buildings" Session in the Energy Theatre

Michael Doyle

Energy Conservation Options

Michael Doyle of Energy Conservation Options has several years’ experience in Energy Management and Auditing and previously built up knowledge internationally of the design, build and operation of plant including a wide range of utilities and production equipment.  He now provides independent consultancy and training to industrial, commercial and public sectors to achieve savings through practical management of energy use.

Patricia Comsikey

SEAI, Programme Manager, Ocean Energy

Patricia Comiskey is the Programme Manager of Ocean Energy in SEAI. During her time in this role she has been key in working with Industry, Research and Policy makers to develop a cohesive support structure for developing ocean energy policy in Ireland. Patricia manages the Prototype Development Fund grant system which provides support to offshore energy developers. To date over €14M has been grant aided in this scheme. Patricia also oversees the strategic development of Irelands Ocean Test Sites and facilitates the test Site Steering group which manages these activities. Patricia is also key in shaping policy and has been the chairperson of the Environmental Working Group of the OREDP.  She is also keenly involved in a number of International and EU groups and is Executive Committee member of the IEA-OES. Before working in SEAI Patricia worked in an Bord Iascaigh Mhara for 10 years- primarily as Project co-ordinator of the North Western Water Advisory Council. Patrica has an MSc in Marine from Aberdeen university and BSc from Trinity College Dublin.  

Patricia chaired "Ireland's Offshore Energy Opportunities" in the Energy Theatre

Dave Fitzgerald

Dairygold, Head of Sustainability and Business Continuity

Dave is Group Head of Sustainability and Business Continuity for Dairygold, Ireland’s largest fully farmer owned dairy cooperative, where he is responsible for developing and implementing the business sustainability strategy.  Previously Dave worked for over 15 years with Diageo, where he led sustainability, risk and compliance at regional level in both Africa and Europe. Dave is actively involved in policy development at national and EU level. He currently chairs the IBEC Water Working Group and is a member Dairy Industry Ireland and Dairy Sustainability Initiative working groups.

Dave spoke at our "Renewable gas in business - opportunities for clean energy" session in the Energy Theatre.

Chris Croly

BDP, Building Services Engineering Director

Chris leads the building services engineering technical team in the Dublin studio of BDP and has over 20 years’ of experience in the design of sustainable buildings.

He is recognised as a leading specialist in the design of innovative energy solutions for buildings, having worked on buildings that have achieved over 36 awards for sustainable design. He has been involved in a number of energy research projects and has produced 40 widely published articles on sustainable design. The landmark low energy buildings that he has worked on include the National Gallery of Ireland, the UCC Environmental Research Institute and the WIT Tourism and leisure building for which he was awarded the CIBSE award for innovation and research.

Chris has extensive experience in the design of NZEB buildings and has provided talks on the design strategies required to comply with NZEB for the Department of the Environment, the Irish Green Building Council, and the Institute of Engineers of Ireland. He has worked buildings that have an energy performance that is equivalent to the NZEB standard for over ten years and his most recent NZEB compliant buildings including the new headquarter offices for the ESB.

Chris spoke on "Overcoming the challenges of NZEB and Major Renovation, in coordination with CIBSE and RIAI."