The Civil Engineers' Club
Institution of Civil Engineers

Northern Ireland

Sam Phillips is the new Civil Engineers’ Club representative in Northern Ireland. His predecessor Jim Workman retired from the Club’s Committee at the AGM in July after doing sterling service over many years. We thank Jim for all that he did for the Club and wish him well in his new ventures.

The last visit was on 6th September 2023 to houses built by SETANTA  at their modern headquarters in Magherafelt. Gribbin Construction was established 60 years ago by Liam, Eamon and Joe Gribbin. Their main ambition was building highly insulated timber frame homes. The Directors of Setanta Timber Frame & Off-Site Modular Construction – Mark and Niall Gribbin had very kindly arranged for the Club to visit. These were passive buildings using low energy. It was a most interesting visit to two houses where two families were living for a year.


Sam Phillips

Previous events

The last event was a trip to the Public Records Office who had kindly agreed for our group to visit their facility at Titanic Quarter on Friday 24th February 2023.

Following six successful virtual presentations via ZOOM and hosted by Sam Phillips during Lockdown, thankfully we were able to have our first on site visit since lockdown on Wednesday 21 September 2022.

This was to the almost completed dualling of the A6 from near Londonderry to Dungiven.

My contact was David Porter BEng (Hons) MSc CEng FICE, who facilitated the arrangements with the contractor. David is Director of Engineering, DFI Roads and Rivers and is in charge of this major scheme.

The programme started with a Buffet lunch at the Belfry Hotel close to the project at 12noon. The hotel provided a room for the lunch which was followed by a presentation which included progress photographs.  

There was an introduction to the scheme by David Porter, Director of Engineering for the client and a more detailed presentation by Michael Troughton, Project Director with the joint venture contractor team of Sacyr/Wills Bros/Somague JV for the Contractor. They were assisted by other members of the team delivering this project.

The Construction team then facilitated this on-site visit to the undivided A6 bypass from Drumahoe to Dungiven (A6 d2d). A coach was required for H&S reasons to navigate the areas not available to the public. We stopped at various locations along the route as guided by the Contractor.

A total of 26 attended this well received outing.

Report on Belfast Transport Hub Site Visit, Monday 14 November 2022

Philip Brown, Head of Major Projects with Translink organised and facilitated this site visit to what is an extremely important Transport Development for Northern Ireland. The site is presently the largest Transport Infrastructure Project under construction in Ireland.

The programme was follows: –

10am arrival – tea, coffee & scones

10.15 Welcome by Jim Workman

10.20 Welcome and presentation by Philip & discussion

11.25 Split into groups – PPE and site safety brief

11.30 Group 1 to Busway Bridge Site

          Group 2 to Main works Site

11.45 – 11.50 handover

11.50 – 12.10 Group 2 to Busway Bridge Site

                       Group 1 to Main works Site

12.15 return to offices/debrief/questions

12.30 Lunch

13.15 CEC Thanks to Translink and 6 colleagues who had recently joined the Club.

The well-organized visit by Translink was much appreciated by all who attended. The site works were mostly underground to-date – Massive piling through the famous Belfast Sleech which covered the complete site as well as the diversion of a major underground river culvert.

There was a sad tinge to the visit as Bob Roulston received an urgent call to the hospital where his wife Pat later passed away that afternoon. Bob and his family appreciated the fact that five of us attended the Memoria service. I have formally written to Bob and his family extending the Club’s condolences at this sad time of loss. Pat and Bob were married over sixty years.

Jim Workman