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Launch of new book by Ron Cox

Dr Ron Cox, Visiting Research Fellow in the department has recently had published a new book entitled Called to Serve Two. The book is similar to and a follow-on from Called to Serve, published in 2014, which traced the history of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland and its presidents from its foundation in 1835 through to 1968.

The latest book is a wide-ranging and thorough study of each address made by the Presidents of Engineers Ireland from the time of unification of the engineering profession in Ireland in 1969 up to 2018.  Abstracts from the addresses are preceded by a continuation of the brief history of the organisation in order to provide a framework within which the addresses may be considered. Past Presidents of Engineers Ireland have interpreted their role in a variety of ways, including chairing meetings of the Council and Executive, presiding at the presentation of technical papers, and representing the Institution and the engineering profession, both nationally and internationally.

Each President has addressed the membership in their own individual style, often drawing on the experiences gained during their respective careers. A major portion of the book is devoted to biographical sketches of each of the Presidents – from Jock Harbison in 1969 to the present day.

Pictured: Pat O’Doherty, ESB CEO, Dr. Ron Cox, author of Called to Serve Two, Engineers Ireland President, Peter Quinn and Brendan Delaney, ESB Archives and Heritage Manager pictured at the Launch of Called to Serve Two.

Speaking about Called to Serve Two, its authorsaid: “Although members of the engineering profession are generally concerned with solving present-day problems and new developments, the recording and understanding of our engineering heritage has time and again proved invaluable when considering solutions to engineering problems inherited from the past”.


He felt that it was essential that professional organisations, such as Engineers Ireland and its sister organisation, the Irish Academy of Engineering, adopt appropriate procedures to ensure that important records are archived in order that sources relating to the development and achievements of the organisations are not lost.

Dr Cox thanked the Electricity Supply Board for their sponsorship of both volumes, which contain the biographies and presidential addresses of a number of distinguished engineers who contributed significantly to the achievements of the ESB over many years.