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Belfast Lord Mayor commends inspirational civil engineers

27 Jun 2018

A group of NI civil engineers who recently spent two weeks in Rwanda building a life-saving suspension bridge across the Giwsi River have had their efforts recognised today at Belfast City Hall.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Northern Ireland sent the team in partnership with Bridges to Prosperity, a charity committed to ending poverty caused by rural isolation. The trip was part of ICE 200, a celebration of ICE’s 200th anniversary throughout 2018.

The 45 metre bridge the team built now ensures safe access to markets, schools and the local health clinic for 6,000 people.

The group successfully raised more than £17,000 to finance their travels, with an additional £50,000 of corporate sponsorship donated towards the cost of the bridge.

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey congratulated the team for their achievements at Belfast City Hall, saying: “These inspirational women and men’s skills and selflessness have resulted in thousands of people benefiting from safe access to local services, services they were previously cut off from for a third of the year due to dangerous conditions.

“Living in Belfast, we can take that kind of infrastructure for granted – but without it, we’d find day to day living very difficult indeed. So I’m very proud that the altruism of these talented professionals has resulted in such a boost to Rwandan people’s quality of life.”

ICE Regional Director Richard Kirk said: "It is such an honour for our team to be recognised by the Lord Mayor, and it’s testament to their hard work in Rwanda. The team acted as ambassadors for Northern Ireland and for our profession, showing the transformational impact civil engineering can have on a community.”

The team of civil engineers included:
• Philip Crossett, Queen’s University Belfast
• Katherine Devlin, Translink
• Ciara Doherty, H&J Martin Construction
• Gary Donnelly, Arup
• Claire Hughes, Queen’s University Belfast
• Rab Laverty, GRAHAM
• Matthew Lowe, WDR & RT Taggart
• Eugene McFeely, Belfast Met
• Martin McGuinness, RPS
• Lynsey McNeilly, Farrans

This was a joint venture project sponsored by the following organisations:
• Arup
• Belfast Met
• Farrans
• GRAHAM
• H&J Martin Construction
• McAdam Design
• Queen’s University Belfast
• RPS
• Translink
• WDR & RT Taggart

To find out more about civil engineering, visit www.ice.org.uk/wice

NI Civil Engineers with Lord Mayor