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DIT offers students the opportunity to save the world

Posted: 14 September, 2017

Two talented Building Engineering students at DIT have been awarded the inaugural SIRUS Scholarship, they are Zoe Elliott and Pauric O?Connell, are both in their fourth year of the BE (Hons) in Building Engineering.

Students Pauric O?Connell & Zoe Elliott, winners of the Sirus Scholarship 2017

The SIRUS Scholarship is an initiative created by James Byrne, a DIT graduate and Frank Caul, who are co-founders of the successful Irish engineering company SIRUS Group. “SIRUS are always looking for good people”, says Frank Caul, “we prefer to employ the graduates from Building Engineering in DIT as they are able to hit the ground running and contribute to the company quickly; this also means that these graduates climb the career ladder very quickly.”

Frank Caul, MD of Sirus, Zoe Elliott, Pauric O’Connell and James Byrne, CEO Sirus and DIT Graduate

Ciara Ahern, Head of Building Engineering in DIT, says the DIT Bachelor of Engineering in Building Engineering is a unique course in Ireland and more graduates coming through the course will help to meet strong industry demand.  “The buildings in which we spend 90% of our time are responsible for about half of global energy use. Ireland urgently needs Building Engineers to help meet recruitment demand as we scale up for the climate change targets for our built environment.”

For anyone considering Building Engineering, Ahern emphasises that DIT has an open access policy and students can come through various routes, including through apprenticeship level and honours maths may not be a requirement. “If you want in, there is a way in”, says Ciara Ahern, “some of our best students are those that access the system at apprenticeship level and ordinary degree level.  We welcome all prospective students and encourage all to apply.” 

James Byrne, CEO of SIRUS is himself an excellent example of this open access approach, starting off his career as an apprentice plumber in DIT. “This is why we set up the scholarship based on the attributes of grit and perseverance rather than academic merit,” says James Byrne, “at the end of the day it is a stick-with-it attitude that gets you through tough times in education, business and in life in general.”

SIRUS also generously donated a state-of-the-art recirculating air conditioning teaching system to the college which will be put to use for the next academic year.


Eileen Carey, James Byrne, Frank Caul, Brian Clare, Ciara Ahern and students Zoe Elliott & Pauric O’Connell with the Air Conditioning Rig donated by SIRUS