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There have been Protests in Lancashire as Cuadrilla Fracking Resumes

Anti-fracking activists have worked hard to try and disrupt any activities at the Preston New Road construction site. This is located near to Blackpool and those who work in engineering jobs will know how frustrating this can be. Fracking has been suspended at the Preston New Road and this comes 7 years after the initial work caused a lot of seismic tremors. Those who work for the environmental campaigning group have stated that they have lost a court battle and this was supposed to stop Cuadrilla from carrying on with their work. The company wanted to try and restart their operations and they also wanted to try and stop their fracking activity as well. It has been reported that two different protestors from the group have chained themselves in the road across from the site. They did this to try and stop anyone from causing issues but police have stated that the protestors are going to be removed. They believe that Cuadrilla are going to carry on regardless of the people who are going to be protesting, but not much else can be said about that.

Of course, it is important to know that the Lancashire council have rejected two applications so far and this is going to help them to stop resuming fracking and on top of this, they have stated that the noise is far too much. They have also stated that the idea of doing it was not good enough to justify the means. That being said, this application looks to be going through because the UK is very dependent on this kind of energy and therefore a lot of work needs to be done to try and make sure that this work can continue to some extent.

Published inIndustry News
Last Weeks’ Poll Says that They are Limiting Global Warming to 1.5 Degrees

Think about it, what should be the priority action at the intergovernmental panel meeting? The IPCC have stated that they want to try and limit global warming to one and a half degrees Celsius. Those who work in engineering jobs will understand how hard this can be, as it would require changing the way that we use and develop land. You would also have to control the amount of emissions as well. The levels that are present right now would have to fall by around 45% and this is especially the case when you look at the 2010 levels. You would also have to try and reach zero by the year 2050 as well. When you look at the remaining emissions, you will also see that carbon dioxide would have to be removed from the air.

To this end, the government in the UK are trying to get some good advice from the committee for climate change. They want to set a date that they want to try and reach zero for and they also want to try and help the nation's economy as well. 15% of people agreed that more trees should be planted and others opted to have the development of carbon absorption improved as well. A lot of people believe that nothing is going to change unless serious incentives are offered and this is especially the case when you look at the bigger picture. Of course, with that being said, it isn't hard at all to try and offer the incentives required and this is now easier than ever for people to do with the ever-growing rise in technology. Of course, only time will tell if this is going to be the case or not, but a lot of people are in fact hopeful.

Published inIndustry News
A Lightweight Haptic Glove has Now Advanced to Virtual Touch

Those who work in engineering jobs will understand more than anyone how virtual touch can really have an impact on the world as we know it. That is why Swiss researchers have been working endlessly to try and create a haptic glove that weighs around 8 grams. They have tried to do this so that they can do their best to mimic the sensations that accompany grasping and even touching objects. The hand is known as DextrES and the device has been designed by engineers to try and achieve the impossible. The thickness of the glove is around 2mm and this means that it is not bulky or even unwieldly. The power comes from the mains supply and it also has the potential to run from a small battery as well.

They wanted to try and develop a system that is unlike any other virtual reality glove out there. They don't want anything that had to come with any kind of pump or even thick exoskeletons. They also didn't want to worry about the system's power. The hand has thin pliable strips that span across the fingers. The straps are separated by a very thin insulated pad. When someone's fingers come into contact with any kind of virtual object, the controller then applies a voltage and this causes the pads to stick together. This then provides a braking force and this blocks the movements of the digits. This then provides the same sensation that you would have if you picked up an object, for example. This is incredible to say the least and it is safe to say that technology like this has never been created before. These are exciting times to say the least and better times are certainly ahead.

Published inIndustry News
Microwave Beams Could Help Drones to Stay Airborne for Longer

Drones have been tipped for the widespread use in smart cities and this is especially the case when you look at delivery services. They are also helpful when it comes to surveillance and even rescue operations. When you look at the unmanned aerial vehicles on the other hand, you will soon see that this is limited to very small battery packs. This ultimately means that their flight time is very limited, to 20 minutes or less. Those who work in engineering jobs will understand how frustrating this can be.

Researchers who work at the Queen's University in Belfast are working hard to try and develop technologies that will try and stop all of this from happening and the way that they are doing this is by using microwave beams that will be sent from the ground. This could mean that drones are able to fly continuously and without any delay. Existing systems really do require very close proximity and this includes charging pads for smartphones and even electric cars as well. These are all based on electromagnetic systems. The researchers are also going to work hard to try and develop new and powerful transmitters. They are going to try and send microwaves into the air in the same way that you would a laser beam. For this reason, it needs to be focused into a very fine beam and the current technology that is around doesn't do that too well at the moment. Experts are also working hard to try and make sure that the transmitter is in order as well, and it's safe to say that things are looking great so far. The hard work that they are putting in is really paying off and the results are speaking for themselves.

Published inIndustry News
The management and awareness of safety and health issues has progressed enormously in the construction sector in the past 18 years. Employers and workers have invested time and money to drive improvements, endeavoring to ensure all workers can work safely on construction projects in Ireland.
As an example of this commitment, up to 90,000 workers a year complete the Safe Pass Programme alone –  no other industry sector in Ireland can compare with this level of focus.
The construction sector is making a strong economic recovery and the numbers employed are increasing from 98,000 in 2012 to over 133,000 in 2017 – this is expected to rise to nearly 190,000 directly employed in the next 3 – 4 years.
Now is the time to reflect on how safety and health issues are managed and how can we improve on what we do?
Construction Safety Week is an opportunity to take stock of safety procedures and work together to drive home the positive safety message.
Construction Safety Week 2018 – Mission
Our collective mission for Construction Safety Week 2018 is to partner together to;
Reduce accidents on construction sites in Ireland
Increase awareness of the importance of being committed to safety & health…every day
Inspiring all of us to share best practices and to work together to strengthen our industry’s safety culture
Celebrating the safety achievements to date
Published inIndustry News
Intel to expand Irish production to meet global chip demand
US semiconductor giant Intel is to expand production capacity at its Leixlip campus to meet growing demand for its computer chips.
In a letter seen by the Sunday Independent, Intel interim chief executive Bob Swan outlined to major global customers an extra $1bn of capital expenditure that it plans to spend in 2018, citing the Leixlip facility as a key beneficiary. Swan said the first half of 2018 had shown "remarkable growth" and the PC market had grown for the first time since 2011. Strong demand for gaming and commercial systems had "put pressure on our factory network" and "supply is undoubtedly tight".
"To address this challenge", Swan wrote that Intel was investing "a record $15bn in capital expenditure in 2018, up approximately $1bn from the beginning of the year.
"We're putting that $1bn into our 14-nm [nanometre] manufacturing sites in Oregon and Arizona, Ireland and Israel," he added.
The confirmation comes amid intense industry speculation that Intel is about to approve a massive new extension at its Irish plant that could create 4,000 jobs.
Well-informed sources claimed that preparations were underway for even bigger investment. A 90,000 square metre expansion of the high-tech Fab 24 facility at Leixlip, which received planning permission in 2017 but is yet to be publicly approved by Intel's US-based global management team, could create 3,000 construction jobs and a further 850 manufacturing jobs.
There is growing expectation that Intel will soon award a contract for site clearance and preparation at the Kildare complex and that major Irish construction firms have visited the plant for discussions.
That work - which could be worth as much as €50m to the construction sector - would clear the way for investment of up to €2bn in new semiconductor manufacturing facilities, said sources.
An Intel spokesman said that the company would expand its 14 nanometre semiconductor chip production capacity at the Leixlip campus and said "the production capacity is being expanded within our existing building space".
Published inIndustry News
Budget 2019: State to spend €286m on transport and infrastructure
The Government plans to spend €286 million on roads and other infrastructure next year.
The money is part of an overall €1.4 billion extra that the State will spend on roads, schools, universities and other public projects next year, bringing total Government infrastructure investment to €7.3 billion.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe had earmarked an extra €1.26 billion last year for spending on roads and other transport between 2018 and 2021. “Today, I am announcing that €286 million of this will be made available next year,” he said in this speech.
Mr Donohoe said the Government would spend this on projects such as the Collooney to Castlebaldwin road in Co Sligo, the Dunkettle interchange in Cork city, and work on Knock airport’s runway.
The Minister added that the Government would provide an extra €40 million to repair regional and local roads and footpaths.
He said the Government was boosting public transport by providing new vehicles under Dublin’s Bus Connects programme and extending the trams on the capital’s Luas light rail service.
New runway
Mr Donohoe also noted that State airports’ company DAA was spending €320 million on adding a new runway at Dublin.
The DAA will pay for this and other extensions of its facilities from its own resources. The Government gives cash to regional airports to fund infrastructure and security.
At the same time, State-owned ports including Dublin, Cork and Shannon Foynes were spending €587 million on their facilities.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’s total budget for next year will be €2.36 billion, made up of €755 million in current spending and €1.61 billion for investing in infrastructure.
Transport spending focuses on several key areas, including civil aviation, and updating the National Civil Aviation Security Programme.
In land transport, taxpayers are funding projects such as Bus Connects, the planned metro linking Dublin city centre with its airport, and the expansion of services such as the Luas.
National and local roads
The Government is also spending money on national and local roads, including the Naas bypass in Co Kildare and the New Ross to Gorey scheme in Co Wexford, which will be finished next year. It has also begun planning the Cork-Limerick road.
Shane McSweeney, partner and head of government and infrastructure at accountants EY, welcomed the pledge to spend an extra €1.4 billion on infrastructure but warned that work on key projects should start immediately.
“We need to ensure that additional infrastructure projects are prioritised in a manner that maximises the long-term sustainable economic benefits available,” Mr McSweeney argued.
He added that the Government should not turn the infrastructure spending tap off in an economic downturn as previous administrations have done.
Construction Industry Federation head of economic policy, Jeanette Mair, argued that the timely implementation of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan was essential in key areas such as housing, transport, health and education.
“It’s essential now that both the State’s apparatus and the construction industry have the capacity required to deliver on these ambitious strategies,” she said.
Published inIndustry News
Builders tool up in hope of big Intel job
A number of major Irish construction firms have visited the Intel plant in Leixlip with growing expectations that the semiconductor giant is set to give the go-ahead for a massive new extension, according to sources.
If given the green light, the new manufacturing facility would involve an investment of up to €1bn and create at least 3,000 jobs.
Intel was granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanala for the new 90,000 sq m extension to its existing campus in 2017 but said at the time that no actual investment had been confirmed.
The facility in Co Kildare competes with other major Intel plants in Arizona, Israel and elsewhere to win big new investment in facilities as the company looks to develop each new generation of computer and mobile phone chips. Sources said that a number of Irish contractors were currently engaged with Intel and it was their belief that an announcement about the go-ahead of new investment could happen soon.
Asked to comment, an Intel spokesman issued the following statement: "Current activity forms part of our regular practice to ensure operational readiness and preparedness, and as such we continually take planning and preparatory steps to best position the Ireland site to respond to the future demands of the corporation."
Intel first established an Irish operation in 1989 and has invested close to €14bn.
It now employs almost 5,000 people here having won out on a number of major investment decisions since then.
Published inIndustry News
Abbott confirms 500 new jobs are on their way to Donegal
Abbott, founded in 1888, is a healthcare company that recorded 2017 revenues of $27.39bn.
It currently employs 400 people at its Donegal site.
Centre of excellence
“The Government has been working hard to ensure we have the right conditions in place to encourage job creation outside of our urban centres, and this is another positive signal that our pro-business policies are bearing fruit in Ireland’s regions,” said Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD.
“I would like to warmly congratulate Abbott on this big achievement for the company, which is a considerable vote of confidence in the local workforce.”
Abbott opened its plant in Lurganboy near Donegal town in 2006 to manufacture the worldwide supply of the FreeStyle and FreeStyle Lite brands of blood glucose test strips, which are used in conjunction with FreeStyle blood glucose monitoring meters. The facility is a centre of excellence for blood glucose monitoring.
“Abbott Labs is a global leader in healthcare,” said IDA Ireland executive director Mary Buckley.
“The company has been in Ireland for over 70 years employing around 3,000 people at nine Irish sites.
“This expansion of Abbott diabetes care, and the 500 jobs it will create, bringing the workforce to some 900 in the coming years, is terrific news for Donegal and the north-west, which is a key area of focus for us. It demonstrates the company’s deep commitment to the Donegal site.
“IDA Ireland is happy to support the company and this expansion, which will be a considerable boost to the local and regional economy and furthers our strategy of winning investments for regional locations,” Buckley added.
Published inIndustry News
US Reit gets go-ahead for €400m Dublin data centre
A MAJOR stock market-listed US real estate investment trust, CyrusOne, has been granted planning permission for a massive €400m data centre in Dublin.
It will be the Dallas-based company's first data centre project in Ireland and will significantly boost its global data centre footprint.
Nasdaq-listed CyrusOne, with a $6.6bn (€7.5bn) market capitalisation, currently has more than 40 data centres across the United States, Germany, the UK and Asia.
The planned Dublin data centre will extend over 32,419 sq m (349,000 sq ft) and be separated into two adjoining blocks. It will represent about an 8pc increase in CyrusOne's current 400,000 sq m of total rentable data centre space.
The data centre will be built at the Grange Castle business park in the capital, where Microsoft and Google already have similar large-scale facilities.
The project is expected to involve up to 250 building personnel during its roughly 18-month construction period.
The Reit is planning to build the two-storey data centre and associated office block on a 9.2-hectare site.
That includes a 6.3-hectare site owned by South Dublin County Council within the Grange Castle Business Park, and an adjoining 2.9 hectares that form the plots of three residential properties that will be demolished to make way for the development.
The project will also include the construction of a new electricity substation and the installation of 32 back-up generators.
The data centre is expected to consume 56.5MW of power when operational.
CyrusOne joins a data centre surge in Ireland that has seen giants such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook invest billions of euro in such facilities here in the past number of years.
CyrusOne was founded in 2001 and is the third-largest data centre provider in the United States.
CEO Gary Wojtaszek told CNBC this week that the data-centre industry continues to deliver robust growth.
"Our customers, which are predominantly Fortune 1,000 customers, are deployed everywhere globally," he said. "So if you really want to be helpful to the customers' needs, you have to have a global platform and if you don't you're really in an inferior position.
"We look at all the success we've had in the States over the last decade and we feel really comfortable that we'll be able to export that same success internationally," he added.
Published inIndustry News


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