Letterkenny Engineer Helping Ireland Reach Cleaner Energy Future

Letterkenny man, Eoin Stevenson, pictured at his graduation from University of Galway, with parents Eamon and Susan.

Eoin Stevenson, son of Eamon and Susan, started his education at Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin and knew from an early age that he wanted to pursue a career path that would help make Ireland a more sustainable place.

“I spent a lot of my childhood watching David Attenborough documentaries. His advocacy to preserve and restore biodiversity, transition to renewable energy, and mitigate climate change really influenced me. The sense of urgency Attenborough conveyed, undoubtedly informed the career decisions I made at a later age,” Eoin explains.

While at St Eunan’s College, Eoin excelled at maths and sciences. After guidance from three of his uncles who were all engineers, he knew that engineering was for him.

“There are a lot of engineers in my family – three of my uncles have explored different types of engineering including civil, aeronautical and bio-medical. It really showed me the breadth of opportunities within the profession.”

“When I began to explore what type of engineering I would be suited to, energy systems engineering stood out straight away. It is such an exciting space and really aligned with my personal desire to fight climate change.”

Eventually Eoin was bound for University of Galway, where he completed a degree in Energy Systems Engineering.

“While studying, I discovered that EirGrid is at the forefront of realising Ireland’s renewable energy ambitions. I was so interested in the work that they were doing that I undertook an internship with them during my final year,” he states.

“During that time, I worked closely with the Network Projects Team, where I helped with a variety of large-scale projects. Playing a role in enhancing the electricity grid was thrilling. I knew within the first week of the internship that I would be applying to the EirGrid graduate programme,” he continues.

Starting the graduate programme in September 2022, Eoin is on his first rotation, working with the Interconnection Team.

“My first rotation has been really fascinating. I spend my time working towards making sure Ireland has the right infrastructure to support interconnectors, which are high voltage cables that are used to connect the electricity systems of neighbouring countries.”

What advice would Eoin give to young people considering engineering?

“I know the sheer number of different types of engineering can be really overwhelming when you’re in school. If you’re not sure what one to pick, don’t worry,” he emphasises.

“When you start studying engineering, go into general [engineering] and explore every different avenue. Take your time figuring out what type of engineering works best for you.”

He adds: “For those that are younger, take every opportunity to engage with engineers. Whether they’re in your family or visiting your school during Engineers Week. Chatting to somebody with experience of the profession is invaluable,” he concludes.