Speakers 2019



Heather Humphreys, TD

Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation

Heather was first appointed to Cabinet in July 2014.

She was elected to Dail Eireann, the Irish Parliament, in the 2011 general election and was the first woman ever to be elected for the Fine Gael party in the Cavan-Monaghan constituency.

She was also the first rural TD in seven years to be appointed to the position of Minister in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Heather first became involved in politics when she was co-opted on to Monaghan County Council (local government) in 2003 and was twice re-elected in 2004 and 2009.

She worked with Ulster Bank and prior to her election to Dáil Éireann she was manager of Cootehill Credit Union.

Heather’s financial experience in both personal and business matters combined with a rural background makes her a strong voice for businesses in rural Ireland.

Having spent most of her life living and working in the region close to the border with Northern Ireland, Heather is also acutely aware of the challenges facing SMEs as a result of Brexit.

As Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather led the successful 2016 Centenary Programme, commemorating the events that led to the foundation of the Irish State, and during her time as Minister with responsibility for rural affairs, she launched the Action Plan for Rural Development.


Alison Bearpark – Senior Associate – Eversheds Sutherland Ireland

Alison Bearpark is a Senior Associate in Eversheds Sutherland’s Projects, Energy and Construction Group. Alison has over 10 years’ experience (in Ireland and internationally) in the area of non-contentious construction and projects in sectors such as commercial office developments, ports, student accommodation, social housing and renewables. She has advised on a number of standard form construction contracts including NEC3, FIDIC and IEI and prior to joining Eversheds Sutherland spent more than 2 years as on-site legal consultant to an international contractor, advising on all aspects of its NEC3 contract.


Amr Abdel-Azim – Senior Architect – Michigan State University

Amr is a pioneer in the area facilities planning and management in higher education campuses. He is currently a Senior Architect at Michigan State University with 15+ years at the East Lansing, Michigan, Campus. His professional achievement includes building a brand new campus from scratch at UAE (the American University of Sharjah) and building Michigan State University Campus in Dubai.

He has a bachelor degree in Architecture and a master degree in Urban Planning. He served as the Senior Executive for Capital Projects at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) leading a capital construction program at RPI. The major Campus development involved $300-million state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research Center and world-class performing art Center (EMPAC) and related infrastructure.

Amr was the Director of Physical Plant of the newly established the American University of Sharjah and the University of Sharjah, started the Campus from scratch. Founded in 1997, the University of Sharjah is a private comprehensive university that has five colleges residing on a beautiful 330-acre located in the City of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The campus physical plant, which reflects a distinctive Arabic architectural style, is comprised of 90 administrative, classroom, athletic/recreational, and residential buildings totaling over 2,300,000 square feet.

Amr is a top-performing executive who serves his organization with sincerity and commitment of excellence. I have extensive organizational leadership and operational management experience for large multidiscipline, multimillion dollars operations. I utilize persistence, technical expertise, sincerity, and interpersonal skills to establish and build long-term relationships with divers groups of people.


Andrew Norris – Continuous Improvement Manager – Suir Engineering

Time served electrician who has progressed within the company over the last 23 years.

Managed projects in the UK and Ireland from Category 1 Waste to Energy projects(Runcorn TPS and Air Products TV2) to Pharmaceutical(Genzyme),Dairy processing,(Glanbia) and renewable Energy(Cordal Wind Farm).


Breege Kilkenny – Senior Engineer – Wicklow County Council

Breege is a Senior Engineer with Wicklow County Council, currently working in the Housing and Corporate Directorate. She is a Chartered Engineer and a graduate of Trinity College having attained an honours degree in Civil Engineering before attaining her Master’s Degree in Engineering Geology from Imperial College, London. In recent years she has become a Fellow of Engineers Ireland where she  has served on both the Council and the Executive Council.

Breege has a wealth of working experience in both the public and private sector, having worked for Kaldveer Associates in San Francisco, ARUP Ireland and ARUP UK, before joining Wicklow County Council. She has undertaken senior leadership roles across Wicklow County Council’s functional areas of responsibility. Currently Breege is the Manager of Wicklow’s Social Housing Supply Programme advancing 23 No schemes throughout the county for the provision of 600 social houses over the four period from 2018 to 2021 under  the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.


Darrin Taylor – Lecturer in Management & Lean Programme Director – Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Business School

Lecturer in Management in the WIT Business School; Co-Director of the WIT Lean & Operational Excellence programme portfolio; Co-Founder and Principal Lead of the WIT Academy of Lean Enterprise Excellence; Faculty Member of the WIT RIKON Research Centre.

Darrin joined WIT in 2004 following more than a decade in private sector management and consultancy. He lectures Lean and Operational Excellence modules on the MBS in Lean Enterprise Excellence; the Higher Diploma in Business in Operational Excellence; the Diploma in Lean Fundamentals; the Executive MBA; and the MSc in Construction Project Management; and supervises postgraduate research on Lean Management, Lean Construction, Operational Excellence, Lean Supply Chain Management, and related areas. Darrin developed, compiled, and is Editor of the Lean Construction Ireland Annual Book of Cases – the first such Lean Construction case study publication of its kind in the world.

He coordinates the long-running Annual WIT Lean Enterprise Excellence Forum and the Annual WIT Lean Practitioner Seminar Series; and is a regular speaker at Lean and Operational Excellence conferences and events. Darrin continues to work extensively with industry, encompassing public and private organisations across all services and manufacturing sectors. He is a founding member of Lean Business Ireland; is a Special Advisor to the Board of Directors of Lean Construction Ireland; and is Chair of the South East Lean Network.


Felipe Engineer-Manriquez – Corporate Lean Manager – McCarthy Building Companies, Inc

International Lean speaker, a serial intrapreneur, MBA graduate, McCarthy Building Companies’ first Corporate Lean Manager responsible for overseeing a comprehensive Lean program for the family of McCarthy Building Companies. Felipe Engineer-Manriquez is a committed Lean practitioner with over eight years of direct experience implementing Lean on a variety of construction projects. Engineer-Manriquez is an active contributing member of the Lean Construction Institute and is an approved Last Planner® System, Target Value Delivery, and Mindset of an Effective Big Room instructor/facilitator.

A Jeff Sutherland Certified ScrumMaster® with years of weekly sprints moved to “Done” and user of Scrum to teach Scrum to fellow construction professionals via guided interactive learning – over 500 industry partners. A Project Management Professional (PMP®) continuously updating project management knowledge, experience, and the skills to bring projects to successful completion. A LEED AP BD+C United States Green Building Council professional, Engineer-Manriquez earned an MBA from California State University at San Bernardino and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Gary Widger – Head of Innovation & Change – Mercury 

A dynamic leader with a proven track record in the design & delivery of innovative business transformations that add value. Highly qualified with 17 years’ experience leading change across large companies in Europe, Asia and US. Senior leadership team member. Passionate about energizing people to work together to achieve a shared vision.



Graeme Shaw – Central Section Delivery Director – East West Rail Company

Graeme is leading the design and construction of a new railway between Bedford and Cambridge.  He is a former Director of LCI UK, Director of Compliance at the University of Cambridge, Visiting Professor of Integrated Construction and Project Management at the University of Southampton, and previous led Transport for London’s PMO, the Northern Line Extension Programme, and was Vice President Stations in London Underground, where he pioneered a lean approach to construction.  East West Rail Company is an Arms Length Body from the UK’s Department for Transport, and charged with bringing a step change in how railways are constructed in the UK.TEST


Grayson Galloway – Account Executive – Procore 

Grayson is one of the main contacts for senior-level prospects looking to become customers of Procore. He works with new customers to showcase specific relevant features of the platform that will solve their challenges around connecting people and improving project efficiency, quality, and safety.

He joined Procore in 2016 and moved to London in 2018 to help launch the company in the UK and Ireland. Prior to Procore, Grayson worked as an Account Executive at Cloudera.


Jason Casey – Associate Director – Ardmac

Jason joined Ardmac in 2006 and is an experienced Operations Manager with a demonstrated history of delivering large, complex fast build projects, and managing project teams to ensure safe delivery of projects on time, within budget to agreed quality and client satisfaction. Throughout his time with Ardmac, Jason has gained considerable experience in Technology Project Management. He is a highly conscientious Project Manager with an exceptional commitment to managing each element of work to the customers satisfaction,  driving  programme  whilst  maintaining  a firm focus on safety, quality and budget.

Jason has been a leader in the Ardmac “Lean Construction Journey”, and is a champion of innovation and change.

Jason is also a Lean Construction Ireland Director and is a Chartered Construction Manager.


Jeanette Mair – Economic Research Executive – Construction Industry Federation

CIF’s Economic and Policy Research Executive. Jeanette works with Federation policy committees and Directors, helping guide policy across a spectrum of economic / industry / fiscal / regulatory / development issues. Jeanette is also responsible for carrying out and commissioning new research, expanding the CIF’s information databases, preparation of submissions and strategy papers and advocating on various industry matters to support CIF’s dialogue with key policy stakeholders.

Jeanette joined the CIF in 2007 as Housing, Planning and Development Executive, a role she held until June 2017. She was Project Manager of CIRI (Construction Industry Register Ireland) from 2013 to 2017 during which time oversaw the establishment and operation of the new register. Jeanette has been Manager of the CIF’s Register of Heritage Contractors since 2011.


Joe O’Sullivan – Regional Director – John Sisk and Son

Joe started his career as an engineer and contract manager in the UK, working on a variety of projects, including commercial, hospitals and industrial work, joining Sisk during this time. He returned to Ireland in 1997 and has since concentrated on working in the Life Sciences sector, delivering a variety of construction and project management solutions from large scale new-build to small but complex retro-fit projects on live campus environments for large multi-national clients.

Joe’s current role still involves project delivery, but his primary focus is on Performance Improvement across the business, enhancing output through the implementation of Lean thinking and principles – in this regard, Joe’s focus is on relationships and people – collaboration is the key to delivering really successful projects


Katie Jones – Lean Manager – GRAHAM

Katie has a wealth of expertise in change management, Lean deployment and performance improvement. Katie joined GRAHAM in 2017 as the Lean Manager whereby her role is to lead the Lean Deployment Strategy.

The mission is to deliver what our customers require, right first time, every time within a safe and sustainable continuous improvement business. The vision is to increase value and remove waste from our processes.

Katie’s competencies were founded on her first-hand experience within Highways England, who developed the industry leading approach for Lean within construction.

Katie delivers and coaches staff in Lean techniques, including collaborative planning. Katie has a network of contacts and a deep understanding of the needs, aspirations and expectations of different client and DfT stakeholders.


Kevin McHugh – Associate Director – Mace Group  

Kevin brings experience from a uniquely diverse series of roles he has undertaken during his career to date. From Senior Project Engineer, Project Manager, Construction Manager and Construction Supervisor, to Planner and Project Manager. Kevin has developed an in depth understanding of what it takes to deliver lean construction understand the requirements and apply Lean techniques to underpin his construction management experience at each stage of a project.

Kevin was responsible for developing the production control system using The Last planner system. Working with the supply chain and the Mace management team to produce an effective system that communicated site activities throughout the project. Kevin also managed the digital process to integrate the production control process with the project management KPI’s using visual management and identifying High Risk Activities, off site and on site production activities to monitor progress.

Kevin is involved in deploying an ‘Integrated project delivery model’ on large scale projects. He recognises the need for close collaboration and strong stakeholder involvement in the project delivery. Kevin is focused on providing a lean project delivery system that identifies opportunities for continuous improvement.


Maria Ryan – Managing Director – Crystal Lean Solutions

Maria established Crystal Lean Solutions in 2008. Together with her team, she places relentless focus on achieving the vision of “Delivering Excellence Together” by integrating Lean principles into all facets of the business. As an Engineer, MBA and Black belt with over 25 years experience deploying Lean in sectors including Construction, Pharmaceutical, Aerospace, Healthcare, Medical Devices, and general engineering, she has a real understanding of the patience and perseverance required to build sustainable business processes and projects by engaging with the teams, to deliver outstanding business results.

Maria has provided direct Lean support to construction clients, including coaching, training and mentoring support in Lean principles and tools including; Lean for Leadership training, Last Planner® System, 5s on site and in the office and management of employee suggestions for improvement. While demonstrating excellence at a tactical day to day level, she has also supported clients with the development and implementation of Lean strategy, incorporating a Lean Governance team to manage the deployment and project management processes.

She is a passionate advocate of the quality and productivity benefits of Lean in Construction. She presented at LCi events on topics including Change Management, Problem Solving, Human Error Prevention and providing demonstrations on the application of the Last Planner® System. Maria has led two LCi projects; In 2019, she was the project leader for the LCi “Lean Pass Strategic Project”, leading the development of a program to introduce the foundation of Lean Principles. In 2018, she led the Lean Service Provider Lean Capability project, which are available on the LCi website.


Mark Bryden – Co-Founder – Bryden Wood

Bryden Wood is an award-winning design and technology consultancy for the built environment with specialisms across Design for Manufacture & Systemisation, Architecture, Structural and Civil Engineering and BIM & Big Data, including VR & AR, among others. Mark co-founded Bryden Wood in 1995 and continues to play a leading role developing the business’ philosophy, direction and product/design offering. He is responsible for the commercial performance of Bryden Wood globally, which is now comprised of offices in London, Singapore, Barcelona and St Albans and over 150 employees.

A proven Technology and Design Leader with a track record of disrupting existing complex business process and delivery problems, and translating them into cutting edge solutions.

Has led many high profile projects during his 30 year career at both Bryden Wood and Grimshaw Architects, working with a wide range of influential clients, including GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Ministry of Justice and Heathrow Airport Ltd. Mark continues to put clients first and ensures that Bryden Wood deliver quality and excellence to all of their business partners around the world.


Martin Searson – Group Quality & Lean Manager – Kirby Group Engineering

Group M&E Quality & Lean Manager with responsibility for the Quality Management System (QMS), which includes 14Nr. Certifications currently held, both on and  off site, including the management and coordination of Quality Auditor teams, conducting audits  and ensuring the highest quality standards are met. With extensive Quality Management experience from working on projects across a range of sectors including Data Centres, Bio-Pharmaceutical & Industrial Manufacturing. Committed to meeting client expectations, ensuring the highest quality standards are met while delivering value to the client.

Our QA & Lean team have secured six National Quality Awards (7th consecutive nomination) for their approach and implementation of Quality Management and LEAN applications.


Muriel Kerr – Principal – McMahon Associates

Muriel Kerr is one of the Principals at McMahon Associates along with Peter McMahon, who manage a firm of consulting engineers, that have extensive experience in Structural, Civil, Traffic and Health and Safety projects. They have been involved in the design, construction and management of numerous large industrial, commercial, residential and sports buildings and facilities throughout Ireland and the UK. One of their most prestigious projects in recent times has been that of the 10 acre, new industrial and administration building for Combilift in Co. Monaghan.

Muriel is a Chartered Engineer with Engineers Ireland and a member of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation. Muriel is Employers Representative and Technical Adviser to the client on numerous Rapid-Build Residential Developments in Dublin & Wicklow, as part of the Rebuilding Ireland scheme. Her experience includes 15 Rapid-Build developments and the provision of over 500 housing units.


Noel McSweeney – Project Manager – Jacobs Engineering 

Noel has nearly 20 years’ experience in the design and construction of Pharma and Biopharma process facilities across ten different countries. Over these 20 years Noel has been involved in projects for a wide range of clients. These projects ranged from feasibility studies right through to system qualification and start up. In addition Noel was previously Process Engineering Manager for the Jacobs Ireland operations.
Noel has extensive experience in Project management, Conceptual /Basic engineering design, Detailed design, procurement and design safety. More specifically Noel has a strong technical and process engineering background together with extensive experience in the construction and commissioning of Biopharma and Pharma facilities.


Paddy Ryan – CEO – GagaMuller Group

Over 13 Years on site Civil Engineering and BIM Management experience and a MSc in BIM & Integrated Design with the University of Salford in the UK. A Regular speaker at construction events across the globe, and many accolades already to his name, Paddy is the CEO of GagaMuller Group and also CEO of Planloader. GagaMuller is a project management consultancy in Mega Scale Projects such as Data centre, Pharmaceutical & Aviation, advising clients on their PMO & digital roadmap.

Planloader is a tech start up within the Construction Industry with a vision for automation and data analytic solutions to deliver end to end project management.


Richard Casey – Director Ireland/Europe Operations – DPS Group Global

Richard is a Senior Lean Construction Productivity Manager with DPS. Richard has over 20 years’ experience in the global Semiconductor High Volume Manufacturing and Construction Sectors completing Project Management, Systems Design and Lean Program Implementation.

Richard has significant experience in lean principles implementation of productivity systems and structure for manufacturing and construction as well as extensive experience in developing productivity improvement systems to reduce waste and eliminate impacts from design through to commissioning for large capital projects.

Richard is author of a number of papers on ‘People Development’ and has published his own book on goal setting and problem solving techniques for new managers. Richard has developed Trade productivity improvement systems such as the Daily Milestone tracker (DMT), Constraint Log Implementation and Last Planner® for tracking and managing large scale project progress.


Richard Fitzpatrick – Director for Programme Management and Project Controls (NPHDB) – Chair of  Lean Construction Ireland

Richard is Director for Programme Management and Project Controls with the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board and a member of the NPHDB Executive with responsibility for delivering the New Children’s Hospital – the largest single capital investment in any healthcare project in Ireland.

Richard has over 25 years’ programme and project management experience having been responsible for managing the delivery of major capital infrastructure programmes both in the UK and Ireland.  Prior to joining the NPHDB Richard held a senior position with Dublin City Council, prior to this was Project Director for the construction of University of Ulster’s new university campus in Belfast City and Managing Partner for EC Harris’ consultancy business in Ireland.

Richard is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and also a Member of the Association for Project Management. He graduated with an honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from London South Bank University and holds APMP accreditation.

Richard is Chair of the Lean Construction Ireland, an independent all-island voluntary not-for-profit association leading the initiative to transform the Irish Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) industry through collaboration and the application of Lean thinking and practises.


Robert Moore – BIM/Information Manager – Grangegorman Development Agency

Robert Moore has been an Information Manager since 2012 and has been involved in the AEC industry for over 20 years. His background is in the MEP sector, where he has worked for both design consultancies and install contractors in a variety of practice types, from small local firms to large multidiscipline multinational companies within Ireland and internationally, in particular in the UK and Australia. He has now moved to the client side in the public sector with the Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA).

Robert has had an interest in Lean since working in a large semiconductor facility in 2012, where Lean methodology was part of the standard way of working. He now has a passion for reducing waste and adding value through Lean techniques.

Robert has a first-class honours Masters in Construction Informatics and has published three papers, two on information process standards and a third paper on the Irish digital transformation roadmap. Robert has presented at a number of conferences and events on the topic of Information Management. He was the first person in Ireland to receive the RICS BIM Managers certification.

In his current role as information manager at the GDA, Robert has been advising on the managerial and technical requirements for information management across the development of Grangegorman. Developing internal processes to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the agency, he works with the supply chain to develop their capacity to deliver a quality product. He has developed the documentation necessary for the efficient and proper implementation of the GDA’s information management Strategy.

Robert is a current and active committee member of the National BIM Mirror Committee, Public BIM and previously participated as a Lean Construction Ireland (LCi) Leadership Group Member, BIM Innovation Capability Programme Client Working Group Member and Eastern BIM Region Steering Committee Member.


Ruairí Ó hAilín – Manager of Operational Excellence Department – Enterprise Ireland

Ruairí Ó hAilín is manager of the Operational Excellence department within Enterprise Ireland, whose mission is to support and incentivise Irish companies to invest in the capability and capacity of their people to prepare for the future.

After graduating as an electronic engineer, Ruairí has worked in Telecoms, Consumer Electronics, and Medical systems industries. Since joining Enterprise Ireland in 2006, Ruairí has worked with over 400 Irish and international companies of all sizes in the ICT area on their Research and Development journeys – evaluating and challenging their visions for the future.

Although a relatively recent LEAN convert, Ruairí has always been process oriented – from implementing on ISO9000 and CMM in the 90s to managing projects for major multinationals and subsequently driving process improvements in Enterprise Ireland.


Seán Armstrong – Senior Adviser-Building Standards – Department of Housing Planning and Local Government

Chartered Engineer with experience in developing regulation, energy efficiency, energy management, education, HVAC design and construction,commercial and manaufacturing facility design and construction, cleanroom construction, electrical distribution systems design and construction, gas systems design and construction,water treatment systems, project and construction managemenent and environmental systems management and auditing.Currently leading and developing National Regulations and Standards related to energy efficiency and services for buildings.


Seán Balfe – Director – NSAI

Seán is a member of NSAI’s management team responsible for the certification of all construction products. He represents Ireland at EOTA and the Group of Notified Bodies in Europe and is also director of the Irish Agrément Board. Seán has a wealth of experience in the certification of construction products from single constituents right up to complete building systems.

Prior to joining the NSAI Sean worked as a consulting engineer and project manager. He is a chartered engineer and holds a Master of Industrial Engineering from UCD and MBA from Durham University.


Dr. Selim-Tuğra Demir – Project Manager – Fischer Consulting GmbH

Dr. Selim-Tuğra Demir is a Project Manager and Lean Construction Expert at fischer Consulting GmbH. Everything what he does, he believes in challenging the status quo and thinking differently. His current role covers among other things the implementation of project management systems which suit best to the client demands and create project outcomes and outputs which are both, more effective and efficient at the same time. Tuğra has an academic background in Civil Engineering (Bachelors Degree), International Project Management (Masters Degree) and Executive Leadership (MBA with Distinction). He obtained also a PhD from the BEST-Research Institute at Liverpool John Moores University. The topic of his PhD Thesis was “AgiLean PM – a unifying strategic framework to manage construction projects”. Tuğra has work experience in the fields of Project Management, Construction Management and Consulting in Germany, Kuwait, KSA, Qatar, UAE, UK, USA and Turkey.


Tom Brinded – Partner – McKinsey & Company

Tom is a Partner with the London office.  He transferred in September 2019 from the Perth Office, Australia.  He works on megaprojects and operational transformations within the resources sector and across infrastructure assets.  His focus is capital productivity. He joined McKinsey in late 2012.

Tom works across mining, oil and gas, agriculture and infrastructure to support with the optimisation of both existing operations as well as the efficient deployment of capital.  Often, he serves clients as part of large Transformation programmes or as part of targeted megaproject partnerships.

Prior to joining McKinsey & Company, Tom worked in the construction industry both as a Project Manager in the UK and the Middle East (in contracting and engineering design).  His megaproject work included large scale urban transport infrastructure (Crossrail) broader public infrastructure delivery (London Olympic Stadium & Park).

Tom has an MBA from INSEAD, an Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Bristol and is a Chartered Engineer of the Institute of Civil Engineering (CEng MICE).  He is also a Sainsburys Management Fellow (SMF) of the Royal Academy of Engineering.