Our Steering Committee

Message from the Chairman

The International Energy Research Centre (IERC) is a state of the art facility established to implement new science in the energy space. The IERC is hosted at the Tyndall Institute, which is one of the foremost ICT research centres in Europe. The IERC collaborates with its industry members to develop and pilot energy products which will create employment, boost commerce and solve global energy problems. The Centre under the leadership of Professor Tony Day will grow significantly over the coming years into being one of Europe’s leading industrial research and technology centres in the specific area of Energy.

John Mullins, Chairman

The IERC Steering Committee is a balanced, neutral and independent Committee nominated by the Centre’s Host and its company membership to oversee the operations and strategic activities of the Centre. The members of our steering committee are:

Professor Tony Day, Executive Director



Tony is the Executive Directive of the International Energy Research Centre (IERC), based at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork, Ireland. The Centre is a partnership between government and industry to undertake innovative research in integrated energy solutions, focussing on demand side issues and energy efficiency. Prior to this he was Energy Services Director at TEAM (EAA Ltd), having worked for 20 years at London South Bank University (LSBU) in teaching and research. At LSBU he set up the Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings (CEREB), a research, demonstration and teaching facility for low carbon building energy systems. He has conducted research and published widely in the areas of building energy analysis and the application of low and zero carbon technologies in the urban environment. Tony is a Fellow of both CIBSE and the Energy Institute.

John Mullins – Chairman


John Mullins

John Mullins, 47, is Chief Executive Officer of Amarenco, a fast growing company which is focused on solar asset development, financing and ownership in Europe. Previous to this role, John Mullins was Chief Executive of Bord Gáis from December 2007 until the end of 2012. During this time, BGE established a significant electricity business and developed renewable and conventional generation assets. He has held senior management positions with ESB, ESB International, PricewaterhouseCoopers(UK) and NTR plc. Group.

He is a Fellow of Engineers Ireland and the Irish Academy of Engineering. He is also Chairman of the Port of Cork Company, Chairman of Heneghan PR and is a Director of Wisetek Limited and Climote. John is also Chairman of Anamcara, a national charity that provides supports for bereaved parents.

John is Chairman of both the Green IFSC and IERC.

He holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from the Smurfit Business School in UCD, Dublin.

Marie Donnelly

Marie Donnelly Photo

Until recently, Director, DG Energy, European Commission

Marie Donnelly spent 30 years with the European Commission:

  • in the Directorate General for Energy as Director for Renewables, Research and Innovation, Energy Efficiency.
  • in the Employment and Social Affairs Directorate General as Director for Resources and Communication and
  • in the Directorate General for Enterprise in the area of Industrial policy in Pharmaceuticals – Human and veterinary medicinal products.

She also served as Head of unit for European Social Fund Policy, Coordination in the EQUAL Community Initiative, and was Head of the unit Equality for women and men.

Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Donnelly worked as Industry Group Director with the Federation of Irish Chemical Industries in Dublin, Ireland.

Stephen Nolan

Sustainable Nation

Stephen Nolan

Stephen is widely acknowledged as an accomplished senior business professional who has led and delivered expertly crafted initiatives and businesses across both public and private spheres. He possesses a strong background in technology and policy with a focus on climate finance. He is recognized as an energetic, charismatic and well-connected leader whose drive and determination to achieve challenging goals generates high levels of motivation and a ‘can do’ attitude amongst peers and subordinates alike. Over the past fourteen years he has developed a distinct skillset encompassing a unique understanding of the machinery of government, international agencies and businesses and where they intersect both nationally and internationally. His experience has equipped him with an ability to successfully lead, raise capital for and project manage complex, multi-stakeholder undertakings at the highest levels.

Stephen is a former Executive Director of Green IFSC; ICT special Advisor to the secretary General, Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources Ireland; CEO of the UN founded Global eSchool & Communities initiative; Advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan ICT Task Force; and Executive Assistant to the chariman & CEO Rivada Networks.

Stephen is a member of the international Advisory Group of the Climate Bonds Initiative; the Advisory Group for the UN Environment Programme Global Environment Monitoring system for water Capacity Development Centre; and the UN founded Network 11 initiative.

Stephen is also a Board member of the Haven Partnership, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Children’s Cancer Fund for Ireland.


Ian Kilgallon

Gas Networks Ireland - Business Development & Innovation Manager

Ian Kilgallon

Ian’s team in Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) is focused on progressing collaborative innovation projects with key stakeholder companies, research organisations, and developers. Current priority topics aim to assist Irish industry to decarbonise with renewable energy and supporting new rural developments, such as indigenous renewable gas and community cooperative projects.

Working in the gas industry for over 13 years, Ian has previously held the positions of National Metering Manager, Market Operations Manager, Regulatory Affairs and Key Account Manager. Prior to working in gas, Ian, who is an Industrial Engineer, spent 18 years establishing and supporting manufacturing and supply chain operations across Europe, Asia and North America for Apple, EMC and Dell.

Jeff Smith


Jeff at IERC

Jeff Smith is the current CEO of four Bilfinger companies in the UK and Ireland, as well as a director of a number of management companies in the IFSC area of Dublin. He is responsible for over 4000 staff and a combined annual turnover of €200m. He is a member of:

  • Member of Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland
  • Member of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • Member of British Institute of Facilities Management
  • Member of The Energy Institute
  • Member of Forum for Public Procurement TUPE committee
  • Independent assessor for Dublin Institute of Technology committee for approval of IPFMA B.Sc. (Ordinary) Degree in Property & Facilities Management


Proven track record of success in the Property and Facilities Management marketplace with over 30 years industry experience. In employment to date has successful record of growing and developing businesses and services with the PM & FM marketplace and my experience covers the Ireland, UK, Germany & the Middle East. During managerial career has based all business decisions on the principles of transparency, profitability and cash management with a view to maximising shareholder value by meeting or exceeding customer’s expectations. Among numerous engineering and management qualifications he completed an MBA in Facilities Management from the Dublin Institute of Technology in 2002.

Linkedin –

Web Page


Brian Conroy

IDA Ireland

Brian Conroy

Brian Conroy leads the Engineering and Industrial Technologies Division in IDA Ireland, the Irish Government Agency charged with attracting Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland. Brian has almost 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors and has worked with many of the world’s leading companies as they develop their businesses globally. Prior to his current role Brian was based in Shanghai for 5 years as Director Asia-Pacific for IDA Ireland with a remit to win investment from this diverse and growing market. Previous roles in IDA included Head of Medical Technologies and Director Ireland South.

Brian is a business graduate from University College Dublin with an MBA from the Open University and commenced his business career working in the logistics sector with a number of management roles in Ireland, Malaysia and the UK prior to joining IDA Ireland.

With a successful track record stretching back over 40 years, IDA Ireland is one of the world’s leading inward investment promotion agencies responsible for the establishment of over 1000 Multinational companies using Ireland as a base for their European and Global operations. IDA Ireland is promoting Ireland as an ideal destination for companies looking to establish or expand their operations in Europe. With a combination of very low corporate and business taxes, financial support from the Irish Government for suitable projects, availability of technical and business skills and a welcoming business environment Ireland provides a very attractive environment for investment into Europe.

In his current role Brian’s team are responsible for building Ireland’s national strategy as it relates to the development of Engineering and Industrial Technologies for international companies in Ireland and includes the following sectors.

  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Chemicals/Plastics/Speciality Materials
  • Industrial Automation
  • Industrial Conglomerates
  • Precision/Mechanical/Electrical Engineering
  • Transportation Equipment
  • Clean Technologies

The current portfolio of international companies runs to approximately 200 companies, made up of a mix of major industrial conglomerates and SMEs. With realignment in costs and significant improvements in productivity along with many years experience in welcoming global corporations to Ireland there is now a new window of opportunity for investment in Ireland for high-end manufacturing, value-added services and R&D.

Dr. Kieran F. Drain FRSC

Tyndall National Institute.

1.3.4 Drain Kieran

Dr. Drain has over thirty years’ industrial experience in technology and business management in both Fortune 500 and silicon valley start-up companies, in diverse industrial segments including renewable energy, lighting, composites and automotive. Tyndall National Institute is one of Europe’s leading research centres, specialising in ICT hardware research, with ca 200 industrial partners.

Prior to Tyndall Dr. Drain was most recently Vice President and General Manager of the Lighting and Display Technology division of Rambus Inc (Nasdaq. RMBS). He played a key role in establishing the company’s Advanced Optical Engineering business.

Prior to Rambus Dr. Drain served as President & CEO of venture funded NanoGram Corporation. NanoGram now a division of Teijin Japan, is a developer of nanomaterials process technology enabling the manufacture of unique nanostructured materials.

Earlier roles included executive responsibilities at Avery Dennison Corporation, Ciba Specialty Chemicals and Loctite Henkel.

Dr. Drain holds PhD (Industrial Chemistry), MSc (Polymer Chemistry) and BSc (Pharmacy) degrees from The Queen’s University of Belfast in Northern Ireland and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom. He also holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Regis University, Denver Colorado.

James E. Fritz

United Technologies Research Center (UTRC)

Jim Fritz

As Director of Operations for UTC’s central research organization, Jim is responsible for the day to day coordination of the 600 person global enterprise, with facilities located in the US, China, and Europe. Jim’s direct reporting organization is responsible for ACE/Quality, Communications, Competitive Intelligence, Design & Prototyping, EH&S, Facilities, IT, and Supply Chain Management.

Previously, Jim served as Manager, Strategic Planning at UTRC where he planned and implemented strategic technology initiatives, including the establishment of UTC’s European research hub, UTRC-Ireland. Prior to re-joining UTC in 2007, Jim spent 13 years at the Ensign-Bickford Aerospace and Defense Company (EBA&D), a supplier of explosive and pyrotechnic systems for aerospace and defense applications, holding various roles in engineering management and strategy development. Jim started his career in the Space and Sea Systems Department of Hamilton Standard, now a part of United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS).

Jim serves as UTC’s voting representative for the Industrial Research Institute, and was previously an Executive Member of the Energetic Components and Systems Technical Committee of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He currently serves on the Steering Board of the Ireland-based International Energy Research Centre, a collaborative state/industry partnership focused on integrated energy system research. Jim also currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for UTRC China, Ltd. and as the Executive Champion for UTRC’s Women’s Forum and UTRC’s Special Olympics Volunteers. Jim also serves on the Board of Directors of the Green Mountain Club.

Jim holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an Executive MBA from the University of Connecticut. Jim is inventor or co-inventor on nine US patents.

Professor Brian Norton


1.3.8 Brian Norton Photo

Professor Brian Norton is President of Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland’s principal provider of practice-led research-informed higher education.

Professor Norton has authored 6 books and over 350 papers principally in the field of solar energy including over 190 journal publications. He has supervised over forty PhD students. He chairs “Action Renewables”, responsible for developing renewable energy use in Northern Ireland. He is Vice-President of the European Sustainable Energy Innovation Alliance.

Originally qualified as a physicist at University of Nottingham, he has doctorates in engineering from Cranfield University and the University of Nottingham. He is a Fellow of the Energy Institute, Engineers Ireland, the Irish Academy of Engineering, the UK Higher Education Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

Among his honours are the Napier Shaw Medal and the Energy Institute Roscoe Prize. He is an Honorary Professor at University of Ulster, Harbin Institute of Technology, China and University of Houston, USA.


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