Joseph Fitzpatrick Ireland

Highly Commended

Queen’s University Belfast

I joined the bp in 2012 as a Drilling Engineer. I loved absolutely every moment of my job from helicopters to work, 3 weeks on a drilling rig, managing well control, and working as one team. I still remember my first helicopter ride to the Magnus Platform, it was towering up out of the water like something from a sci-fi movie, from that instant I was hooked. I had the dream goal of becoming a Well Site Leader. In 2017, following the birth of my son, Charlie Roy, in Trinidad, I returned to the bp office and had a complete climate breakdown in the office. I resigned a few days later and came home to recover. I then took up a PhD and since that day I have been drilling into the depths of what geothermal represents to the survival of our planet. It is now my vocation in life to help the world to harmonise geothermal energy.

Professor Mark Palmer: Joe is a co-author on a report that is a commissioned NI Department for the Economy piece of work.  Joe co-presented the report's findings and recommendations at the Department for the Economy's Geothermal Advisory Committee on 1 April, 27 April and 27 of May 2022.

The full 136-page report was submitted to DfE on 23 May, and we are awaiting Ministerial approval. An abridged 26 page version of the report has been sent.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:

What the Judges Thought

The judges appreciated the impact of the research in this important area. This was a good application with potential to share findings across other sectors.

What it Means to Win

“This award makes an indelible mark on Queen’s University Belfast. For Joseph, and colleagues, this recognition further inspires, energises and focuses attention on transitioning Northern Ireland towards net zero while developing further geothermal solutions. We believe it will create a virtuous cycle of positive awareness and responses”.

Professor Ian Greer Vice Chancellor 

Top 3 Learnings

  1. We must work together as one species, no one person can go this road alone.
  2. We must reflect upon our past behaviours, so that we can learn for the future.
  3. There is no limit on creativity, our imaginations expand out like the universe.
7 - Affordable and Clean Energy 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities 13 - Climate Action
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