President's Blog, October 2023

An update from Gearoid Lohan

Gearoid Lohan, President, IAT

As we near the end quarter 3 in 2023, it’s an opportunity to take a breath and reflect on the remaining months of 2023, and indeed, take a wider perspective, to 2024 and beyond. The weeks and months ahead afford us all a great opportunity to build on the Institute’s successes and our refined strategic direction which will frame my presidency over the coming years.

Already, between record-breaking rainfall in Ireland during July and record heatwaves in Great Britain and across Europe, just stepping outside is enough for one to feel the winds of change. But I feel strongly that these winds are blowing our way. I recently had the pleasure of introducing a draft Strategic Framework (2023-2025) to our council and our branch chairmen , and I’d like to take the opportunity now to share with you the key elements of this Framework and how it will assist us in becoming an industry leader in the years to come.

Our draft Strategic Framework is being developed, with the objective of growing and broadening our membership base, to be a leader in education, training and development in our sector, improve our communication with our stakeholders and put sustainability at the heart of everything we do. The first of these involves growing our membership base. More specifically, we’re looking at expanding the diversity of our membership along lines of professional discipline, gender, geography, and into other areas where we can benefit from greater representation. The key to this is ensuring that new and prospective members have a clear idea of what exactly it is that they will be getting out of their membership with clear, multimedia messaging from the Institute’s leaders and existing members alike.

Of course, it’s not just the quantity of our members which makes the Institute an industry leader – the quality of our members is just as crucial. Our second objective focuses on training and development whereby our membership will have access to excellent professional development opportunities, particularly regarding, asphalt materials, laying, developing technologies, highway asset management and best practice.

While our members build their skills for a better future for themselves and our industry, the Institute must also take steps to ensure a better future for our planet. With that in mind, our third objective focuses on sustainability and building that in to all of our activities. In this regard, it’s expected that continuing advancements in sustainable technologies will enable our members to implement innovative technical and business practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on an ongoing basis and be a more sustainable sector in every way.

Our fourth objective is about communicating all of the above to our expanded membership to ensure members know how the Institute is working to improve their careers and the industry in general. In this regard, we have already refreshed the IAT website and we have successfully launched the Institute’s App which is gaining broad traction within the Industry.

In the coming weeks we will be further developing the strategy within the working committees and I would like to invite members to get in touch with either myself or Lyle Andrew if you would like to participate in any way. As a membership body, the IAT relies on the work of individual members to assist in the delivery of our objectives.

Finally, I’m delighted to have been invited to next year’s “8th International Conference, Bituminous Mixtures and Pavements” in Thessaloniki, Greece, where I will have the opportunity to promote the work of our Institute on an International stage.


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