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This medal is awarded to the individual who has, in the view of the assessors, made the most distinguished contribution to the Engineering Sciences. It is awarded to James Dooge, emeritus professor of Civil Engineering in University College Dublin.

Having spent his early years in public works, James Dooge became Professor of Civil Engineering in University College Cork, before, in 1970, taking up his chair in University College Dublin.

This is but the framework, however, for a life that has been marked by extraordinarily distinguished public service and by scholarship of the highest quality and originality. He served as a member of the Senate in various capacities; he was a senatorial member of Dr Garrett Fitzgerald’s government in the role of Minister for Foreign Affairs; he chaired the Committee on Institutions, an ad hoc committee of representatives of EEC heads of government charged with examining the possibility of institutional reform of the European communities. In the academic world he was President of the Royal Irish Academy, 1987-90. He was elected a foreign member of the Royal Academy of Engineering, which prestigious body awarded him its 2005 Prince Philip Medal. He is the recipient of some eight honorary degrees and numerous other academic honours and civic awards.

James Dooge has been described as global before the world was global. His work, says one of his assessors, changed the nature of his subject. It has had substantial influence on the design of water systems such as reservoirs and all aspects of hydraulic and dam engineering, and has been key to understanding the effects of climate change and how to optimise water resources. James Dooge is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern hydrology. A lone scholar who often did his most important work as a solo worker rather than as team leader, he has, nevertheless, been an inspirational figure for younger engineers. He has been an active researcher for fifty years, a great engineer who has brought huge credit to Ireland.