Leaving Certificate in St. Joseph's College, Borrisoleigh, Bachelor's Degree in Eurovision Engineering in University College Dublin, Post-Graduate Diploma in Professional Engineering from Engineers Ireland
BHEng in Electronic Engineering, Post-Graduate Diploma in Professional Engineering
Bio-Medical Research in Galway, ON Semiconductor in Limerick, Boston Scientific in Clonmel, and Becton Dickinson in Limerick
Senior Electronic Design Engineer
I work for Becton Dickinson (BD), an American multi-national medical device company, with around sixty-thousand employees around the world.
I work in a group know as Research Centre Ireland (known as RCI).
In RCI in Limerick, there are approximately 150 employees, made up of engineers, scientists, managers and administrators, working with 3 different business units on a variety of products, including diagnostic and bioscience equipment, lab automation systems and infusion pumps.
We have a wide range of nationalities (about 18) in our office, and we collaborate with colleagues across a range of timezones every day.
Favourite thing to do in engineering: Finding and fixing problems in electronic circuits
An electronic engineer working on medical devices
I live with my wife and two daughters (10 years old and 6 months old) in Tipperary. We have two dogs, a golden labrador and a Siberian husky.
I coach my daughter’s under-10 Camogie team, which is a bit strange, as I was never any good at hurling (but I’m getting better). I’m interested in martial arts, mainly Taekwondo, but have been less involved since the arrival of our new daughter.
In the bit of spare time I have, I enjoy fixing things, from computers to tractors.
I'm involved in the design of the electronics for infusion pumps used for everything from pain relief during surgery to chemotherapy.
I design new electronic circuits and make improvements to existing circuits that are used in infusion pumps. Infusion pumps are used to deliver medication, fluids and nutrition in hospitals and home care settings.
Some of our products are designed for specialist applications, such as providing medication or nutrition to premature babies, where the accuracy and reliability is particularly important.
The products I work on positively impact the lives of patients and their families across the world.
My Typical Day
Reading emails, attending meetings, finding problems ("debugging") and designing and testing electronic circuits.
- I arrive at work shortly after 8am and turn on my computer to check emails. We work with teams around the world, so I often have 10 to 20 emails waiting for me in the morning. I read them all and prioritise the ones I need to respond to.
- My team has a quick meeting at the whiteboard in our lab to discuss what we plan to work on for the day, or add new tasks to the list of things that need to get done. Some items are more urgent than others, and get prioritised.
- We have a quick break for breakfast and a chat. Our company has provided us with a pool table, and some mornings we have a quick game before going back to work.
- Depending on what stage the projects I’m working on are at, I might work on designing a new circuit (which can involve some research or calculations), laying-out a circuit board (designing the board that the electronic components are soldered to, and the connections between them), building prototypes or testing circuits.
- I often have to work with members of other departments, like mechanical engineering or software development, to complete a task. Many different disciplines are needed to design a medical device, and it’s important that we work together to deliver the best product for customers (hospitals or doctors) and patients.
- We typically have lunch between 12:30 and 13:00. If the weather is good, we might go for a quick walk by the river (our office is right next to the University of Limerick). It’s a great way to clear your mind before getting back to work.
- Afternoons are often taken up with meetings to provide updates to other members of the teams in relation to the progress I’ve made on my assigned tasks.
What I'd do with the money
Provide kits and some assistance to schools to learn about electronic hardware
If I were to win this competition, I’d like to use the prize money to provide electronic hardware kits to schools so they can learn a bit about how electronics works.
I may be able to get support from some industry contacts to ensure that as many interested schools as possible can be provided with kits.
I will also prepare instructions for experiments that could be carried out using the kits, ideally tailored to the different age groups of the schools/classes involved.
If teachers need any support or assistance in working through the experiments, or even developing follow-on activities using the kits, I’d be more than happy to help.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Technical, Enthusiastic, Fun
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Solved complex issues in components used in the manufacture of millions of computers
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
The variety of career options available to someone who has qualified as an engineer
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Occasionally. I wasn't great at doing homework, and when I did, I tended to rush it.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I'd probably be an electrician.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
I love all types of food, especially spicy stuff.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Down-hill mountain biking
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To always have challenging technical work to do, to never have any money worries, and to have a Mercedes Unimog truck
Tell us a joke.
There are 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.