What attracted you to engineering?
I like to think engineering is in my blood because my grandfather was an engineer but, in reality, it was my parents who first encouraged my interest in the profession. They undertook three large build projects, including the refurbishment of our family home, while I was growing up. I really enjoyed the experience of being on site and helping wherever I could!
Where did you study?
I knew I wanted to study engineering at college, but I wasn’t sure which field of engineering I wanted to specialise in, so I decided to undertake a bachelor of engineering (undenominated) at NUI Galway in 2003. After completing first year, I specialised in civil engineering and graduated in 2007.
I spent a few years in industry before returning to college in 2010 to undertake an MSc in General Structural Engineering at Imperial College London. For my master’s thesis project, I designed a 110m tall, steel building, stabilised by Mega X bracing. It was the runner-up for the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Student Project Prize.
What is your role in ROD?
I am a senior engineer in ROD’s buildings team. We specialise in civil and structural engineering. This is my first experience of working with a company that has brought their structural and civil people together into one team and, in my view, it creates a better understanding between the disciplines and builds greater cooperation.
Do you enjoy your work?
Yes. There is great variety in this career, with every day throwing up a whole new set of challenges to be considered and resolved. I enjoy working through project issues with my peers before coming to the best solution. Seeing my projects completed is also very satisfying!
What career advice would you offer engineering graduates?
I would advise engineering graduates to get some site experience behind them even if their end goal is to become a consulting engineer. I spent a year working on London’s Olympic Village before returning to college to undertake my master’s degree. It was an invaluable experience that has made me more aware of the role safety considerations play in the design process.