Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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  Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
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Naturalist 
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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College Profile

CIT Department of Electronic Engineering

CIT Department of Electronic Engineering


CIT Department of Electronic Engineering Organisation Profile College Profile


Contact details:
Contact Name:
Dr Joe Connell
Address:
CIT,
Rossa Avenue,
Bishopstown,
Cork, Ireland.
Email:
e-eng@cit.ie
Web:
e-eng.cit.ie/
Phone:
 

 
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Provided by Discover Science + Engineering

Profile

What are the different (undergraduate entry) courses run by this department?
The dept. has 2 entry routes onto the same single programme. Depending on Leaving Cert results you can register for a 3-year or 4-year degree. You can continue on from the 3-year degree into 4th year but you need a higher average mark at the end of 3rd year.

CR061 Level 7 BEng in Electronic Engineering – requires a pass Leaving Cert
CR590 Level 8 BEng (Hons) in Electronic Systems Engineering – requires 2 hons min entry

Both courses share the same lecture/lab delivery for the most part. At the end of 3rd year however, CR061 students need an average of 50% or more to continue into 4th year. CR590 students need only to pass.

The programme contains subjects on building circuits, PC maintenance, control and telecommunications theory and quite a lot on microprocessors and programming. It is quite general in nature but “intelligent systems” is a message that goes through the entire course. By intelligent we mean the ability to download software to a box so it can perform its task, monitor its own status and communicate with other devices. In other words, a self-contained system and hence the name of the honours degree.

But there are other aspects to the course. In addition to having a deep knowledge of electronics, you will learn to problem solve, learn about business/marketing and learn personal skills such as making presentations, writing reports and working in teams.

What facilities does the department have to support these courses?
The dept. has 1st class labs which are well kitted out and comfortable to work in. Lab group sizes are no more than 20 so you’re never squashed!  Lab work is informal and made to look more like a workplace. Lecturers and students talk about the work and help each other to solve problems. Students are also encouraged to help each other. It is a profession which involves making things work properly so you have to learn about theory and practice.

What connections does the department have with Industry?
The Electronics Dept. has an Applied Research Enhancement (ARE) grant from Enterprise Ireland worth over 1 million euros. Small to medium Irish businesses can come to us with vouchers for 5,000 Euros to pay for work which our students, mostly postgrads but sometimes undergrads as well, will do to help them design/develop a new product. This means the dept. is closely linked to industry and when these companies grow so also will employment opportunities. All of this work is housed in the Technology for Embedded Computing (TEC) centre within the dept.

People from industry also act as external examiners for our programmes so they meet with lecturers at least twice a year. These people also sit on the validation panels for new courses to make sure they are focussed in the right areas.

How many students do you accept each year on these courses?
Since both courses share the same delivery our max combined intake would be 80 students.

What particular attributes are required by students taking this course?
An interest in making things work is a good start. If you’re not afraid of Maths or you don’t hate Maths then that’s also good. If you can get a C or better in pass Maths and you’re prepared to work then you should not have a problem.

We’re a student centred dept. and always have been. We know all our students by name and there is a good atmosphere. Plus, with smaller class sizes you’ll get a more personal touch. If that suits you then this is the place for you.

Where did last years graduates go?
25% went into research and 75% went to industry. All are employed in the profession.

Why should students choose the Department of Electronic Engineering in CIT?
In 2007, researchers from this dept. in collaboration with other universities, Cork County Council, CUH were awarded a 14 million euro grant to investigate a “smart house” in which energy efficiency and remote health care are two major elements. A new building is being constructed here on campus to house all the people needed to work on it. This makes us the leading dept. in the country in the area of sensors/wireless comms/ intelligent systems. Our electronics course trains students to work in this area and they can go all the way to doctorate level right here in the dept. Plus the TEC centre also services out this know how to industry through the voucher scheme. In total, we are a centre for these technologies and that makes our graduates very marketable.

Why should students choose CIT?
Students choose CIT because of its atmosphere. The relationship between staff and students is more personal than elsewhere. We take an interest in the development and the welfare of our students.

CIT is also about sport and is very good at it. Besides GAA success, e.g. the Sigerson Cup, we also have the World Student sailing champions. There is something here for everyone, you don’t have to be sporty but if you are then there’s something for you. There are lots of other activities going on but the main attraction of the college is the sense of belonging. This is important as you prepare for the outside world.








  CIT Department of Electronic Engineering

CAO Course Links 2
CR061 - Electronic Engineering
CR590 - Electronic Engineering


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