What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I chose mostly science related subjects for the Leaving Cert predominantly because I found them the most interesting rather than really knowing what I wanted to do going into 5th year.
Doing Maths, Physics and Chemistry definitely set me up well for Engineering and helped me decide that it would be an area of interest.
In hindsight, I would have liked to have done Business Studies or Economics instead of Technical drawing. I think I had enough technical subjects and that was the one I liked least. I've been more interested in Economics and Business at later stages of my career and learning more at that time may have given me more pause for thought when going to college and a better balance of subjects.
What is your education to date?
Secondary School: Presentation College Carlow (co-ed) Third Level: University College Dublin (1991-1995) First year was common engineering followed by three years of Chemical Engineering. Graduated as a Chemical Engineer. Evening Courses: I have taken a few Adult education modules in Philosophy at UCD. Small flexible time commitment in an area of interest for me.
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
Secondary School: Maths, Physics and English would stand out as being most important. A strong foundation in Maths is essential in engineering work - I use Maths every day. From Physics, knowing the basics of pressure, volume and temperature has been key to the job. From English, being able to get your point across in presentations or by email communications is also important. I think answering questions and writing essays effectively sets you up well to do that.
Third Level: Again Maths is key - specifically statistics, which I continued to learn more about on the job. I use some elements of Fluid Flow and Heat transfer too in the area of inkjet development I am in. However, my job would not be a traditional Chemical Engineering job. Areas of pharmaceuticals, chemical manufacturing, petroleum or brewing would use more of the Chemical Engineering degree skills.
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
A number of courses in diverse areas that can last for a day or a few weeks. Examples are: Coaching, Technical Leadership, Designing Experiments, Computer Aided Design (CAD), KT Problem Solving, Time Management etc.