I am part of a team that offers engineering support for project work so every day in my job is different, which is great. Every new project that I work on differs from the last and every day each project progresses a bit further, bringing about new actions and challenges.
Typically I would be involved in the design, procurement, install/construction and commissioning of equipment/facilities, so essentially the full life cycle of a project. Working as part of a design team for a project, I help to define the initial design as well as come up with solutions when the design requires a change during the install/construction phase. Day to day, I also manage contractors on-site who are working on my projects, ensuring good Health and Safety practices as well as ensuring the design is being followed.
I am also involved in communicating progress and problems as they arise to the relevant stakeholders. At the end of the install, my job is to test the equipment/facilities, ensuring they are fit for purpose and meet the user’s requirements.
What type of exciting projects have you worked on?
Recently I helped the reconstruction and commissioning of Pharma Services’ operational facilities in Dundalk. I also helped manage the design, construction and commissioning of the Quality Control lab.
Did you know you always wanted to work in the Engineering field?
From a young age I knew I wanted to have STEM career, as STEM subjects were what I enjoyed most at school. As I developed through school my three favourite subjects and subsequent A level choices were: Maths, Physics and Chemistry. This led me down the path of a degree in Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University.
At the time of choosing a degree I had also considered Maths, but I liked that Engineering had the more practical side so chose to go down that route. Almac has helped me further develop my engineering knowledge and skills and has helped reassure me that I made the right choice with engineering.
What type of other skills do you need for your job, other than educational qualifications?
Probably the most important skill in my job is communication. Communication is critical. Almac’s engineering team have a wealth of knowledge and experience which helps me develop further than by education alone. Being able to communicate with my colleagues and discuss projects or problems I am involved in has helped me on numerous occasions and I have shared my own experience with colleagues when they require assistance, helping them be more effective in their roles.
Other important skills are problem-solving, presenting and organisation skills.
There are times things don’t go according to plan and being able to think on your feet and resolve issues as they pop up is a necessary skill.
Presenting is a skill I have also developed while at Almac. I often need to deliver reports and information to the relevant business units to give updates on progress. It is important to present these updates in a concise but informative way to give the business units an overview of how projects are progressing and potential risks we face.
Organisational skills are important to ensure I can plan project resource as well as my own time resource to ensure I can meet my goals in each of the projects I am involved in.
What was it that made you choose Almac over other companies that interested you or with which you interviewed?
I first came to Almac as a Process Engineering Placement Student during my degree in 2015. I had heard numerous people talk about how it was a great company to work for and was glad when I was accepted for the role.
As a placement student, I enjoyed my time within the close-knit engineering team and felt it was a good fit for me. The team were always available to support me with my responsibilities and I developed a lot over the course of the year.
I felt what I did throughout that year made an impact on the different projects I was assisting with, this gave me some self-gratification and helped me build confidence as a new engineer.
When I went back to University, I applied to and was offered a few graduate opportunities but was happy when I got offered a position with Almac and was delighted to accept a role within the same process engineering department that I had worked in previously.
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