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Process Engineer - Heavy Goods

08 Mar 2019

A Process Engineer within the heavy goods industry discusses what first prompted her into the world of engineering and what a typical working day looks like for her.

Q.  What qualifications do you have?
A.  A BE in Chemical Engineering from UCD

Q.  What made you choose engineering as a career?
I chose Engineering as a career as I enjoy problem solving, working with people and being involved in different projects. I completed an internship for 1 year between 3rd and final year in UCD which gave me invaluable experience. I learned then what career path I wanted to follow. I found myself working in Heavy Industry in Ireland since graduating; I very much enjoy the fact that on a manufacturing site, no two days are the same

Q.  What are the different aspects of your job?
A.  Troubleshooting, data analysis, continuous improvement projects and supporting process operatives to reach production targets. A lot of dealing with different personnel around the plant, and working in cross disciplinary teams. Every day is different, and the roles I have had since graduating have been very dynamic

Q.  Describe your typical day?
Daily monitoring of plant performance, investigation into any deviations from targets, data analysis. Then there are improvement projects, monthly reports and general reporting. A lot of my day is spent out on the plant or in the control room, providing process support to other personnel on site

Q.  Is there a constant need to up-skill in your particular area?
A.  In my particular area in heavy industry, I have completed some up-skilling with internal courses with the companies I’ve worked for – mostly Lean concept courses 

Q.  If so, how do you up-skill?
A.  Courses 

Q.  Are you supported by your employers in this?
A.  Yes, employers have always been supportive in my interest in up-skilling  

Q. Engineering took a huge hit during the recession. What do you think can be done to future proof your industry / sector?

A. I think the important thing to realise, that if you have an engineering degree (any discipline of engineering) you are a sought after graduate to a whole range of industries

Q. What more can be done to attract women into engineering? 
A. More grass roots programs in schools – especially all girls schools. I didn’t know what engineering was until I went to visit the UCD open day

Q. Are you part of a “Women in Engineering” or a “Women in Stem” group?  
A. Not specifically involved in any group, but I have given presentations at Women in Stem events locally

Q. Do you think they play an important part in supporting women in your industry? 
A. I’m not aware of any specific Women in Engineering groups so cannot comment

Q. Do you feel that there should be more support for women going into or working in Engineering?  
A. Yes there should

Q. If so, what do you think can be done? 
A. I think the most important part of this is trying to encourage girls to choose Engineering as course in 3rd level education. During 3rd level I found there was a lot of support, and during my career I’ve found that all the companies I’ve worked for have supported me in my Engineering career