Maria Lynch

Design Engineer, Arup Consulting Engineers

Degree subject Civil and Environmental Engineering (2005)

Job title Design Engineer

Employer Arup Consulting Engineers

I enjoyed maths and physics at school, so I looked for a university course which combined this with a practical element and had good and varied job prospects.

When I joined Arup I spent six months in our office designing, checking drawings and sending information to contractors. At present I'm working as an on-site project supervisor, part of the construction management team working for a major pharmaceutical company. I monitor progress on site at their plant in Ireland where one extension and one new building are being built.

A large part of my day is spent on site monitoring progress, quality and health and safety. The remainder of my day is spent in the construction management team site office following up on site queries, liaising with the design office and co-ordinating works with other site disciplines such as process, mechanical, electrical and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning).

The best aspects of my job are the level of responsibility I was given at an early stage and the variety I get working on site; I don't know what might happen between breakfast and lunch time!

A real highlight of this project was when the plant shut down for a week in the summer, and people from many different disciplines were all working together in an exciting and fast-paced atmosphere to a deadline.

Job-hunting tips

Students who are planning an engineering career should thoroughly research their options, and by the final year they should have identified an area of engineering that they're really interested in. In addition any relevant work experience, however short, will impress a potential employer.