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Conor Delaney

Graduate Engineer, RPS

Degree subject BEng Civil Engineering
Job title Graduate Engineer
Employer RPS

As a secondary school student, I enjoyed technical work and had developed an interest in civil engineering. I also considered studying architecture, but thought I would be better suited to engineering.

While studying abroad in California in my third year at college, I learnt a lot about water issues, as it is a big problem for people living there, and thus a focus of the curriculum. This experience sparked my interest in water engineering, and confirmed my original desire to work as a civil engineer.

When I graduated from UCD, I was given a high-achievement award which was sponsored by RPS. I met the Managing Director at the awards ceremony, and he invited me to the Dublin office to discuss a job. He said they were looking for someone to work in the water services department which was exactly what I wanted to do. I had an interview and was offered a graduate job immediately.

I have been working at RPS as a graduate engineer for over a year now. RPS is a consultancy which advises clients such as local councils on the management and development of the built and natural environment.

I work on models of rivers and drainage systems, to assess site-specific flooding problems and to propose flood mitigation measures. I also work on water leakage reduction where I prepare contract documents for construction, and support our teams working on site. I tend to work in small teams with colleagues, and occasionally with surveyors.

When I first joined the company, I attended a two-day training session in the UK to learn how to use the software. The company also organises in-house training courses to update our knowledge. My degree prepared me well for the technical side of my job, but I have had to work hard to improve my soft skills, such as communication and report writing.

Top tips

I would recommend doing a placement to anyone. Two summers ago, I went to Lyon to do a research project with a PhD student and gained valuable technical knowledge and experience that set me up for my career.

Conor was interviewed for gradireland Engineering 2013