Degree subject Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Medical Mechanical Engineering (DCU), PhD in Tissue Engineering (DCU)
Job title Manufacturing Engineer 1, Structural Heart
Employer Boston Scientific
Why did a career in the medical devices sector appeal?
The combination of engineering and medical devices has always appealed to me, leading me to pursue an undergraduate degree in Medical Mechanical Engineering in DCU. In addition to the course content, my interest in this field was reinforced during my third year student placement during which I spent 8 months in Boston Scientific Galway as a Manufacturing Engineer. My experience was of a warm, welcoming work environment combined with challenging and innovative products and projects. Having completed a PhD in Tissue Engineering and eager to reenter industry; Boston Scientific, as a world-class medical device manufacturer and recent entrant into the trans-catheter aortic valve market, was the perfect fit.
What does your day to day role involve?
When I re-joined Boston Scientific on the graduate programme, I was a Line Support Manufacturing Engineer for peripheral intervention catheters and stents. Day-to-day activities included monitoring yield issues, problem solving, and process improvement projects. The Programme offers a structured professional and personal development programme in parallel with daily practical engineering experience. Having completed the Programme, I moved to the Structural Heart production unit where I am an Operations Manufacturing Engineer for a trans-catheter aortic valve. It is a cross-functional project which has allowed me to develop an in-depth understanding of the product and process in addition to building relationships with the Quality, Product Development, R&D, Regulatory, and Microbiology teams.
What’s been one of the biggest challenges so far?
The biggest challenge so far has been the transition from academia to industry, the different pace of the environment and change in emphasis on expected outputs. There are many aspects of the undergraduate and postgraduate experience which are applicable in industry, however there are many systems and processes involved in the day-to-day running of a large multinational company to get up to speed with during the initial transition.
What advice would you have for students?
An undergraduate programme which offers a student placement is invaluable. On the one hand it enables you to gain a clearer understanding of your potential career path, and on the other hand, it has the potential to develop into a longer term relationship with the company, as in my case with Boston Scientific.
How do you hope to see your career developing over the next few years?
I would like to see myself progressing to a Senior Level in a few years’ time. Our Personal Development Programme enables you to succeed in progression to a senior level.