Degree subjectBachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering (IT Athlone)
Job titleGraduate Mechanical Engineer
Employer Boston Scientific
Why a career in medical devices?
My main reason for choosing engineering as a profession was my keen interest in finding out how things work and my passion for improving equipment design. In secondary school I received recognition for the best engineering project completed during the Leaving Certificate. The medical devices area continued to grow and perform strongly during the recession, so it seemed to be a reliable sector in which to work. Also, many multinational companies based here in Ireland offer their employees great opportunities to travel with their work. What attracted me to Boston Scientific was its renowned graduate programme and the working environment. Also at our plant in Clonmel, we manufacture devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, which require huge technical ability and attention to detail.
I studied mechanical engineering in Athlone IT, and chose the manufacturing and automation stream in my final year – this gave me a great insight into vision systems, industrial communications, robotics, pick & place machines and statistical testing. The position offered on the programme was in the process development group, primarily working with printed circuit boards (pcba’s). The manufacturing line is highly automated. The selection process involved summiting a cover letter & CV, phone interview and face-to-face interview, in which I displayed college work and industrial experience from Hollister UCL.
What does your day to day role involve and what’s exciting about it?
Well it varies to say the least, from validation work, process characterisations and work instructions to creating fixtures for processing new products, creating programmes on machines for developing the manufacturing line for new products and assisting the prototype builds of new products.
What’s been one of the biggest challenges so far?
Communication and delivering on projects were the two biggest challenges I faced. As time progressed, my communication skills have developed as I gained more knowledge about the process and interacted with more people. Another area of development for me was the actual completion of projects, examples of which being continuous improvement projects for the products, which in turn, drives significant improvements on process development.
What advice would you have for students? h3>
Try and get some industrial experience in a medical device/engineering company during the summer break, to get some insight into how things operate in this industry – this is excellent for including in your CV. If you have a keen interest, go for it! Whereas there is a lot of documentation involved in this area, there is also a lot of practical hands-on experience to be gained.