Jonathan Fergus, Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Boston Scientific
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering (IT Athlone)
Job title Graduate 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
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
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.