Michael Christensen - Graduate R&D Researcher

The thing that excites me most about Kingspan is the important role we are playing in the fight against climate change.

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Michael Christensen

Graduate R&D Researcher

Kingspan

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Q.1 What does your job involve?

I work as a Graduate R&D Researcher with Kingspan Insulated Panels out of our Group Headquarters and Global Innovation Hub ‘IKON’ in County Cavan, Ireland.

My job involves researching lower carbon and more circular building materials for our insulated panels and insulation. This involves scanning the external environment, establishing relationships with companies, ordering samples, conducting mechanical and thermal testing, creating test reports, investigating results, investigating improvements; all towards developing products.

Q.2 What is the most interesting project you’ve been involved with?

Unfortunately, there is commercial sensitivity around the specifics of what I am working on, but I can say that all my projects are driving sustainability and are closely linked to themes of our 10-year Planet Passionate strategy such as Carbon and Circularity.

Q.3 What advice would you give to new Graduates joining our Company?

To new graduates, I would first say welcome! Then, I would say embrace everything Kingspan has to offer. If you are on the Kingspan Graduate Programme, you have great modules coming up which will help you become more effective in countless ways.

I would also say, take the opportunity to really get to know your colleagues and especially other graduates. You’ll have plenty of chances to network. Making friends doesn’t only make work even more enjoyable; a large network will become invaluable later when you need to find solutions. Your colleagues/friends in other divisions may already have the answer.

Q.4 What excites you most about Kingspan?

The thing that excites me most about Kingspan is the important role we are playing in the fight against climate change.

Combined, construction and buildings are responsible for 39% of all carbon emissions globally. Roughly 28% are operational emissions from buildings (heating, cooling, appliances) and 11% is upfront or embodied carbon associated with materials and construction processes through the whole building lifecycle.

Kingspan, through selling insulation systems that reduce the need for space heating or cooling, is helping to drastically bring down operational emissions from buildings. Our insulation systems sold in 2021 alone will save an estimated 850 million MWh of energy or 193 million tonnes of CO2e over their lifetime.

Addressing upfront carbon; our 10-year sustainability strategy Planet Passionate will continue to drive down embodied carbon of our product offerings through serious Energy and Carbon targets. Planet Passionate is also addressing wider issues within construction by having targets for Circularity and Water. Performance against targets across these four focus areas is reported on each year in the Planet Passionate Annual Report.

A couple of other things that excite me are that you are given a lot of responsibility from day one, and, when looking at colleagues as an example, there seems to be great scope for career progression. This is motivating to me.

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