To celebrate STEPS Engineer’s Week which takes place nationwide over the next week, we caught up with local Engineer, Brian Daly who works in Integra LifeSciences in Tullamore…
Can you tell us a little bit about your role in Integra LifeSciences?
I am a Mechanical Engineer within the sustaining engineering team at Integra LifeSciences Tullamore, where we support and manufacture surgical medical devices for neurosurgery including tumour removal, neuro monitoring and surgical headlights. The lifesaving products we make in Tullamore are used by Neurosurgeons throughout the world in over 180 different countries.
My role within Integra Lifesciences Tullamore is largely project based, involving collaboration with multiple departments in Tullamore, the U.S. and Europe and spanning a wide range of activities.
- Introduction of new products and processes.
- Maintaining existing designs and implementing upgrades.
- Validations of products and processes.
- Compliance projects to ensure our devices meet the latest international requirements for safety and efficacy.
What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?
I have always been interested in how things work and during my schooldays preferred subjects which were practical based and required learning of principles rather than volumes of text, Engineering therefore seemed to be an obvious choice.
Where and what exactly did you study at third level?
I completed a degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Athlone Institute of Technology (A.I.T), followed by an honour’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Waterford Institute of Technology (W.I.T). I am also currently enrolled at W.I.T to complete my final year of an MSc in Innovative Technology Engineering.
Why do you think national events like Engineer’s Week are important?
If you stop and think about any product, from your mobile phone, to medical devices, to the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, at some point in their development process, engineers were required to make them a reality and in order for these fields to make future advances engineering is also required. Initiatives such as Engineers week and STEM play an important role in providing an insight into principles of engineering and the many career paths available, that previously may not have been considered by younger generations.
What are the main qualities you think a person might need if they are thinking of becoming an engineer?
Engineering encompasses such a wide range of disciplines, for example within our engineering team alone we have Production, Electrical, Mechanical, Software, Electronics, Project, Validation and Quality engineers along with many other departments who are all instrumental in achieving our objectives.
As Engineering is so diverse, it is difficult to suggest specific qualities required. I would say that misconceptions related to high levels of maths and other subjects don’t apply to all fields and instead if a person is naturally curious about how things work, enjoys working in teams, problem solving and logical thinking, engineering should be considered as a great career path with unlimited options.