I started off as a Computer Aided Design technician in Crown Foods in Athy. After six months I moved to Edenderry Power [myimage1] where I worked as an operations technician. For this I was in a group of eighteen people divided into six teams of three who worked twelve hour shifts, some during the day, some at night. We operated the entire power plant. I studied for my Honours degree while doing this job and after a year and a half I moved to the job as Mechanical Engineer in Edenderry power. This was all about maintaining the power plant for the operations team. I moved job again after another year and a half but this was to become a Project Engineer in the Bord na Mona wind energy team. This was a very exciting time for me as it was my start in wind energy. I learnt a lot about wind energy while doing this job. After three and a half years I moved to Coillte to become a Project Manager on their wind energy team. I have been working in this roll for nearly four years. I find it a very fulfilling job. For me engineering is all about challenges and about finding ways to overcome these challenges.
Coillte (Wind Energy Team)
Crown Foods and Bord na Mona.
My Work: I manage the development of wind energy projects
I manage project teams that bring wind farm projects from conception stage to ready to build. The engineers on the project teams have a key roll on the team as they design the wind farm using the inputs from the other experts on the team.
There are two types of engineers on each of the project teams. One are civil engineers, the second are electrical engineers.
The civil engineers design where and how the wind turbines and the roads get built. This is known as the wind farm layout. The civil engineers also design the foundations of the wind turbines. Each foundation is designed to suit the type of soil that the turbine is being built on. This means that large wind farm projects can have have several types of wind turbine foundations of the same model of wind turbine. We find out what these conditions are like by carrying out detailed site investigations with many forms of equipment including excavators and drill rigs.
The electrical engineers do the electrical design for the project. The wind turbines generate electricity, the electrical engineers design how the electricity is collected from each wind turbine and transported to the wind farm substation. The electrical engineers also design the substation so that the electricity collected from each of the wind turbines and be sent onto the National electricity network to power Irelands’ homes and businesses
The other experts on the project are usually scientists and archaeologists who have special skills on birds, animals, plants and archaeology. These specialists’ carryout site surveys to identify the location to avoid due to any plant, creature or archaeology feature that they might find. This information is used by the engineers when designing the wind farm.
My Typical Day: In the office managing the projects.
What I'd do with the money: If I win I will give the money to the nearest secondary school to my home called Wilsons hospital. This money will be used to buy an demonstration rig to enable students to carryout physics experiments
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Shy, quiet and friendly
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Designed the layout of Mountlucas and Bruckana wind farms
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My older brother, He is an automation engineer.
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, I was often caught talking to my friends instead of listening to the teacher
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Thats a hard one but probably an agricultural scientist
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
A Sky dive, but I will not do that again.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Ireland currently imports almost 90% of our energy in the form of fossil fuel, I wish Ireland generated enough renewable energy to have a self sufficient energy supply. I wish more people understood why Ireland needs more renewable energy and more wind farms as part of this. I wish a wind farm could be built near my home as I would love to watch wind turbines in action every day.
Tell us a joke.
Why is six afraid of Seven? Thats besause Seven, ate Nine