Education:St Munchin’s College (’91 – ’97); Trinity College Dublin (’97 – ’07)
Qualifications:BA BAI (Mechanical Engineering); PhD (Thermal Science)
Work History:Trinity College Dublin & Lufthansa Airmotive
Current Job:Associate Professor
My Work: Research and Teaching of the Science, Engineering and Application of Renewable Energy Systems
I work with solar, and in Scotland that’s not easy – so I guess I like a challenge. I love engineering; I get to design and play with gadgets every day!
My Typical Day: A real mix of lectures, design meetings, progress report meetings, site visits, data analysis…no two days are the same!
I have a lot of freedom in my job. Yes, I work to a schedule for lectures etc, but most of my week and during the summer months, I have the freedom to indulge my engineering interests. So no two days are the same…
I manage a research group who are working on a wide range of renewable energy projects, like:
Solar Panel Design for Domestic Heating
Thermal Stoage, use of the heat we heat we collect when we need it
Solar Powered Water Desalination
Concentrated Solar Power Plant Development (where we use mirrors and lenses to focus the sun to a very hot spot before we convert it to electricity)
I also have the opportunity to work with:
Surgeons and Physiologists to develop devices for blood flow measurement and muscle rehabilitation
Brewers and Distillers to integrate renewables into their processes
Electronics and Computing Companies to keep their electronic cool or look for ways to use the waste heat.
So day to day I do background research (lots of reading, lots of learning); I hold planning and design meeting; I allocate work packages (design, build, test, model etc) and I do a lot of that myself too…every day is different, because the projects keep changing, evolving; it’s very exciting to review progress!
What advice would you give someone who wants to be in the same career as you?
Enjoy it – follow your interests
What do you see as your next step in your career?
Maybe start a company & become a full professor
What other sorts of jobs can you do with your qualifications?
Mechanical Engineers can work in many areas – from medicine to renewable energy to food/drink industry or even automotive
What's the best part of your current job?
Working with enquisitive people!
What don't you like about your current job?
Answering e-mails :(