I graduated with a first class honours in MEng Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering on 10th July 2009.
I was sponsored by Air Products PLC and based on the Intel site in Kildare. Worked summer 2005 and placement year (June 2006- August 2007). Air products are a gas and chemicals company.
Buro Happold, Belfast. Worked for summer 2008 on a number of building services engineerings projects including geothermal feasibility study for a theatre.
Current employer is McLaren Racing, Woking. Joined graduate scheme on 21st Sept 2009 as one of two new Mechanical Engineering graduates. Spent one year rotating through various departments including design (3 months) where I worked on the fuel cell jigs, oil tanks and radiator stone guards, vehicle dynamics (3 months) where I completed work on thermal cameras looking at the front tyres, systems engineering (3 months) looking at wind tunnel data and methods of reducing wind on time while maintaining accuracy and finally wind tunnel (4 weeks) preparing model and testing. I have recently signed a 1 year contract extension based in the design office and currently working in front suspension group.
After finishing my BEng in 1988 I went to Florida to train as a cadet pilot with Aer Lingus. I trained on single engine Tomahawks and multi-engine Seminoles. In June 1989 I began training on B737-200 flying passengers and cargo on European routes. In 1991 I was trained as third pilot (or flight engineer) on the B747-100. This was a more technical role involving the aircraft systems and performance. I flow trans-atlantic routes for 18 months with Aer Lingus. In 1992 I was to Indonesia for 18 months as a third pilot with Garuda Airlines. I lived in Bali and operated trans-Pacific between Singapore, Jakarta, Hawaii and Los Angeles.
I returned to Dublin in the summer of 1994 and trained on the B737-EFIS, staying here until 1996 bar a short stint back on the B747. I was priveleged to be part of the crew on the last Aer Lingus B747 to fly into Dublin. We then delivered the last one out to retirement in the Arizona desert.
In 1996 I began my Command training and checks on BAe-146. I became a trained Captain in 1997 and for four years trained cadet pilots in the simulator and on the line and conducted general training and checks. This was a great learning experience for me. Since 2001 I have been Captain on the B737-EFIS. I begin training onto the A321. I have been married to Colin for 6 years and we live between Dublin and Carlingford.
I chose to study Product Design and Development at QUB because I was excited about a new and innovative degree with project based learning. Despite the common preconception that engineering is a male dominated discipline I found myself in a small, friendly class including several female students. Everybody hit it off quickly because of the teamwork ethos of the degree. We were all treated equally and some lecturers even offered extra help with topics we struggled with as a class.
I secured a design engineer job two years before graduating and I continue to work full time now. If I am honest, many people I meet through work and socially still find it unusual that I am a female Engineer (especially abroad).I believe that the foundation I received at QUB has given me the confidence and ability to surprise them by proving myself capable. I am proud to be a design engineer and I hope that along with my fellow female graduates that we can dispel the male engineering myth.
I started Queen’s University Belfast in September 2005 and graduated with a MEng in Aerospace Engineering in July 2009.
During my degree I was presented with many fantastic opportunities. In 2008 I was asked to participate in the Queen’s University International Design Project. This exercise was coupled with the Technische Universiteit Delft, Holland. Working in a multi-national team, the project focused on the preliminary design of a concept for the next generation of commercial aircraft.
I spent the summer of 2008 working at the Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace. I was positioned in the Power-plant and Systems department and worked on the European funded Environmentally Friendly Engine (EFE) project.
After graduating I took up a full time Engineering post in Bombardier Aerospace. During the first year of my employment I worked on two leading contracts, defining the lightning strike protection for composite wing aircraft. I am currently working in the aerodynamics department, assessing the aerodynamic effects of various thrust reverser designs.
I have always been interested in the drive for more innovation products in the Aerospace Industry and therefore have worked part-time in the Bombardier Innovation Team since starting in the company. In this team I have helped develop a new idea capture and management system. I am also responsible for the Company’s Innovation Training course.
I will complete the Bombardier Graduate Development Programme in February 2012, when I will take up a full technical position in Engineering.