Louise talks here about her role as a Senior Engineer at EirGrid – the Transmission System Operator for Ireland.
Tell us a bit about your job
My main job is the project management of high-voltage electricity transmission projects. I’m mainly responsible for ensuring projects such as a new electrical sub-station or a new circuit achieve planning consent.
A typical day would include a lot of co-ordinating and meeting consultants, design teams, customers, members of the public, stakeholders and landowners. I’m mostly based in an office but I do travel to site on a regular basis, for site resonance or to supervise construction projects. I also work closely with wind farm developers who rely on my projects to connect to the Grid.
What do you like best about your work?
I think the best thing is that the projects I work on will be a key contributor to the economic growth of the country – not only will this deliver much needed electrical infrastructure to provide a platform for jobs and growth across the country, but it also allows renewable energy to be brought onto the transmission grid. This reduces Ireland’s dependence on imported energy sources and our dependence on high carbon fuels.
Long after the delivery of the project itself, the benefits of it should be felt, which means you can leave a very positive legacy from your work. And the most rewarding aspect of any engineering career is to see the successful completion of a project. For example, a project I worked on in a previous role was the design and construction of a water tower in Waterford City. Not only does the project provide much needed infrastructure but it is a very recognisable feature of the cityscape.
Did you always want to be an engineer?
I did not originally think of engineering as a career .but following my Leaving Certificate results I was offered Engineering in UCD. I was unsure whether this was the right path for me; however, since graduating I’ve never looked back. Engineering as a career provides a huge spectrum of opportunities and every day is different.
Any advice for people thinking about career options?
It’s essential to work at something you find interesting and enjoyable. The sector I work in is dynamic and, with ongoing technological advances, innovation is continuing to bring new opportunities for the future. It is a very diverse field and many different career paths are available to Engineering graduates based on what interests them.