Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Liam McCaul from Sustainable Energy Authority to give some advice for people considering this job:

Liam McCaul

R&D Engineer

Sustainable Energy Authority

Read more

Liam McCaul
Do your best to find out the most you can about your specific engineering category, whether it be Electronics, Mechanical, Civil etc. Approach companies to try and get experience whilst you are at college, that way you have a running start on how to use the most up to date packages and instruments that companies have, and that then gets you the work experience when you finish college.
Close

Realist?
Realist
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
All Courses
PLC Progression Routes
PLC Points Calculator
CAO Points Calculator
CAO Video Guide

Dublin City University - DCU
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Castlebar College of Further Education
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Close
Study Skills
Other
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Featured Article

logo imagelogo image

Return to List



Niamh Shaw - Science Communicator and Performer

Niamh Shaw is a freelance science communicator and performer. She combines her science expertise with improvisation and story-telling skills.

Niamh Shaw What do you do for a living?
I’m a communicator and a performer. I’m passionate about bringing all that is interesting in science, engineering and technology and telling these stories in new ways.

What’s a typical day like?
There is no typical day! I could be meeting with a science organisation to figure out how to focus on a new area for them, I could be joining a panel discussion or brainstorming on an upcoming event.

Did you always want to be a scientist?
I wanted to be everything when I was very young and I still do! I was always taking things apart and trying to figure out how they worked. There was a scientist and an engineer in there. I’m ridiculously enthusiastic about all sorts of research.

What’s your training and education?
I have a degree in bioengineering from University College Dublin (UCD). It provided me with a solid problem-solving skill-set and gave me a good foundation in lots of different kinds of engineering.

Then I did a research masters in engineering. After this I applied to the UCD food science department and was awarded a PhD position on edible films – biodegradable packaging. Following this I took a postdoctoral research position in the food science and technology department in University College Cork for almost three years.

It was then that I began to explore my artistic side. I took a sabbatical and pursued training in performance.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?
I get to meet fascinating people from all walks of life. It takes me everywhere from seeing cutting-edge industry research facilities to Blackrock Castle Observatory Cork, where I can look at the stars for a few hours. I’ll meet with theatre directors who ask me to research particular areas of science for their work. I’m also learning all the time.

What is the most challenging thing?
It’s freelance so a lot of the time you work on your own. Sometimes it’s extremely busy and at others work is very quiet. It’s not a fixed career path with a monthly wage, which can be challenging.

What advice would you give to anyone interested in a career like yours?
If you’re someone like me with two very strong interests where one never dominated the other, they both have to exist; the scientific, technical brain and the artistic, creative brain. That will never go away so pursue both if you can.

Article by: Smart Futures