Featured Advice
What are your interests?

Naturalist?

Naturalist

Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.

Back
Interviews
Peter LaComber, Consulting Engineer
Engineering & Manufacturing

Peter LaComber, Consulting Engineer

Peter LaComber graduated from UCD as a Mechanical Engineer and is working as a Senior Consulting Engineer for Irish Cement. He has held a variety of roles over the last 11 years in the company and is now Plant Liaison Manager for the Kiln 3 construction project in Drogheda.

Ask me your
first question!

What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

Choosing Science and Maths subjects in School.

Taking an Engineering Degree in College.

A variety of roles within Irish Cement, including Maintenance Engineer, Quarry Engineer Project Engineer, Travel to Ukraine to assist with design of Coal and Kiln Project, Secondment to CRH for the Sarbanes Oxley 404 Compliance Project (Finance), Travel to US on audit assignment and my current Role

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

The people who have mostly influenced my career direction are my peers and my wife.

My current role evolved after some discussions with my Plant Manager.

How did you go about getting your current job?

I started with Irish Cement in 1996 following two interviews.

I had heard that Irish Cement were taking on graduates through a friend and I applied.

Following my return from a secondment with CRH earlier this year, my current role was devised in conjunction with the Plant Manager.

Describe a typical day?

Every day generally presents different challenges and therfore no two days are the same. Weekly projects and operations meetings are the routine pieces in between. Currently, with the ongoing construction of the new factory line, decisions may be required quickly on numerous issues for work to progress on the many construction sites within the factory. Other issues may require careful consideration as to their likely impacts going forward and are therefore more long term.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

My main responsibilities are:

Plant liason for the kiln 3 construction project. This involves working closely with the project team to resolve all interface issues between the project delivery and the existing running plant. (Practically full-time at present).

I am also responsible for plant civil/infrastructure maintenance. This would involve implementation of any necessary works for plant infrastructure upkeep including the selection and supervision of the contractors who carry out any work.

What are the main challenges?

The main challenges are the variety of issues that need to be resolved on a daily basis. These ensure that no two days are the same.

What's cool?

The variety of challenges that need to be overcome on a daily basis.

What's not so cool?

Writing monthly reports, etc.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

Organised, attention to detail, easygoing and open to suggestions from others.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

I chose Physics, Chemistry and Technical Drawing as my optional subjects for the Leaving Certificate with a view to choosing an engineering course at third level.

These subjects certainly helped with first year in college as I had a foundation in those subjects to build on.

In hindsight, I would have chosen Applied Maths over Technical Drawing as the engineering course had a significant Applied Maths content.

Overall, I feel my subject choices were appropriate for my career choice.

What is your education to date?

  • Leaving Certificate 1989
  • Bachelor of Engineering UCD 2003
  • Masters in Engineering Science 2006

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

My engineering degree course was the most important foundation for my job.

Since then, I have found the Project Managemet and Problem Solving course very practical and useful.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Proud of CRH Sarbanes Oxley 404 Project and assisting at the start of the Ukraine Coal and Kiln Project

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

  • Organised
  • Attention to Detail
  • Easygoing and open to suggestions from others.

What is your dream job?

Own and run my own Restaurant. Because every day brings new people and challenges to overcome.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

My current role allows a good mix of working time and time with my family.

Within the CRH organisation there are good progression opportunities.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Skills - organisation and attention to detail Interests - all things technical Education - basic engineering foundation course (degree or similar)

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Organisation, attention to detail and open to suggestions.

What is your favourite music?

Rock

What is your favourite film?

Goodfellas

What is your pet hate at work?

Bad Timekeeping

What is your star sign?

Libra

Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

I have completed a number of courses during my career with CRH, some are listed below:

Kepner-Tregoe - Project Management Workshop - 3 days FAS Safepass - Health and Safety - 1 day Emergency Training Services Limited - Introduction to Health and Safety - 1 day IEI/CIF/HSA - Safety on Construction Projects Seminar - 1 day CRH/Irish Management Institute - Young Managers Programme - 1 week Irish Industrial Explosives - Quarry Shot Firing (EPIC certified) - 1 week Irish Management Institute - Newly Appointed Managers Programme - 3 weeks Enterprise Management Associates - Persuasive Business Proposals - Development, structuring and presenting business ideas - 2 days Kepner-Tregoe - Analytic Trouble Shooting - Problem Identification and Solving - 3 days Presentation & Communication Skills - 2 days I intend to continue training/upskilling as necessary.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

A good grounding in any engineering discipline is a basic foundation. Work experience with exposure to civil, mechanical and electrical engineering is also very useful.

Ask a question about...
  • Career Development?
  • Current Job?
  • Education and Training?
  • Personal Qualities?
  • Advice for Others?