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Donal Og Cusack, Automation/Energy Engineer

Donal Og Cusack, Automation/Energy Engineer

Donal Óg Cusack is an Automation/Energy Engineer for Johnson & Johnson Ireland. He is team leader within the company who brings his team player skills from his sporting days to his current role. At present he is studying a masters degree in Automation Engineering at UCC.

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

My decision to take a job with Johnson & Johnson at their Depuy facility in Cork developed my interests in the area of energy and has led me to this point in my career of being an energy engineer.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

How did you go about getting your current job?

Firstly I served my time as an electrician, then I applied for a job with Johnson & Johnson in the DePuy facility in Ringaskiddy during which I became interested in the whole area of energy and I went on from there to become an Automation/Energy engineer.

Describe a typical day?

There is a lot of diversity working with J&J and there isn’t any set routine. I like to rise early - in a previous life I used to do a lot of training. With this job, some days I’m working offsite, some days I’m working in different countries or with people in different time zones so there are no two days the same. I generally finish about six in the evening.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

I am a team leader at J&J and I am responsible for the Energy Team within the site. My duties include energy management, how we buy it, how we use it and planning for the future. My responsibility ranges from electricity on site of 20,000 volts which comes in from the main energy distribution, right down to 230 volts for your typical bulbs and lights.

What are the main challenges?

Like in any company there are always targets and deadlines to meet but to be honest I like that because if you donít have a challenge you donít have a future.

What's cool?

The thing I like most about this job is the travel aspect of it. Johnson & Johnson are a multinational company so I get to see a lot of different places around the world.

What's not so cool?

I enjoy all the aspects of the job even the more stressful ones like meeting particular targets.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

Being part of a sports team taught me a lot about how to get on with others and work as a team so thatís a skill I transfer into the workplace.

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

The STEM subjects I studied in school were what led me to have an interest in this area of work and if I could go back to my school days I would put an emphasis on studying these subjects more and maybe doing better in them.

What is your education to date?

I sat my Leaving Cert at Middleton CBS, I served my time as an electrician and went on to become an electrical engineer. Presently I am doing a masters in Automation Engineering in UCC.

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

Studying the STEM subjects at school provided a great basis for my engineering career, also the masters I am studying at the minute in UCC is very relevant to my job.

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

Being a team leader and developing a strong team around cost usage and sustainability has been very rewarding.

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

I am a team player, I have great passion for what I do and I also have a good work ethic.

What is your dream job?

I love what I do so I would have to say this is my dream job.

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

Yes I’m lucky that Johnson & Johnson are such a fantastic company to work for and that the job enables me to travel a lot which I really enjoy.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Some of the best people I know still aren’t sure what they want to do, my advice would be to give it a go. If you don’t like it you can always try something else. Whatever is in your heart follow it, don’t be something just because someone in your family is. Whether you’re looking to be a leader, a designer or come up with new ideas and a better way of doing things, make sure it’s something that fills you with passion.

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

• Passion
• Team Player
• An interest in the field of engineering

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

Yes I am currently undertaking further training as I am studying a masters degree in Automation Engineering at UCC.

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

It’s good to have academic qualifications but also real experience. Ireland is full of multinational companies and SMEs so just keep knocking on doors until you find something - get out there and get as much experience as you can.

What is your current job title?

Automation/Energy Engineer for Johnson & Johnson Ireland.

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