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 Colm Hofler from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Colm Hofler

Chemical Engineer

CRH plc

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Colm Hofler
Within the building materials industry there are opportunities for people with very different backgrounds.
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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.
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When you’ve completed the course you will have a detailed knowledge of the design of energy efficient engineering systems in modern buildings.

In the first year you’ll complete a “design, make and test” project. An example of this could be to design, make and test a solar collector. You will learn about how energy is used in buildings, how to design heating and ventilation systems and undertake mini project work. You will also study physics and maths.

In the second year you’ll learn more about the design of mechanical and electrical engineering systems and buildings using computer aided design. You will learn about assessing the energy performance and energy rating of buildings. Projects are an important part of the second year allowing you to apply what you have learnt during the lectures to an actual building. You will complete two design projects in the second year working in a group with other students.

The third year of the course includes the major design project and dissertation. The main design project builds on the project in the second year. You will design all the engineering systems for a large commercial building including design drawings and calculations. The dissertation is a detailed study into one area of your project that you find interesting. This might be about solar energy or a new method of air conditioning.


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