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 Elva Bannon from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elva Bannon

Mechatronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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Elva Bannon

I found having education in a number of different areas of engineering to be beneficial to the work I am doing.

There is a whole world of possibilities out there for engineers, and it is difficult to know what subjects are necessary for the industry you will end up in. I was always interested in robotics and environmental issues, but it was not until my Masters that I really knew what I wanted to do.

General entry courses are quite useful, as you get a taste for a few different areas before you have to specialise, a lot of companies offer on the job training, and there is also the possibility of further study.

An engineering qualification teaches you so much more than just the technical subjects, but a way of looking at the world and solving problems in a logical and systematic way.

Engineers are sought after for these skills as much as the technical ones, and it opens up incredible opportunities. Engineering is not an easy route through college, but it is incredibly rewarding.

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Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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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.


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. 


 

Automation Engineering involves the design, development and implementation of sensor and robotic systems for applications across a wide range of technological sectors.

Modern engineering systems employ a broad spectrum of technologies, which when integrated provide for improved efficiency, quality and reliability. The combination of Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Computer Technology, namely, Mechatronics, is core to this endeavour.

Students will develop a range of skills in the design and implementation of automation solutions; from 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD, Solid-Modelling), sensor and instrumentation selection, programming of robotics to the management of the resulting systems. 


 

Electrical and Control Engineering involves analysing complex electrical and electronic circuits and power systems. In addition, computing skills, ranging from ECDL to advanced level programming in control and automation systems are required in order for students to enter careers in the many areas of electrical power, automation, robotics, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries.

In the first year the student is introduced to a broad range of foundation courses that underpin modern Electrical Engineering.

In second year the student chooses either Control and Automation Systems or Electrical Energy Systems.

Optional courses are also available to allow the student broaden his/her knowledge base.

Electrical Energy Systems: techniques used and the equipment required for the efficient generation, transmission and use of electricity.

Control and Automation Systems: design and programme robotic production lines and other automated systems.

In the final year all students complete their studies by engaging in a substantial engineering project in their chosen specialist field.

 

The programme prepares students for challenging careers in Electronic and Communications Engineering in areas such as design support, development and production. The programme has a particular focus on Communications Engineering, particularly in the latter years.

Graduates of the programme who achieve a high average mark in the final examinations are eligible for transfer into the honours degree four year programmes in Computer & Communications Engineering (DT081) and Electrical/Electronic Engineering (DT021).

Students who successfully complete year two of this programme and who do not wish to progress to the third year will be eligible for a Higher Certificate award.

 

This 1-year programme provides a general access route to engineering programmes for those who have not decided which engineering discipline they would like to study. On successful completion of the programme, students will have the mathematical and scientific basis to successfully enter the second year of seven different Level 7 discipline-specific programmes. In addition, in a limited number of cases, some students with proven ability may be permitted to progress to the first year of the Level 8 Engineering (General Entry) programme DT066.

This course will suit students who have an interest in technology and in solving problems in the engineering world. You will study a combination of maths, science, engineering design, drawing and you will also be given a general introduction to the engineering profession. There is a strong emphasis on group projects within the programme. Students are assessed by a combination of examinations at the end of each semester and continuous assessment projects.


 

The course content includes environmental control and communication, power distribution, standby generation, lighting, emergency services (lighting and fire), access control, data services, automation, building management systems and many more. As well as expertise in these areas, graduates from this programme will have expertise in the application of low carbon technologies including green generation technologies.

This course will suit students who have a keen interest in how things work and in problem solving. There is plenty of scope for exercising innovation, creativity and flair when using new technologies to solve everyday problems.

Green building technology, efficient use of energy and sustainability are all areas that are addressed. The programme also includes modules covering project management, refrigeration, heating, ventilation & air-conditioning as well as renewable plant technologies.


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