“As a graduate of Civil Engineering from NUI Galway in 2008, I work on many interesting projects including houses, hotels and bridges. I chose Civil Engineering for its diversity, it allows me to work on all types of construction projects, anywhere in the world. I am never bored as no two days are the same. Sometimes I am based in the office, and other times I am out and about meeting builders and clients and travelling to sites.

I am working as a structural engineer in my own practice. I am responsible for the design of the foundations, floors, columns, beams and roofs in houses, schools, shops and factories as well as managing a small team. We work with Architect's to make the buildings stand up.

Engineering is a great career choice for women, it is interesting, challenging and very rewarding when you see your project standing tall in the middle of the city or the new bridge that is a solution to traffic chaos! It is well recognised that female engineers bring a different way of thinking and new solutions to teams, that can be male dominated.”

Charlotte Murphy
Civil Engineering

“I began studying Engineering in 2011. I chose to study Mechanical Engineering at NUIG as the skills gained through this course provide opportunities to work in many different industries. This course also included a placement in industry in which I gained invaluable experience in problem solving, team work, and leadership skills. My industry placement became my motivation to pursue a career in the Medical Device industry.

On completing my undergraduate studies I worked as a Design Engineer in the design and development of clinical chemistry analysers. I have since began a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Engineering is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a fulfilling career where they are involved in creating innovative solutions to current issues and working towards improving current technologies.”

Maryrose McLoone
Mechanical Engineering

“I studied Biomedical Engineering in NUI Galway and graduated in 2008. I chose Biomedical Engineering as it was the perfect combination of my interest in science and healthcare. In school I enjoyed practical ‘doing’ subjects and finding solutions. I had my favourites such as physics, maths and technology, but also loved learning the ins and outs of how the human body worked. Biomedical Engineering was the perfect combination, applying all of my interests in an innovative way to improve lives.

I have since co-founded a medical device company, ProVerum Medical and have designed a device to treat patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. This condition can have a devastating effect on patient quality of life. Understanding the disease, and using engineering concepts, we have developed an innovative solution to the problem.

As one of more than 10 females in my graduating class, it is no surprise to see the gender imbalance changing in the world of Engineering. My experience in industry has showed that being a good engineer, and project success, comes from working effectively in collaborative teams. This requires the very best organisational and communication skills, which is where women play a very strong role.”

Riona Ni Ghriallais
Biomedical Engineering

 “I graduated from Biomedical Engineering at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2004. I chose this degree as I always had a strong interest in analytical problem solving, mathematics and medicine and it seemed like a good combination of these. I loved studying for my degree in Galway, and it was one of the best decisions I made for my college experience and subsequent career.

I did my work placement in Mednova Ltd., a Galway-based company in my third year. This led to me getting a job there when I finished. They got bought by Abbott Vascular and I got a chance to work in sunny California for almost four years. I worked on the design of medical devices for the heart. From there I worked in Medtronic, Galway as a Research and Development Engineer and then decided to further my education and do a Masters degree in Bioengineering at Trinity College, Dublin. I got a Fulbright scholarship to do a PhD in Bioengineering at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

This was a fantastic opportunity to learn about new advances in robotics and tissue engineering and apply them to device design. After a return to NUIGalway for my postdoctoral research with Prof. Peter McHugh, I started a position as an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I am today. As a woman in engineering, both in industry and academia, I think that we can bring unique qualities to working teams in terms of design, leadership, mentoring, teaching and communication.”

Ellen Roche
Biomedical Engineering

Why Chose Electronic Engineering

In school, my favourite subjects were Maths and Physics, and I felt an engineering career would be the best way to continue to do and apply these subjects in my day-to- day job. I did a year in Un-denominated Engineering, where first year students get a taste of all the different engineering courses, and go on tours to local industry to get a flavour of what they do. It was a combination of these tours and the hands on electrical labs where you can build and test circuits that helped me choose electrical engineering in the end.

Where Working Now

I am currently working in the Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI), University College Cork. My work focuses on all the electrical aspects of connecting renewable energy to the grid. This can involve anything from designing the power control system of a renewable energy prototype, testing the power performance, modelling the impact of the renewable farm on the electrical grid, to advising international committees like the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on power quality output of renewable energy.

I am also carrying out a Science Foundation Ireland Industry Fellowship with DP Energy Ltd, a renewable energy developer based in Buttevant, Cork. I am carrying out the electrical design work for projects currently totalling over 600 MW of renewable energy worldwide (photovoltaic, wind, tidal, and electrical storage). There are a lot of interesting electrical engineering problems that must be solved when you connect a lot of intermittent and variable renewable energy to an electrical grid, that in the past, has been mostly run on conventional fossil fuels.

Why female should choose to study engineering

The range of job opportunities available to engineers is really extensive, and can vary widely from the stereotypical jobs you might be most familiar with. A lot of companies are keen to employ engineering graduates as they know that these graduates have a logical and reasoned approach to problem solving.

The need for engineering graduates is increasing. Electrical engineering, in particular, is at the forefront of developing new technologies such as smart grid technologies, electric vehicles, robotics etc meaning there should be very good job prospects for the foreseeable future.”

Dr. Sara Armstrong
Electronic Engineering