The 1st of July is the final deadline for the CAO’s Change of Mind Facility and ahead of this the CIF would like to take the opportunity to remind students that there are a huge number of very interesting and rewarding careers out there for those who study construction related courses.

Over the last number of years, we have seen the numbers applying for some of these courses fall. Building Services Engineering for example, a course which is available in DIT and Waterford IT gives students many options, in the fields of Mechanical and Electrical project management to Design and Consulting Engineer roles, some of the most sought-after professionals in the industry, but numbers applying for this course have dropped considerably.

The Construction industry will need an additional 112,000 workers to deliver upon the current pipeline of work we have up to 2020 and I would urge students, who are thinking of changing their mind, to seriously consider a construction related course and indeed a career in construction.

Here’s what some Building Services Engineering graduates have to say:

Conor Mahony (22) is a Junior Electrical Engineer with T Bourke:

“A typical day at work for me usually involves writing up schedules, dissecting drawings, going through datasheets and helping the guys in the office. The workload changes from day to day.

A couple of projects I have been involved with so far include; Trinity College Business School, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and Saint John of God Hospital. Working with software such as Navisworks allowed me to view some of the projects in 3D without ever going on site. This was fascinating and made working on the projects a lot easier to understand.

Some interesting work I have been involved in would have to be going out on site at Saint John of God Hospital. I took a walk on site with the heating and water services drawings, which gave me a better understanding of how everything was fitted and installed. This gave me a realistic perception of what is really going on in a project drawing. It was fantastic gaining site work experience which will be very useful for future projects.

I enjoy coming to work every day because I believe working in the construction industry has the perfect mix of office work and site work. Every day involves something different, which is very satisfying. When one project finishes, we move onto another. Every project has their own unique task which breaks up the monotony and keeps me on my toes from day to day.”

Bryan McKeever graduated from DIT in 2012 with a degree in Building Services Engineering and now works for H. A. O’Neil:

“Since graduating, I have worked with Jones Engineering gaining experience in a variety of different roles and projects. While the traditional types of civil or structural engineering tend to be popular, I was always more interested in how buildings operate.

The course in DIT provided a great insight into the broad range of sectors in which building services graduates are needed to deal with the varying demands of buildings. I have been lucky with Jones Engineering to work on a great variety of large scale projects, both at home in Ireland and in mainland Europe.

I have also had the opportunity to gain experience in Building Information Modelling (BIM), whereby all disciplines involved in construction come together through 3D software collaboration. This ensures optimal efficiency during the design, construction and maintenance stages of a building.

The part I find most interesting is that each day differs, whether that be co-ordinating services with other contractors, producing fabrication drawings or visiting the site to see the installation. Being in this industry allows you to work with a lot of people from different disciplines to ultimately design and construct better buildings.”

Frank Vaughan (22) is a Junior Mechanical Engineer, who is currently on work placement with T Bourke:

 “In my experience some days are similar, but no two days are the same. The office is continuously buzzing with work, which I feel helps to motivate others and maintains focus in the office. As I am only new to the company, there is still a lot for me to learn, which means that I have been moved around a lot. Typically, I will help out by estimating project drawings, my current task is to update the company’s old computer database onto new software. Probably the most enjoyable part of my day is when I’m asked to go on site and work there. This work involves looking at the site’s drawing plans and comparing them to how the project has actually been built. This requires a lot of focus and visualisation skills, which I find challenging, but enjoyable.

The company I’m currently employed by T Bourke have been responsible for some high-profile projects in the past such as the Croke Park stadium, the Microsoft building in Sandyford and the UCD Health Sciences building. These are just some of the projects, which inspired me to work for them. Some of their current, on-going projects are in Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and St. John of Gods, which I have been fortunate to be part of.

As I am still only new to the job, I have yet to leave the Dublin area, which itself contains a wide variety of different types of locations and sites spanning from Stillorgan to Crumlin. In the future however, I plan on leaving Ireland to hopefully work in either America or Australia. This in one of the reasons why I picked Engineering, as I felt it not only presents a lot of job opportunities, but these jobs also have the potential to take you all over the world.

Engineering jobs tend to look for ‘problem solvers’ who have a range of different skills. This was made clear to me on my first week of working. Estimating, Drawing and Surveying are just a few of the tasks I have been trained for. When in the office I have a lot to do which keeps me busy and allows the day to move by very quickly. Occasionally I will be given the opportunity to go on site or deliver a tender, which is a nice break from being in an office which I’m sure most other jobs don’t have. 

Every day I am either learning something new or developing the skills I already have. I feel this has been a great motivator for me and continues drive me to work hard. I enjoy challenging tasks as they prevent the work from getting dull; I look forward to working each day. Some days are harder than others, but that just makes the end result more satisfying, as I know that I have done my best.

Michael McElroy graduated from DIT in 2009 and commenced employment with H. A. O’Neil in 2013:

“I graduated from DIT in 2009 with a degree in Building Services engineering. I really enjoyed this course and it provides a great basis of knowledge for entering the construction Industry. I utilise the experience and information I gained during my time in college on a daily basis in my career.

I am a Senior project engineer for H. A. O’Neil. H A O’Neil is Irelands largest and most experienced Mechanical HVAC and Process Piping Contractor, serving the construction industry for over 125 years. I am currently working as a Project Manager on one data centre project and I am Senior Engineer on another project, though we are responsible for the Mechanical installation on both projects. Over the 8 years since graduating, I have worked as an engineer with as an Engineer for Mechanical contractors in the UK and in Ireland. Upon graduation, I worked for Crown House technologies a large M&E firm in the UK. I worked on a variety of projects including Schools, Hospitals and Department stores. Since returning to Ireland in 2013 I have worked for H. A. O’Neil on a variety of projects in Intel Leixlip and currently I am working on two data centre projects for the same client to a value of approximately €50 million. On one of these projects we (H.A. O’Neil) are the main contractors for the project, on the other one we are the mechanical contractor.

On a daily basis, I will attend meetings, review schedules, review design issues, assign work to my team and review site coordination issues. The most interesting aspect of the role is the varied nature of the work and the fact that no day is ever the same.

While I do not enjoy every minute of every day, I look forward to going to work as I enjoy the challenges presented on a daily basis. The satisfaction when you achieve a significant milestone is second to none.”