My first job was designing traffic management systems for Canary Wharf in London. I then worked for Dublin City Council producing drinking water for Dublin, fixing potholes and making sure the sewers worked. I then joined the Irish Aviation Authority to inspect airports.
Assistant Director – my main responsibility is to make sure that the work we need to do is done through a brilliant team of people and that we don’t waste money or time.
Irish Aviation Authority
I work with a great team to make sure that flying is safe and secure for everyone travelling on an Irish airplane or using Irish airports
What We Do (Media Link)
I lead a team of 25 people. Some work on identifying patterns in information collected from airlines and airports to figure out where there might be problems with safety in flying and then we fix them before they happen.
Another team of people licence pilots, engineers and air traffic controllers. In Ireland it is illegal to do these jobs without a licence. Part of this work includes checking that the pilots pass a medical, so I also work with 2 doctors.
The third group work to ensure that airports, cargo companies and airlines follow the rules for security at airports.
The final team keeps a library of books and manuals up to date. We have manuals for each airplane that is registered in Ireland. This is similar to registering your car and each plane has its own registration number.
My Typical Day
Every day is different and it can be whatever I want it to be.
I usually check my emails on the train on the way to work. When I get to the office I spend a few minutes prioritising what I need to do that day. I usually have at least one formal meeting every day. Some of the meetings are to figure out how to solve problems and others are to share information and decide what we’re going to do next. Some of the meetings are at my office. some at airports around the country and some in Brussels and Montreal.
People will come to my office with issues and we talk through the problem to decide on the best way forward.
Every few weeks I make powerpoint presentations to people and these take time to prepare.
I answer a lot of emails and read and then comment on a lot of papers sent to me.
What I'd do with the money
Develop a marketing video for prisoners suggesting that engineering may offer them new opportunities in life.
As part of a leasderhip course I was given the oppurtunity to vist Wheatfield Prison. I met the Governor, the Chaplin and some prisoners and got to see their school, gym, canteen, workshops and cells. It is a life unbelievably different to my life. Engineering has given me the chance to have a great career and to be well paid. We have all the human right to be allowed turn our lives around and perhaps engineering can offer a prisoner new life.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
strong, focused, kind
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
made people safe
What or who inspired you to become an engineer?
Nobody – I didnt know how to fill in the CAO form and only had the codes
What did you want to be after you left school?
An air hostess
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes but not serious trouble
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?
I’d like to run an airline
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
decided on a friday to go to australia the next day to meet my friend
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
love, health, fulfillment
Tell us a joke.
Knock Knock – whose there? – Anet – Anet who? – A net curtain