Ireland-U.S. Council honour Randox founder with Business Relations Award
The Ireland-U.S. Council in America have this week presented the founder of healthcare diagnostics company Randox Laboratories with an award marking significant achievement in building relations between Northern Ireland and the United States of America.
Presented to Dr Peter FitzGerald at the 56th Annual Dinner of the Ireland-U.S. Council yesterday evening, the accolade, named the Cúchulainn award, recognizes the efforts of individuals who go above and beyond to support the objectives of the Ireland-U.S. Council – to improve the business bonds and commercial connections between Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United States.
Joining an exclusive line-up of some of the most prominent business figures in both Ireland and the United States recognized by the Ireland-U.S. Council, including CEO of International Airlines Group William Walsh, Dr FitzGerald was presented with the prestigious award at The Metropolitan Club in New York City.
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“I am most honoured to be here this evening to accept the Cúchulainn award from the Ireland-U.S. Council in recognition of the work undertaken by Randox in the United States since the early 1980s when we began to export our diagnostic healthcare products. The United States remains one of Randox’s most important markets, in which we are growing at pace thanks to the ongoing development of innovative new products in not only the healthcare sector, but also the veterinary, research, toxicology and food safety industries.”
The Ireland-U.S. Council was founded in 1962 by a group of American and Irish business leaders as a measure to build an established structure which would encourage closer economic relations, and was initially created to assist in making preparations for the first-ever State Visit of a sitting U.S. President to Ireland by President John F. Kennedy from June 26 – 29 in 1963.
David O’Sullivan, Executive Director of the Ireland–U.S. Council, added;
“Ever since the State Visit to Ireland by President John F. Kennedy, the Ireland-U.S. Council has been engaged in efforts to achieve our transatlantic mission. Dr FitzGerald of Randox Laboratories truly embodies the essence of this mission by aligning his business in Ireland closely with businesses in the US, to maximise the positive outcomes for both parties. We are delighted to present him this evening with the Cúchulainn award – for the significant contributions he has made to the development of closer economic, business and commercial ties between our two nations.”
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Randox Laboratories are pleased to announce that Managing Director Dr Peter FitzGerald has been named as the Irish Times’ Business Person of the Month for February 2018.
The award follows an announcement from Randox that the company will be investing £50m into three new Centres of Excellence in Northern Ireland, which will deliver cutting-edge technologies to diagnose conditions like cancer, heart conditions and infectious diseases.
At the time of the announcement, Dr FitzGerald commented;
“Enabling earlier and more accurate diagnosis, to identify those at the earliest stages of illness, ideally before the onset of any symptoms, is a game-changer. Through early intervention we can restrict the development of chronic conditions and improve people’s lives. Our view of the future is one where people are empowered through earlier diagnosis to stay healthier for longer, and where healthcare systems are freed to deliver quality services to patients. Our announcement today demonstrates our continuing commitment in this field.”
Scientists from the Antrim-headquartered group will work collaboratively with researchers and scientists from both Queen’s University and Ulster University in the new centres, which were launched at the new Randox Science Park by Sir John Bell.
In addition to the Randox Science Park, Randox has manufacturing, and research and development operations in Antrim, Donegal, India and the United States, and employs more than 1400 people across the globe.
Having been focused in the field of clinical diagnostics for over 36 years, Randox has a successful track record of developing new and innovative tests – examples include assessing those at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and genetic cardiac conditions, to promote and enable preventive treatment, and a new clinically-approved test to diagnose prediabetes.
Each year 5% of the world’s population – more than 370 million people in 145 countries – receive a health diagnosis via a product manufactured by Randox.
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Here at Randox, we’re proud of the talented and innovative teams we have at all our sites. One of our talented engineers at Randox Teoranta recently won a prize for his final year university project in collaboration with Randox. John Fitzgerald, an Electronic Design Engineer, was presented with two awards from Ulster University on Thursday 7th December 2017 – the Civica Prize for excellence in his final project and the Institute of Engineering Technology Prize for achieving the highest grades in his class.
We caught up with John to hear all about it;
A very well done on your awards, John! Tell us about your final project for which you won the Civica Prize.
Firstly it is important to note that my final year project was conducted in conjunction with Randox Teoranta. Without the support, resources and encouragement from the exceptional Research & Development Engineering team here in Dungloe, my project would not have been such a success.
My final year project centred on the design of an industry-standard compact dry bath incubator, designed for the heating and cooling of small volume samples. With a simple and compact design, broad and precise temperature range, the intended use of the product was for bench-top laboratory incubations. The design also incorporated innovative, yet modest, capacitive touch pad controls and a digital display to provide confident temperature selection and accuracy.
This design project required design capabilities in three core engineering disciplines, electronic, embedded and mechanical engineering.
Were you surprised to learn you’d won an award for the project?
Yes, definitely! I was surprised when I received an email at the end of November, informing me that I was to receive the award. I can recall the quality of projects that were on show so this was a complete surprise to me.
I invested a great effort in this project and I’m proud of the personal and academic goals I’ve attained, however, the works achieved would not have been possible without the generous investment of advice from various different sources. I wish to take this opportunity to express my genuine appreciation and thanks to them all.
Thank you to Randox – the industrial knowledge and resources they provided for this wrk added significantly to the quality and relevance of my project to the real world. A special word of thanks, too, should also be afforded to my final year supervisor in Ulster University for the consistent academic support he delivered throughout the course of this MEng final year project.
Did you always want to be an engineer?
To be perfectly honest, the answer to this question is no. I was very uncertain for a long time what career I wanted to pursue as a secondary school student. I was never really exposed to the engineering profession and the wide variety of career paths it can lead to so engineering wasn’t something I immediately thought of when I was thinking of careers I would enjoy.
My father has a lot to answer for though – he was a tool-maker by trade and he instilled a significant interest in engineering and basic electronics in me, and is probably one of the primary reasons I felt a career in electronic engineering was the correct path for me. I decided to apply for my university placement year at Randox Teoranta in the Electronic Engineering team.
After just a few months in to my placement at Randox Teoranta, I knew I had made the correct career choice. I was Randox Teoranta R&D Engineering’s first university placement student, and that I could live at home in Donegal for the year and still receive a first class industrial experience.
How did you find your placement year at Randox?
My placement experience at Randox Teoranta was first class. I was afforded every opportunity to develop and grow my engineering skills. As my competency grew, so did my responsibilities and the complexity of jobs afforded to me.
The team of engineers in Randox Teoranta are exceptional professionals and provided excellent guidance to me as a young student engineer. The work I was tasked with was challenging and relevant and a considerable amount of the work I contributed to, remains in some form in the final Misano analyser that is manufactured today in Dungloe.
I cannot stress enough how important my placement year at Randox Teoranta was for me upon returning for my final two years of university. It provided me with a clear career path and I discovered a passion for Printed Circuit Board Design that I would not have been exposed to, if it were not for this placement.
I was extremely grateful to be offered a graduate position during my placement year on completion of my degree. This security made my final two years at university much more comfortable and also allowed me to discuss with the company the potential to complete my final year project in conjunction with Randox Teoranta. The opportunity to continue my learning and professional development as part of such a progressive and diverse engineering environment was an easy decision to make. As an added bonus, I am able to live at home, in the most beautiful part of the country and engage in an extremely rewarding and challenging profession in my field of study all at the same time. I consider myself very fortunate.
Tell us what a typical day is like in your role as Electronic Engineer.
One of the reasons I enjoy being an Electronic Engineer with Randox Teoranta to such a high degree, is the same reason that makes this question quite difficult to answer.
It is hard to categorise a typical day in my role as an Electronic Engineer in Randox Teoranta. I spend my time on a wide variety of duties or tasks depending on the design needs of the engineering team. I could be spending my time designing circuit schematics for new PCB designs, I could be producing the printed circuit board layout of designed circuit schematics, I could be testing new sensors, electronic parts or manufactured PCB’s to verify their performance, I could be engaging in verification and validation work for a new analyser, I could be engaging in the formation of critical design reports, the list can go on and on.
As the cliché goes, “every day is different”, something which is definitely applicable in this scenario.
What advice would you give to young people considering visiting the Randox Teoranta open day on Fri 22nd December?
I would encourage any young person with a remote interest in a career in Science or Engineering to attend the open day on Fri 22nd December. I believe they will be surprised as to the wide variety of professions and opportunities available at their doorstep.
A conversation with an experienced professional could ignite a spark which could provide clarity as to what they would like to pursue in further education, and in turn professionally. This is an opportunity I wish I was afforded as a young person growing up in rural Donegal, and I consider it an opportunity not to be missed for young people with a genuine interest in these exciting professional fields.
From all the staff at Randox, congratulations to John on this fantastic achievement. We look forward to seeing the pioneering engineering work you will continue to be part of in the future.
The Randox Teoranta Open Morning is on Friday 22nd December 2017 from 10am – 2pm at Randox Teoranta, Meenmore, Dungloe, Co. Donegal.
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Pictured with John Fitzgerald (centre) is Dr. Robert McMurray, course director for MEng Engineering at Ulster University (left), and Angela Canavan, Managing Director of Civica who was present to award the Civica prize (right).
Global healthcare company Randox, which is headquartered in Co Antrim and has key R&D, engineering and manufacturing facilities in both Co Antrim and Co Donegal, has been named in The US-Ireland Top 50 Companies, to be announced today, Friday 16th June, at the New York/New Belfast conference in Manhattan.
With a focus on the transatlantic operations building bridges between the two countries, the awards celebrate those bringing business in Ireland to global heights in the belief that by doing so they are embedding peace for future generations.
The 50 honourees will be announced at a gala event hosted by the Irish Echo, the USA’s largest and most widely read Irish American weekly paper, at Pier A, Harbor House.
The tenth annual celebration will be addressed by Constance Hunter, Chief Economist of KPMG and Daniel Dromm, NYC City Council member and Chair of the Education Committee, and takes place as part of the two-day conference. This prestigious event highlights the progress and prosperity of both cities, and looks optimistically to the future while celebrating our shared past.
Movie makers, scientists, tech companies and engineers have been among those who have received the plaudit in recent years. They have included the all-conquering production company, HBO; leading law firm A&L Goodbody; pioneers in scientific imaging Andor Technology and the New York Stock Exchange.
This year’s US-Ireland Top 50 has proven to be just as illustrious with Randox Laboratories, Northern Property, Norwegian Airlines, and Bank of Ireland as just some of the companies being recognised for their success.
Editor of the Irish Echo, Ray O’Hanlon, who will host Friday’s event, said the awards were an acknowledgment of the unique bonds between the two nations.
“The unmistakable and unbreakable bonds between Ireland and the United States have proven a key element in Ireland’s progression, both in terms of peace and prosperity. Those bonds grow ever stronger when underpinned by economic growth and business relationships. With the Ireland-US Top 50 we acknowledge those companies whose transatlantic operations support that ongoing development and welcome them to this illustrious list of business beacons.”
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“The US is one of our most important markets and we have been exporting our diagnostic products there since the early 1980s. We have seen substantial success in this market and have secured for example, key clinical chemistry analyser contracts in Ivy League Institutions such as Yale University School of Medicine and Harvard University.
“Our diversification into the veterinary, research, forensic and food safety sectors has enabled our operations in the US to expand further still, and due to this increasing demand for Randox innovations, we are developing a new facility in the Greater Washington DC area.
“It is a tribute to the entire Randox team, both in Co Antrim and Co Donegal, that we have been named as one of the US-Ireland Top 50. We hope to serve as an example to other aspiring businesses that success is possible with a unique product offering, a commitment to investment, and making use of the support network available across the United States.”
For further information about the New York New Belfast Conference contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com