We Are Randox | How Ciara Taylor became R&D Team Leader at Randox

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We Are Randox | How Ciara Taylor became R&D Team Leader at Randox

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10 June 2020

How Ciara Taylor became R&D Team Leader at Randox

 

We Are Randox | How Ciara Taylor became Clinical Immunoassay R&D Team Leader at Randox

In support of our new £30m COVID-19 laboratories, we are hiring 200 new staff across Engineering, Manufacturing and Science.

For an idea of what it’s like to be a scientist at Randox, we spoke to R&D Team Leader Ciara Taylor.

Ciara spoke to us about the route she took to her current role, what advice she would give someone following a similar career path, and what makes her job so important.

Name: Ciara Taylor

Job Title: R&D Team Leader

Department: Clinical Immunoassay R&D

 

Ciara, can you give us a quick summary of what your job entails?

Our team works on the research and development of new clinical diagnostic tests for a variety of common health conditions, such as heart disease.  We carefully design and execute laboratory experiments to ensure our tests perform at an exceptionally high level for hospitals and laboratories around the world.   

What did you study and where?

I studied a four-year integrated Chemical Engineering Masters degree at Queen’s University Belfast.  It was an ideal choice for me as it encompassed areas of the subjects I had enjoyed at school; Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Maths. I gained a lot of experience in research during my final year industrial project.

Ciara Taylor

Give a brief outline of your career to date

I finished my university degree in 2016.  I worked for an Engineering consultancy firm for 6 months, and then spent some time travelling before joining Randox in October 2017. In my first year I spent time learning about the science behind immunoassay development and how to apply to our research work.  At the end of 2018, I was promoted to Research and Development (R&D) Team Leader, giving me more responsibility over the training of staff, and the progress of new projects, from initial concept and feasibility to product validation. I have also had the opportunity to travel and represent the company in conferences, events and career days. 

Is this what you always wanted to do?

When I was younger I honestly had no idea what my ideal job would be.  I simply knew that I wanted a dynamic role that involved working with people on challenging and interesting projects, which is exactly what I have here at Randox.  I love the variety and opportunity that a global company like Randox offers as we are always trying to evolve and keep up with the latest industry demand. Currently every department is working together to process large-scale testing for COVID-19, as part of the government’s national testing programme.

Were there any particular essential qualifications or experience needed?

We have people of varying degree backgrounds in our team including Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Biomedical, Biological or Pharmaceutical Sciences. Experience in a similar R&D capacity is also helpful, though we offer full training to those who may have little experience specifically in diagnostics, but who possess a general science background. 

Are there alternative routes into the job?

Whilst I joined Randox as a graduate R&D scientist following university, there are other routes available. Some of my colleagues began their careers by doing a placement year with Randox or by taking part in our Graduate Programme, in which graduates rotate across different areas of the business to find a job best suited to their skills and interests.  Also available as an option is the Randox APEX scheme, which gives first year university students a summer and a third-year placement, and a job offer upon graduating.  Naturally we also have a lot of PhD graduates join R&D, as they are ideal candidates for conducting research.  Another route, if you don’t have the A-Levels for a university degree, is to go to a Technical College and gain an equivalent qualification in a science discipline.  This could lead to a placement opportunity and later job with Randox.

What are the best and most challenging aspects of the job?

The best part of working in Randox is the people you work with. We work very collaboratively across different departments, and our staff come from a wide variety of backgrounds, so I am constantly learning from everyone around me and bouncing ideas off different people with different skillsets.

The most challenging aspect is the same in every R&D role – sometimes the initial feasibility experiments just don’t give the results you had expected.  The rewarding part lies in solving the problem and making a breakthrough in your research project.

Why is what you do important?

The development of clinical diagnostic tests has a direct impact on the quality of healthcare that people receive around the world.  It is rewarding to be part of a global company that is trying to improve people’s lives by providing a more personalised diagnosis using the tests we develop.  As a company, Randox is continually investing money into the research of novel clinical biomarkers and testing platforms, showing its commitment to the improvement of diagnostics and ultimately, patient outcomes.

What advice would you give anyone looking to follow a similar career path?

If you are interested in R&D, keep your options and searches open.  I didn’t know how much I would enjoy clinical R&D until I started at Randox.  It makes a difference when you are genuinely interested and take pleasure in the work you do.  Previous lab experience is ideal, so I would recommend trying to do a placement or getting some relevant work experience, especially if your degree doesn’t include much practical lab work. 

If you weren’t working in Clinical Immunoassay R&D what would you like to do?

I would still love to be in a research role, perhaps in renewable or clean energy sources.

Describe your ideal day off

My ideal day off involves exercise or eating! I would go for a swim, yoga or a long walk, and then go out for dinner. I love trying new restaurants.

We are delighted to have Ciara with us at Randox as part of our incredibly talented R&D team.

 

For current vacancies at Randox please visit careers.randox.com

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

For further information please email recruitment@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413.

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We Are Randox | How James Davidson became a Mechanical Design Engineer at Randox

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04 June 2020

How James Davidson became a Mechanical Design Engineer at Randox

 

We Are Randox | How James Davidson became a Mechanical Design Engineer at Randox

At the beginning of April we announced we are recruiting mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers to enhance our capacity for COVID-19 testing. The engineers will be involved in the fast-tracked development of specialist molecular analysers used to detect the presence of COVID-19.

For an idea of what it’s like to work in engineering at Randox, we spoke to Mechanical Design Engineer James Davidson.

James spoke to us about the route he took to his current role, the best and most challenging things about his job, and how he likes to spend his well-deserved time off.

Name: James Davidson

Job Title: Mechanical Design Engineer and Project Coordinator

Department: Engineering

 

James, can you give us a quick summary of what your job entails? 

My main responsibilities are designing new medical testing analysers, updating and developing our existing machines and conducting troubleshooting to make sure that they are performing correctly. I also train new and existing staff on Randox technologies.

What was your favourite subject at school?

I really enjoyed Maths at school, for the challenge of being able to solve a logical problem and get to the correct conclusion by the end of your working out.

What was the route you took into your job?

My A-levels didn’t go to plan at school and I found myself in a difficult situation where I didn’t have the grades to go to university as I had planned.

James Davidson

I subsequently went along to an information evening at the Northern Regional College in Ballymena where I found out about the Higher National Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering, which really appealed to me and suited my interests. I knew straight away that it’s what I wanted to do so I started the course a week after that and really enjoyed it. Completion of the HND opened the door to enroll in a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, where I graduated with a 2:1 in 2012. I secured a placement at Randox in 2010 as part of this degree course which ultimately led me to the role that I am currently in.

Give a brief outline of your career to date

The year-long placement I did at Randox taught me a lot. I enjoyed it so much that I came back to Randox after my degree and have been here since! Throughout my time in Randox I have worked on different projects that have each been at different design stages – from concept right through to market release. I was promoted to Project Coordinator in 2016 and placed in charge of a small team of mechanical engineers. In this role I plan new work for each member of the team, review designs and provide assistance if required. I love being part of the Engineering team at Randox. It’s a really creative environment and we all work collaboratively together – bouncing ideas off each other and supporting each other when needed.

Is this what you always wanted to do?

I have always had an interest in how things work so a career in engineering was a natural progression for me. The world is constantly changing with new innovations and solutions to better people’s lives and I’m happy to be involved in an area of engineering that is bettering such a key part of people’s lives – their health.

Are there alternative routes into the job?

There are several potential routes to becoming a mechanical design engineer. Whilst I didn’t take the traditional route to become a design engineer – completing A-levels and then going to university – this would be the most common option. Alternatively, you can do what I did and study an HND before then getting a degree. Experienced engineers with a Higher National Certificate/Diploma could also be considered for the role.

What are the main personal skills your job requires?

For a mechanical design engineer the main essential skills would be an ability to work as part of a team, the ability to problem solve, knowledge of manufacturing processes and a flair for design. The ability to work under pressure and a high attention to detail are useful skills to have as well.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It might sound cliché, but every day is different! Up until earlier this year I was part of a product development team who design machines for a range of clinical conditions. More recently I have been involved in the design and development of a specialist COVID-19 testing system that will dramatically increase our capacity to process samples.

What are the best and most challenging aspects of the job?

It is simultaneously gratifying and challenging to experience the full cycle of project development from start through to finish. It requires quite a lot of patience.

Why is what you do important?

By guaranteeing that diagnostic machines are performing correctly, I am essentially making sure that patients across the globe are getting the correct medical diagnosis and follow-up treatment. These machines are life-saving devices.

If you weren’t a Mechanical Design Engineer what would you like to do?

My dad and brother own a garage so I think I would be working as a mechanic with them. It would harness the same skills and interests as my current role! I have also considered the possibility of being a teacher.

Describe your ideal day off.

I enjoy water skiing so on my days off, if the weather is good, I like to go out on the water. It’s a great way to blow off some steam.

And finally, what’s the key to any successful job search?

My advice to anyone currently looking for a job would be to find something with a lot of variety. You don’t want to be doing the same thing over and over again and you need to keep things interesting. I’m proud to say that my job at Randox has held my interest for the best part of a decade!

We are delighted to have James with us at Randox as part of our incredibly talented engineering team.

 

For current vacancies at Randox please visit careers.randox.com

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

For further information please email recruitment@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413.

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Randox calls upon NI engineers to build COVID-19 testing platforms

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05 April 2020

COVID-19 Engineering Recruitment Drive

 

RANDOX CALLS UPON NI ENGINEERS TO BUILD COVID-19 TESTING PLATFORMS

Randox Laboratories has today announced it is recruiting 160 mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers to enhance its capacity for COVID-19 testing.

 The engineers, who are due to begin work at the Randox Science Park from the middle of May, will be involved in the fast-tracked development of specialist molecular analysers used to detect the presence of COVID-19.

These testing platforms will be used to further enhance the government’s national testing scheme for key workers, as well as to facilitate testing more broadly across the general populace.

Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;

“It is Randox’s priority to ensure that we support the UK’s effort to fight COVID-19, by testing at scale. We know that this is the most effective way to both save lives and promote a timely return to a more normal society.

“We continue to ramp up our COVID-19 testing capabilities – not only by increasing our production of testing kits, but also by accelerating the build schedule for the testing analysers on which the tests are performed.

“We are aiming, by working at maximum efficiency in a greatly accelerated time frame of 6-7 weeks, to manufacture 200 of our most state-of-the-art testing platforms, which will greatly enhance our testing capacity at Randox.”

Randox has, in recent weeks, established a number of new teams responsible for the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 testing kits for the national testing programme.

The company is also interested in speaking to anyone with experience in mechanical, electrical or manufacturing engineering. Invest Northern Ireland is helping by contacting companies which may be able to temporarily release resources to help meet this urgent staffing requirement.

Dr FitzGerald added;

“To meet the unprecedented demand for COVID-19 testing, we have been redeploying our own personnel to various COVID-19 critical departments, but are now also recruiting for a number of specialist disciplines.

“Everyone at Randox has a vital role to play in the practical application of COVID-19 testing, and for engineers in particular, this is a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19, by directly contributing in no small part to the national testing programme.”

Anyone interested in the Randox COVID-19 Engineering Drive should apply at careers.randox.com

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World-leading biotechnology hub opens its doors to the public on Christmas Eve

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01 December 2019

Randox Teoranta Open Day in Dungloe

A global biotechnology company in the heart of Donegal is this month opening its doors to the general public for an Open Day event aimed at showcasing the pioneering scientific research taking place.

Including tours, interactive activities and Q&A sessions with scientists, engineers and software developers, the Open Day at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe will offer visitors to the state-of-the-art site the opportunity to experience for themselves the world-class R&D careers, projects and facilities that exist in Donegal.

Projects at Randox Teoranta, which focuses on the development of new health tests for the diagnosis of ill health and disease, have recently included revolutionary diagnostic technologies for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, kidney disease and gastrointestinal disorders.

Dr. Ciaran Richardson, Head of Research & Development at Randox Teoranta, commented;

“We feel that we should share the transformative work taking place here at Randox Teoranta with the local community who have been so receptive and supportive of our endeavours to provide world-leading career opportunities right here in the heart of Donegal.

“For those working or interested in science, engineering, software development or manufacturing, who may have been previously unaware that there is a next-generation life sciences hub located in Dungloe, we invite you to join us on Christmas Eve for an exclusive look behind the scenes of our advanced facilities.

“Similarly, for those who may have joined us before at one of our previous Open Days, please do visit again to learn about the projects we have been working on over the past year.”

Teoranta Open Day

In addition to those working in human health at Randox Teoranta are veterinary scientists involved in the development of novel multiplex tests used to monitor disease spread and improve animal welfare.

The firm’s human and veterinary health scientists work alongside a dedicated team of software developers and engineers who collaboratively use their talents to design and manufacture machines on which these tests are run, to detect disease and save lives.

Dr Richardson continued;

“Our manufacturing department also boasts a number of innovative roles which are essential to Randox’s continuation as a global leader in healthcare diagnostics and associated technology.

“At Randox Teoranta, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of health diagnostic capabilities, and it all takes place right here in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The unique combination of a world-leading career coupled with an unrivalled quality of life is second-to-none.”

Randox Teoranta’s Open Morning will take place on Tuesday 24th December 2019 from 9:00 until 12:00 at Randox Teoranta, Meenmore, Dungloe, Co. Donegal, F94 TV06.

Students, graduates and experienced professionals are welcome to visit along with their family and friends. You are welcome to bring your CV on the day or email it to recruitment@randoxteoranta.com.

Booking is not required, however, you can register your interest (optional) on Eventbrite.

More information about the open day can also be found by contacting +353 7495 22600 or emailing RandoxPR@randox.com.

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We Are Randox | QUB and Ulster University Students Take The Top Spots in the Randox Placement Awards 2019

A Queen’s University Belfast student has won the top spot in global healthcare diagnostics company Randox Laboratories’ annual Student Placement Awards.

Pearce Allingham from Andersonstown, who is studying Medicinal Chemistry, was not only placed first in the Science category but was also crowned Best Overall Placement Student.

Since September 2018, Pearce had been working alongside the scientific team in the New Technology Evaluation department, taking part in the development of Randox’s newest and most classified innovations.

Speaking at the awards ceremony at Randox Laboratories HQ in Crumlin on Friday 14th June 2019, Pearce commented,

“I’m so pleased to have won this award. I couldn’t recommend a placement at Randox highly enough and it has allowed me to see what I’m capable of when I apply myself to a field I’m passionate about. From day one I was made to feel like a scientist within the team – not just a placement student – and it’s amazing that some of my contributions are helping to advance Randox’s diagnostic capabilities further. I look forward to applying my new knowledge and skills in final year and to forging a career in research – maybe even back here at Randox.”

Randox Laboratories welcomes over 60 placement students through its doors each year across Science, Engineering and Business-related disciplines, including Sales and Marketing. The company is keen to continue to maintain its reputation as a key placement provider in Northern Ireland, as explained by Linda Magee, Operations Director at Randox Laboratories.

Linda commented;

“We host many high calibre placement students at Randox each year and the Randox Placement Awards is the pinnacle in highlighting the fantastic contribution that these students make. Pearce, in particular, impressed us with his work ethic and initiative in one of Randox’s most cutting-edge R&D teams. Gaining industry experience is vital for young people and that is why we pride ourselves on the range of placement opportunities we provide here, especially through the Randox APEX programme which offers students a paid summer placement between first and second year, a paid placement year in third year and, finally, a graduate position on completion of their degree with a 2:1 classification. It really is the complete career package for any aspiring student.”

David Boyd, a QUB Engineering student from Belfast, won in the Engineering category of the Randox Placement Awards while Andrew Wilson, an Ulster University student from Bangor, was placed first in the Business category.

David Boyd, Engineering Placement Award winner, commented,

“As part of the Engineering team, the opportunities I’ve been given here have been second-to-none and I look forward to completing my Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I used to think I would go on to work in the energy sector with renewables and nuclear but my time in Randox has shown me a different industry which I would love to return to.”

Andrew Wilson, Business Placement Award winner, also said,

“Being given the same responsibilities as the rest of your colleagues is a great way to learn quickly as you get immersed in live projects and real business. One of the most interesting aspects for me was the opportunity to travel to Hamburg and Chicago for customer visits and conferences. Dealing with different departments such as manufacturing, finance and logistics, along with my own sales and marketing team, has given me an insight in to the workings of an international company which has been an invaluable experience.”

Randox Placement Awards 2019 results

Business category

1 Andrew Wilson (Marketing, Randox Food Diagnostics), an Ulster University student from Bangor

2 Kathryn Wilson (Sales, Randox Biosciences), an Aberystwyth University student from Larne

3 Adam Donnelly – (Marketing, Randox Corporate), an Ulster University student from Bellaghy

Science category

1 Pearce Allingham (Chemistry), a Queen’s University Belfast student from Andersonstown

2 Rachel McCloy (Biotechnology), a Liverpool John Moore’s University student from Ballymena

3 Thomas Smith-Zaitlik (Molecular), a Nottingham Trent University student from Henley-on-Thames.

Engineering category

1 David Boyd (Engineering Design, Mechanical), a Queen’s University Belfast student from Belfast

2 Reuben Cotton (Engineering Design, Mechanical), an Ulster University student from Lisburn

3 Niall Devlin (Engineering Design, Software)

Overall Randox Placement Awards winner: Pearce Allingham

For further information please contact the Randox PR team by emailing randoxpr@randox.com or phoning 028 9442 2413

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Randox Teoranta set to host Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Career Open Day on Christmas Eve

Do you have a flair for science? Are you an electronic, mechanical or software engineering expert? Or, perhaps, you are a mastermind of manufacturing know-how. There are world-leading careers on offer for world-leading candidates at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe this December.

That’s the message that global diagnostics firm Randox Teoranta wants to send to students, graduates and experienced professionals alike as it opens its doors to the public once again on Monday 24th December 2018.

Held from 9am to 12noon, the morning is an opportunity for those interested in science, engineering, software development and manufacturing roles in Donegal to have a tour of the state-of-the-art facility and chat with Randox Teoranta staff members about the careers on offer.

Randox Teoranta is particularly passionate about attracting back those who have left Ireland to find careers further afield due to lack of opportunities in their particular vocations. Dream careers in science, engineering and manufacturing are available on the doorstep in Dungloe.

Dr. Ciaran Richardson, Head of Research & Development at Randox Teoranta, commented;

“At Randox Teoranta, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of healthcare and diagnostic capabilities, allowing us to offer world-class career opportunities in the heart of Donegal.

“Our scientists are working on a range of research projects which will lead to quicker diagnoses of conditions such as stroke, gastrointestinal disorders and chronic kidney disease. In 2016, our scientists even developed a pioneering new test to determine a patient’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

“There are also opportunities for software developers, electronic & embedded systems engineers, validation and mechanical engineers as our technology continues to advance to accommode our scientific breakthroughs.

“Our manufacturing department also boasts a number of competitive roles which are essential to Randox Teoranta’s continuation as a world leader in healthcare diagnostics and associated technology.

“There are fantastic career opportunities here in one of the most beautiful parts of the world – and the quality of life is second-to-none.”

There are a wide variety of career opportunities available at Randox Teoranta. From placement opportunities for college and university students to graduate roles in a variety of fields, young scientists and engineers have the opportunity to get their ‘big break’ on the career ladder with a globally-recognised company.

There are also opportunities for experienced and driven individuals looking for a smart career move. Randox Teoranta offer competitive salaries, career progression, personal development and the opportunity to work in a cutting-edge company paving the way in ground-breaking global health diagnostics.

Healthcare shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. Neither should your career.

Randox Teoranta’s Open Morning will take place on Monday 24th December 2018 from 9:00 until 12:00 at Randox Teoranta, Meenmore, Dungloe, Co. Donegal.

Students, graduates and experienced professionals are welcome to visit along with their family and friends. Potential candidates are welcome to bring their CV on the day or email it to recruitment@randoxteoranta.com.

Booking is not required, however, more information, including directions, can be found by searching Randox at www.eventbrite.ie.

More information about the open day can also be found by contacting +353 7495 22600 or emailing RandoxPR@randox.com.

 

 


We Are Randox | Digital tourism to sheep dipping – secret of success at Randox Placement Awards

An Ulster University marketing student has won the top spot in global healthcare manufacturer Randox Laboratories’ annual Student Placement Awards.

Matthew Steele from Bushmills fought off stiff competition from fellow placement students in science and engineering programmes by attracting the judges’ attention for the work he carried out within two new and novel ventures taken on by the company.

In recent years, the founder of Randox Laboratories, Dr Peter FitzGerald, has extended his business portfolio to include the Bushmills-based Dundarave Estate and Cherryvalley Farm in Crumlin. Matthew’s focus has been to develop and promote tourism activities at the Estate, such as clay pigeon shooting, as well as Cherryvalley Farm produce. He worked with the company’s IT department and Finance team to complete various projects and created a digital communications strategy.

Additionally, when Matthew was faced with the familiar catch-all that employees may find themselves asked to carry out additional tasks, he won plaudits within the company for stepping in to dip sheep on one occasion!

Speaking after the awards ceremony Matthew commented;

“Placement has been amazing for me and I would encourage everyone to do it. The year has gone so quickly, because you get thrown in straightaway. You’re not seen as a placement student – you’re a member of staff right from the start. This experience has given me so much, widening my business knowledge and teaching me so many new skills. It’s been great.”

Department winners in the engineering and science placement programmes are respectively Ulster University student Dale Love from Ballymena and Jamie Boyd, a Queen’s University Belfast student from Cookstown.

Across the company, 39 university students took part in this year’s placement programme. Lasting 50 weeks, the initiative provides young people with the experience needed to pursue a career in their chosen field.

Linda Magee, Head of Randox Human Resources, commented;

“We are delighted for all our winners in this year’s placement awards. Matthew, in particular, impressed us with creative and successful strategies, and the wholehearted approach he brings to working with us. The Randox Placement Programme is one of our most important initiatives, because gaining industry-experience is now critical for young people. Randox is committed to developing meaningful ways of supporting them, and we are encouraged year after year by the calibre of students who apply to join us.”

For further information about the Randox Placement Awards please contact Randox PR by email: randoxpr@randox.com or by phone: 028 9442 2413

 

 

 


Careers at Randox Teoranta

My name is Ciaran Richardson and I’m the Research and Development Manager at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe. My job is primarily focused on working closely with the R&D scientists at the facility who use unique Randox technologies to develop next-generation life-extending diagnostic tests for prevalent human diseases such as stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders and thyroid disease. However, we don’t just focus on human conditions as we are also developing a variety of veterinary diagnostic tests too! At Randox Teoranta we are constantly evaluating new technologies and methodologies with a view to continuously evolving how we approach our work.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My drive to work takes me through the most fantastic scenery – I feel privileged that I have been provided with an opportunity to return home to West Donegal to take up such a challenging and exciting position in the field of science just 20 minutes from my doorstep in Gweedore.

I manage a broad spectrum of R&D projects so my days are very varied. I could be meeting with our different scientific teams or managing ongoing projects we have with various collaborators throughout the world. R&D is a rewarding and challenging eld and it is very important that we optimise each stage of the process to ensure the most effective diagnostic outcome. I therefore spend most of my time engaging with our scientists and international collaborators, reviewing the progress of projects and providing strategic direction to move our programmes forward as efficiently as possible.

Working at Randox Teoranta allows me to spend more time with my family as I have such a short commute and I haven’t had to re-settle my family from our native Donegal for me to follow my dream career. We have four children and a dog so you can imagine how busy things can be!.

When I get home in the evening I enjoy spending time with my wife and children. I tend to work hard during the week and then view the weekend as family time.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SCIENTIST AT RANDOX TEORANTA

Did you always want to be a scientist?

The short answer is no. My mother was a teacher and my father a businessman. My mother felt that I didn’t have the patience to be a teacher – I must admit she was probably right! My passion for science came to the fore when I studied biology, chemistry and mathematics at Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola in Falcarragh. I went on to study Biotechnology at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and then undertook my PhD studies in cancer research at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff. I then spent the next five and a half years working at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit at the University of Dundee.

When our first daughter was born in Dundee we decided we wanted to move back to Donegal but my job prospects as a scientist were limited. I did, however, apply for a role in Randox’s County Antrim headquarters which I was delighted to accept. 18 months later, I was asked to become the R&D manager at a brand new Randox site in West Donegal. The rest, as they say, is history. Science can be a challenging career but it is extremely rewarding to think that the work we do at Randox Teoranta has global impact, with the potential to not only improve speed and accuracy of diagnoses worldwide, but, ultimately, to extend people’s lives beyond expectancy.

Can I find my dream career at Randox Teoranta?

We are expanding our workforce which means there are plenty of opportunities at Randox Teoranta! From placement student roles to permanent positions, we are currently seeking the right candidates in various different fields – from manufacturing to research and development, and from mechanical, electrical, electronic design and embedded systems engineers to software developers and a variety of administrative roles.

At Randox Teoranta we’re involved in world-leading science and technology every day while working with top-class people. It’s amazing to think that your dream role in global innovation, making a real difference to people’s lives, could be right on the doorstep in beautiful Donegal!

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£50m Randox Centres of Excellence launched in Northern Ireland

A record £50 million investment which will deliver cutting-edge technologies to diagnose conditions like cancer, heart conditions and infectious diseases has been announced by Northern Ireland diagnostics company Randox Laboratories and Invest Northern Ireland.

This major project involves the establishment of three Centres of Excellence, enabling Randox R&D scientists to work collaboratively with colleagues from Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. The centres are being officially launched today at the Randox Science Park. The ceremony will include a keynote address from Sir John Bell, who chaired the UK Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board.

Advanced diagnostics have been identified as key to delivering sustainable improvement to healthcare systems struggling to cope with increasing levels of chronic and preventable conditions. Having been focused in this field 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.

Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, Dr Peter FitzGerald, who today launched the three Centres of Excellence, said;

 “When almost a quarter of the deaths of people under 75 in the UK are considered preventable, we need to ask ourselves what can be done to improve healthcare outcomes. There is an undeniable case for radical change in the way healthcare is delivered, and sophisticated diagnostics will be at the fore of this revolution.

“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.

“We are grateful for the support offered by Invest NI and look forward to addressing these pressing healthcare needs.”

The Centres of Excellence will focus respectively on clinical diagnostics, engineering for biosciences and quality control. The project, which will strengthen collaborative partnerships between Randox, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, will accelerate the development of new technologies and drive healthcare improvements regionally, nationally and across the globe.

Of the £23m of support offered by Invest NI, £5m will go toward research projects at Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast.

Welcoming the investment, Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest NI said;

“Randox has a long history of investing heavily in innovation and R&D which has enabled it to create a globally competitive export driven business, capable of developing world leading research. This major investment will enable Randox to perform cutting-edge R&D which has the potential to revolutionise the global healthcare industry. This is excellent news for Northern Ireland’s life and health sciences sector. Northern Ireland is enjoying a growing international reputation as a region of expertise and knowledge in key areas such as Diagnostics, Precision Medicine and Advanced Manufacturing. The three new Centres of Excellence will help build on this and enhance Northern Ireland’s credibility, provide supply chain opportunities, and encourage knowledge transfer with our universities.”    

Sir John Bell, commenting on the potential for the UK Life Sciences sector said;

“The life sciences industry represents one of the dominant economic sectors in the UK, and one with considerable potential for growth.   However, whilst we have many natural strengths we cannot afford to be complacent.  We must strive to optimise our science base, to encourage collaboration across academia, industry and the NHS, and grow our industrial capabilities.  To do so we need to use our extensive data sets to best effect, and have in place a strong skills strategy.  Success requires vision and drive.  To that end I would like to congratulate Dr FitzGerald and Randox in the establishment of these three R&D collaborative Centres of Excellence – these are assets of national standing and will have a meaningful impact in enabling earlier and more accurate diagnosis, driving improvements in patient care, regionally, nationally and globally.  They are leaders in this field, committed to innovation, and I wish them every success.”

Professor Jim McLaughlin, Director of Ulster University’s Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre, added;

“This very welcome investment enables pioneering Randox-inspired engineering capacity at Ulster University and reflects our research commitment to the life sciences industry. From nanotechnology to the development of systems that will enable large scale laboratory capability to be produced in the palm of your hand, the partnership brings shared industry and academic research excellence from the lab into the marketplace. Life sciences is a vital economic sector locally and this collaboration will advance diagnostics and ultimately enhance patient health outcomes.”

Dr David Jess, Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast School of Mathematics and Physics, added;

“The Randox Centres of Excellence will allow Queen’s University Belfast to continue to deliver cutting-edge and world leading research. We look forward to collaborating further with industry to develop pioneering research, focused on the needs of society.”

Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014 – 2020.

For further information please contact the Randox PR Team: phone 028 9442 2413 or email randoxpr@randox.com 

 


We Are Randox | John Fitzgerald wins Ulster University awards for Master’s degree project with Randox

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.

To find out more tel: +353 7495 22600 or email: randoxpr@randox.com

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).


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