A female scientist who has been working on the development of a test that diagnoses sepsis is one of the award-winning students in this year’s university placement scheme with Randox Laboratories.
The breakthrough sepsis test is being created by the Randox Molecular Diagnostics team, which Sarah-Louise Morrow from Belfast joined in September. Her innovative work saw her win third place in the Science category at the company’s annual Pinnacle Placement Awards.
Sarah-Louise, a Biochemistry student from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), said:
“Sepsis is known as the ‘silent killer’, and the faster you can diagnose it the better for the patient. It was so inspiring working with a team here at Randox who are making such valuable contributions to global health and I couldn’t be happier that something I’ve worked on could save lives in the future.”
Now in its 26th year, the Randox placement programme is recognised internationally for providing world-class opportunities for students and graduates – one of the core reasons that the global diagnostics company was established in 1982. Thirty years on, its founder Dr Peter FitzGerald remains as committed as ever to championing new talent and driving innovation.
Between them, this year’s Randox placement students have spearheaded a number of new designs and projects which are being implemented across the company.
Catherine McCooke, a QUB Electrical and Electronic Engineering student designed a new UV radiation exposure detection mechanism; Shannon McKee, a Business Studies student at Ulster University, conducted highly advantageous market research into emerging markets such as Jamaica and Puerto Rico; and Katie Lawther, a QUB Microbiology student introduced a new cellular tissue storage and tracking system.
The title of Randox Placement Student of the Year 2017 went to Robin Walsh, a QUB student from Lisburn who developed a new chemiluminescence signal reagent which is currently being validated and will be shortly released for production.
The 22 year old’s new product delivers significantly positive effects on the chemistry testing carried out by the Randox New Technology team. It increases test output by a factor of three, saving costs and time which ultimately enables the faster delivery of results for patients.
On receiving his award Robin, who studies Chemical Engineering, said;
“The Randox Placement Programme has far exceeded my expectations. My manager and everyone else in my team have been so supportive and encouraging. I worked on high-level projects I wouldn’t have dreamed possible for a placement student to be involved with. I have gained so much experience during my time as I have been able to translate what I’ve learnt in university into a true working environment. I’ve no doubt this experience will set me apart from the competition in the future.”
Congratulating Robin and his fellow placement students, Jolene Jamison, Randox Placement Co-Ordinator said;
“Taking part in a meaningful placement scheme is one of the most important things a student can do. The young people who are selected to join our programme are given the opportunity to carry out ground-breaking research and development, often working with pioneering technologies that are exported globally.
“The scheme is highly valued by the company so it’s important to take time at its end to celebrate our students. We’re very proud of them all – their contributions are going to make a real difference to global health.”
For the first time two of the Randox Placement award winners were selected from the APEX scheme that Randox runs with UU and QUB. This innovative scheme, which enables applicants to submit “video CVS” on social media to showcase their own personalities, includes paid, full-time summer work experience after a student’s first year of studies, a year-long placement, and a full-time job offer upon graduating, should they obtain a 2:1 or above.
Catherine McCooke who won the overall prize in Engineering said:
“After winning a place through the APEX scheme, being awarded the top prize in Engineering at Randox is unbelievable. It’s particularly important to me because I feel very passionately that women should see that there are no barriers to succeeding as an engineer. I’ve worked incredibly hard with some inspiring people, and have felt respected and valued every step of the way.”
The incoming 2017 summer work experience marks the highest intake of APEX students in Randox so far. Anyone interested in applying for the 2018-19 scheme should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The top students in the Randox Pinnacle Placement Awards 2017 were:
Robin Walsh, Queen’s University Chemical Engineering – New Technology Evaluation Chemistry Team at Randox
Katie Lawther, Queen’s University Microbiology – Monoclonal Development Team at Randox
Sarah-Louise Morrow, Queen’s University Biochemistry – Molecular Diagnostics Team at Randox
Catherine McCooke, Queen’s University Electrical and Electronic Engineering – R&D Engineering Team at Randox
Ruairi Laverty, Queen’s University Mechanical Engineering – R&D Engineering Team at Randox
Adam Fawcett, The Ulster University Electronic Engineering – Engineering Team at Randox
Shannon McKee, The Ulster University Business – Regional Sales Team at Randox
Martin Conway, The Ulster University Marketing – Marketing Team at Randox
Alastair McIlveen, Queen’s University Computer Science – IT Team at Randox
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For more information about the #WeAreRandox initiative please contact Randox PR by email: email@example.com or phone 028 9442 2413
It’s not every day you get to have a cup of tea and a chat with someone who’s been involved in revolutionising the face of global health – that’s why we think our Open Mornings are so important.
Our next one is on Friday 23rd December at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, Donegal – if you’re a scientist, engineer, software developer or software tester we’d love you to join us.
During our 2015 Open Morning, final year Engineering student David McIntyre came along to find out more, and was so inspired he left his CV. Now he’s part of our team. Read more to find out why.
Hi David, how did you start your career with Randox Teoranta?
I first came here on the Christmas Eve Open Morning 2015. I was home for the holidays, and as I was in my final year I was obviously thinking about where I would go after graduation. I already knew a few people who worked here and I’d heard it was doing some impressive things, but I wanted to see for myself what a €25m R&D facility looked like.
What was your first impression of the facilities here?
My first impression didn’t disappoint. It is a top class facility and is packed with the latest technology. You don’t see many companies as high end as this in Donegal- it’s really one of a kind. When I arrived I met Christina the Engineering Manager who gave me a tour of each of the departments. I was really pleased that I got to view the Randox Biochip as I’d heard a lot about it in the news, and I also get to walk about the manufacturing and engineering departments. I got to talk to some of the engineers and ask them questions, and see some of their design work which I was extremely impressed with. It gave me a good feel for the facility, because I could visualise myself here –where I’d be, and who I’d be working with. Everyone was very friendly which put me at ease straight away so I decided to submit my CV at the end of the tour.
How did you find the recruitment process?
As part of the recruitment process I was invited back for six weeks to undergo an assessment period which was a brilliant experience. It actually happened before University started back so it suited me perfectly.
At the end of the six weeks I was offered a full time positon which I was thrilled about. I was delighted that I was able to get a job in my own county and not have to commute long distances to work each day. Currently I live in to Kincasslagh, Belcruit, Co Donegal which is only 15 minutes from Dungloe.
What was the most challenging thing you faced during your first few months?
The most challenging thing that I faced in the beginning was getting used to how everything works. This was my first job related to my degree so I didn’t really know what to expect. It took a while to get used to procedures and dealing with documentation – with a global company there is a lot you have to get right!
I’m well settled in now and really enjoying my role here in Randox, especially working with our 3D printer. To be given the opportunity to work with a 3D printer is great, that’s really been the highlight of my year so far as it’s such a unique piece of equipment. I have had the opportunity to create gears and even bearings which has been really interesting. It’s such an impressive machine. We can design a part and print it the very same day. If you were going to do this via conventional methods you would need to create the drawings and send the drawings to a fabricator and then you would be waiting a week or so to get it back.
What advice do you have for anyone who is interested in engineering?
My advice to anyone who is interested in engineering or science is to definitely come along to the Open Morning 2016 and see what Randox Teoranta has to offer. It’s a fantastic facility in Donegal, in a beautiful location and you will get a good insight as to what goes on in a design and manufacturing facility.
This is something that you don’t really get the opportunity to do in college and it’s a chance to get some behind the scenes knowledge of what it’s really like to work as an engineer. Everyone who works here is very friendly so you can ask as many questions as you like. It worked out great for me – it could do for you too!
For more information about our Randox Teoranta Open Morning on Friday 23rd December please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure to share on your social media platforms using the hashtag #TalentedTeoranta!
As an international organisation that aims to deliver world class pioneering research that will revolutionise healthcare worldwide, we are always pleased when the next generation of scientists want to come and visit us. So we were delighted when Ballymacrickett Primary School got in touch with us to organise a visit.
Last week Randox welcomed primary 7 pupils from Ballymacricket Primary School to our Randox labs to gain a first class insight into the work that we carry out here. As part of the collaboration Randox is sponsoring Ballymacrickett Primary School to conduct their very own STEM project that will allow primary 7 pupils to take part in the Junior Innovators project. This project is run alongside Sentinus, a non-profit educational charity that works with schools throughout Northern Ireland to deliver programs to promote engagement in STEM subjects.
As part of the project the primary 7 pupils will conduct cross circular project work which can include workbooks, exhibition materials, models of products and even the development of a mini enterprise and their very own products. The aim of this project is to support the development of links between primary schools and local business and industry and to give classroom learning relevance to the world of work through a structured program of activity.
The first step in the project involves a visit to a local company, and we were thrilled to welcome over 50 pupils to our headquarters here in Crumlin from the 24th-27th October. The tour included a visit around our different departments and behind the scenes access to our science labs to gain a better insight into the work that we pioneer which was especially interesting.
At the end of the tour each pupil received a goodie bag filled with plenty of Randox stationery to take back to school with them.
We are delighted that the tour was both enjoyable and informative and sparked an interest in many more pupils to enter the world of science!
Good luck Ballymacrickett Primary School- We can’t wait to see your final project!
Make sure to follow Randox Careers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox
Randox is an international company renowned for our innovative medical diagnostics but did you know we also have a dedicated engineering team with over 30 years’ experience in the design, prototyping, testing and manufacturing of diagnostic analysers?
Maryrose McLoone, from our Randox Teoranta site, gave us an insight into her role as a mechanical design engineer and told us what she enjoys the most about engineering.
Hi Maryrose, tell me a little about your position and what you do on a day-to-day basis?
I work as a Mechanical Design Engineer in Randox Teoranta where my main role is to aid in the design and development of clinical chemistry analysers. My day-to-day work can vary depending on what stage of a project we’re on. At the minute I’m working on developing concepts for our new project. This involves working with other members of the Engineering team to come up with ideas and designs and develop them into working prototypes. Engineers have many roles including creating designs using 3D modelling software, carrying out testing and analysis, as well as verifying and validating our designs. We work with Manufacturing and also with Quality Assurance to ensure we meet all of the relevant standards which are applicable for the Medical Device Industry.
Are there any challenges in your job? If so, how do you handle them?
When working in R&D, the main challenges we face are in ensuring we develop analysers of the highest quality, which will perform accurate diagnoses, and also are competitive in their market. It is always important that we consider the end user of our devices as the patient is of the upmost importance. Quality is an integral part in all stages of the project from the early design stages right through to product release. We must ensure that we will continually deliver quality in every aspect of our work. This is achieved by conducting thorough testing on all of our designs as well as remaining up-to-date with all of the latest technologies which are available to us.
What is your proudest accomplishment at the job?
As a team, we recently completed the design and development of a semi-automated clinical chemistry analyser, the RX misano, which has been released to market. This is a big accomplishment for our team as it is the result of our combined hard work and efforts. This was the first engineering project to be completed solely in Randox Teoranta, which is why it is such a big achievement for us.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
As a Mechanical Design Engineer, there is a wide variety in the work that I do. Every day is different and each brings its own challenges. I particularly enjoy working with medical devices as I find that is a very rewarding job. Randox analysers are used worldwide to conduct a wide variety diagnostic tests. By working in the development of clinical chemistry analysers I am part of a team which create devices that improve the healthcare of patients all over the world.
As a Mechanical Design Engineer, I also have the opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team of Engineers including Mechanical, Electrical, and Embedded Systems Engineers, as well as Software Developers. We also work closely with Manufacturing and Quality Assurance which has allowed me to gain an insight into various aspects of design and development which I would not have previously experienced.
What advice would you give someone who is seeking the same line of work?
Design Engineering involves creating innovative solutions and improving on current designs; therefore problem solving is a key skill in this line of work. The design and development stages involve a lot of creativity, whereas the testing stages of a project require meticulous attention to detail. As an Engineer you work autonomously as well as part of a team. You also work alongside Engineers of different disciplines and other departments within the plant. The design and development of a product can be a lengthy and sometimes challenging process but it is also very rewarding when you see a project through to completion.
If you are interested in joining our Engineering team make sure that you check our our careers website for all our current opportunities.
Make sure to follow Randox Careers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox
The RX misano is currently unavailable to purchase in Germany
We’re sure you’ve heard of “Speed Dating”, but what about “Speed Networking”? Randox’s R&D Scientist, Dr. Dwaine Vance tried it out to spread the word about Randox Careers in STEM!
Dr Dwaine Vance visited Omagh High School to represent Randox Careers. He sat down with us, and we discussed the importance of the event. Dr. Vance told us:
On Wednesday the 15th June I represented Randox Careers at a ‘speed networking’ event at Omagh High School. This involved groups of students moving from one employer stand to the next for a 5 minute ‘mini network’. There was two sessions during the morning involving GCSE level pupils. The aim of the ‘speed networking’ event was to provide pupils with opportunities to meet local Northern Irish companies within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors, of which Randox Laboratories play a pivotal role.
We, at Randox, want to inspire students to think about their own career plans and to allow them to gather information about the local job market. By doing this, we’re also giving them the opportunity to be aware of the jobs that are available and the importance of STEM related subjects, as well as letting them see how employers value their other curriculum subjects and their personal skills and attributes. My objective as a employee of Randox was to showcase a range of careers for all abilities within the company with a focus on STEM careers e.g. science and engineering.
The importance of spreading awareness of the opportunities in science and engineering from a young age is imperative, as many students are unaware of the vast range of differentiation in different careerpaths, stemming from one subject or degree class. Dr. Dwaine Vance went on to discuss the events of the networking conference:
As part of each ‘mini network’ I provided students with a brief overview of Randox. Students were given the opportunity to watch videos depicting our expertise and to ask questions about how their interests could be incorporated within Randox. The training department at Randox provided me with pop-up stands, recruitment pathway brochures, merchandise e.g. pens, stopwatches, mug coasters and even Biochip Array Technology key rings!
Overall the students gained a good knowledge of Randox, they were particularly keen to learn about the local and global opportunities available at Randox. In addition, students were keen to know more about the veterinary aspect of Randox. It was comforting to discover that the majority of pupils had previous knowledge of the Randox brand from the press (as we have recently experienced a great boost in brand visibility through Grand national sponsorship), Randox health (television adverts) and Confidante (local radio stations).
The pupils at Omagh High School were keen to ask me about my role within the company and what my day to day roles and responsibilities are. I was happy to provide students with my research and development activities and they were interested to hear that I was involved in the development of a genetic test that aims to predict your future risk of heart disease by investigating your own DNA.
At Randox I am part of a small team of experienced research scientists that are developing a genetic risk prediction test for heart disease and myocardial infarction. This test aims to simultaneously genotype 20 genetics variants that have been previously associated with increased risk of heart disease. This Randox molecular test is in collaboration with leading University academics and will help reduce the burden of heart disease throughout the world by providing an accurate risk assessment of disease so personalised treatment can be provided to those who require it most. To quote Randox Health, “Prevention is better than cure”.
From everyone at the Randox Careers team and from Dr. Dwaine Vance, we’d like to thank Omagh High School for inviting us to attend this incredibly beneficial Speed Networking event, where we feel we have truly impacted the young minds of tomorrow. We look forward to the future of diagnostics, with you!