We Are Randox | How Courtney became a COVID-19 Scientist and Trainer

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We Are Randox | How Courtney became a COVID-19 Scientist and Trainer

08 October 2020

We Are Randox | How Courtney became a COVID-19 Scientist and Trainer

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

For an idea of what it’s like to be part of the COVID-19 testing programme at Randox, we spoke to Senior Scientist and Trainer Dr Courtney Ward.

Courtney spoke to us about what a typical day in our laboratories looks like, the career path she took to her current role, and how it feels to be making a difference in the global fight against COVID-19.

Name: Dr Courtney Ward

Job Title: Senior COVID-19 Scientist and Trainer

Department: COVID-19 Laboratories

Give a brief outline of your career to date.

During my undergrad studies, I spent a year working on developing drug delivery technologies for a pharmaceutical company in England. Then during my PhD I worked in the Research Funding team at Cancer Research UK, and subsequently, following the completion of my PhD, at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast.

My next move led me to Randox, to work on new ways to diagnose a range of diseases.

What was your favourite subject at school?

At school I always enjoyed science, and in particular biology. Since a child I have been fascinated with how the human body works and how different diseases can affect this.

Did you go on to further/higher education, if so what did you study and where?

I studied for eight years at Imperial College London. This included an undergraduate in Biochemistry, a Masters degree in Structural and Molecular Biology, and finally, a PhD in Structural Biology/Biophysics, for which I studied how bacteria affect human cells during infection.

How did you get into your area of work?

As I had previous experience in infectious disease testing, I moved this year into the Randox COVID-19 team to help respond to the urgency of the situation. As our testing capacity, and subsequently our staffing levels, have increased so extensively, I also use my experience to train our new scientists, which is something I really enjoy.

Is this what you always wanted to do?

I have always loved science and knew my career would be within this sector. I also enjoy teaching and training, so being a COVID-19 trainer has combined my two favourite roles into one which has been great.

Were there any particular essential qualifications or experience needed?

Scientists involved in COVID testing will be exposed to molecular testing techniques including DNA extraction, PCR techniques and Biochip technology, so experience in these areas is advantageous. There are also a number of positions – like accessioning or administration – that do not require a science background and we include all the training needed for these roles.

What are the main personal skills your job requires?

For roles in testing, the most important skills are concentration and attention to detail. We deal with 1000s of samples in a shift so it is crucial to manage each one carefully as the results are so important to each individual patient. You also need to be a team player, focused and able to take initiative.

What does a typical day entail?

A typical day in our COVID-19 laboratory begins with a handover from the previous shift and then we are assigned our roles for the day. You may spend your day preparing reagents using liquid handling robots, or you may be involved in organising samples along with their corresponding paperwork. It is a varied and exciting role, as things move very quickly in the world of COVID-19 testing.

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

The best thing about working in the Randox COVID labs is knowing you are contributing to the national testing effort and therefore making a real difference. Working with a team is great and gives you the chance to meet a lot of new people for a lot of different backgrounds. I also really enjoy seeing new scientists improve in confidence during their training. Seeing them working well on shift gives me great sense job satisfaction.

The most challenging aspect of COVID testing can be the time pressure, as getting results out to the patient as fast and accurately as possible means teams must work seamlessly together. Similarly with training, we need to ensure we have enough staff to support our testing labs and so this can lead to a lot of new staff needing training which we need to work through quickly and efficiently.

Why is what you do important?

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on every aspect of our lives. To be involved in testing, which is absolutely crucial in identifying clusters of infection and reducing further spread, is so important to me and spurs me on to work to the absolute best of my ability.

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

For me, making sure you take any opportunity to further your development is critical, be it the prospect of learning a new technique or method, or the chance to join the fight against COVID-19! I have always jumped at the chance to learn something new and this has set me in good stead for my current role as a trainer.

If you weren’t doing this what would you like to do?

If I weren’t involved in laboratory work, I would still carry on my love of science and training, by teaching science. I have always loved teaching, and I tutor in my spare time – to inspire the next generation to study and work in STEM subjects.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to yourself on your first day?

Take in as much information as possible – there will be a lot of it! Ask as many questions as you can, particularly if you are unsure of anything.

Describe your ideal day off.

Catching up on Real Housewives and taking my dog to the beach for a swim.

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

Make sure you read the job description and tailor your CV to each role to which you apply. Make it easy for the employer to see how your skills and experience meet the criteria for the job.

We are delighted to have Courtney with us at Randox as part of our COVID-19 testing programme.

 

For current vacancies at Randox please visit randox.getgotjobs.co.uk

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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Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

17 September 2020

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Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

There’s no doubt that coronavirus is having a devastating effect across the globe.

But here in Northern Ireland there’s a company making a real impact in the fight against COVID-19. And you can be part of it.

Randox Laboratories, in County Antrim, has partnered with the government on its programme for coronavirus testing across Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

The programme, which in its first few weeks was focused primarily on staff working within the NHS, and then on key workers, is now available to anyone living across the UK who has symptoms of coronavirus.

Randox are providing high volume laboratory testing of potential COVID-19 samples in its laboratories at the Randox Science Park in Antrim.

It’s an enormous task, but one that Randox is well-equipped to handle. In 2019, Randox manufactured over 3 billion tests and exported to 145 countries. Its new headquarters, the result of a £161 million investment, houses state-of-the-art laboratories and the latest innovations in health diagnostic technology.

The company stepped up to support the government’s testing programme without hesitation.

Across the COVID-19 testing process, a multi-disciplinary team work collaboratively and assiduously to provide optimal support to the national response to COVID-19.

It begins with the production of Randox’s Biochip, a patented testing technology which can run multiple diagnostic tests simultaneously.

Upon identifying the latest strain of coronavirus as a significant global threat, and by drawing on almost 40 years of experience as a world-leading diagnostics company, Randox developed a new Biochip for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in a greatly accelerated time frame of just two weeks. The new Randox Biochip processes two coronavirus tests simultaneously – one specific and one confirmatory – as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

The firm’s team of talented scientists continue to develop these COVID-19 Biochips on an unparalleled scale, in preparation for testing of samples from across the UK.

Meanwhile, specialist engineers design and build the coronavirus testing platforms used to conduct the tests when they arrive at the laboratory.

Randox recently announced it was hiring 160 mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers to work on the fast-tracked development of newly designed molecular analysers used to detect the presence of COVID-19.

And the company is also recruiting for positions in Manufacturing and Science, and in particular scientists who have experience in a diagnostic laboratory, in support of Randox’s role within the government testing programme for COVID-19.

These scientists will be exposed to molecular testing techniques including DNA extraction, PCR techniques and Biochip technology, in order to process samples that arrive at the laboratory for testing.

Everyone at Randox has a vital role to play in the practical application of COVID-19 testing.  For Scientists, Engineers and those with experience in Manufacturing, Randox’s recruitment drive is a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19.  Successful applicants will contribute directly both to saving lives and assisting the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To find out more about the positions available for Randox’s COVID-19 testing project, visit  https://randox.getgotjobs.co.uk/

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We Are Randox | How Kelly Mon became Deputy Testing Coordinator for COVID-19

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22 June 2020

How Kelly Mon became Deputy Testing Coordinator for COVID-19

 

We Are Randox | How Kelly Mon became Deputy Testing Coordinator for COVID-19

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 part of the COVID-19 testing programme at Randox, we spoke to Deputy Coordinator Manager Kelly Mon.

Kelly spoke to us about what a typical day in COVID-19 testing looks like, the career path she took to her current role, and her advice for a successful job search.

Name: Kelly Mon

Job Title: Deputy Co-Ordinator Manager

Department: COVID-19 Testing

Kelly, what did you study and where?

After secondary school, I studied a BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science (Medical) in Belfast Met in Castlereagh, and then moved on to study Biomedical Science at Ulster University in Coleraine. I later studied part time for an MSc in Stratified Medicine.

Give a brief outline of your career to date

I trained as a Biomedical Scientist in Antrim Area Hospital for one year to gain a recognized certification from the Institute of Biomedical Science. When I graduated I started as a Laboratory Analyst at Randox Clinical Laboratory Services, where I ran health tests on our patented Biochip Technology. After a short time, I became a Clinical Team Leader managing a number of clinical trials for companies and universities. Recently I have been promoted to Deputy Co-Ordinator Manager for our COVID-19 testing programme.

Kelly Mon

Are there alternative routes into the job?

For a job in Clinical Research you would ideally have a BSc in Biomedical Science, Biochemistry or Life Sciences, and a Diploma in Professional Practice. Alternatively, if you have a degree in another area we have a scheme at Randox that allows graduates the chance to rotate throughout departments, and many good candidates are offered positions at the end. There are also apprenticeships and student placements available.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day in clinical trials usually involves running patient blood or urine samples on Randox Biochips that have been custom-made to suit that particular project. We work to tight deadlines, have regular updates with internal staff and customers, and conduct data analysis and reports. A typical day working on COVID-19 testing involves lots of PPE, and constant communication between a wide range of staff and departments. In my role I oversee our quality control, create and communicate important procedures, and visit the lab to make sure my staff are doing well.

Is this what you always wanted to do?

Whilst I knew that I liked science, I wasn’t sure what job I wanted to do. No one in my circle had ever gone on to study at university so I hadn’t considered it an option. I couldn’t even imagine that I could become a scientist.

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

For me, the best aspect of any job is the people and at Randox I work with a great bunch. I also like the fact that there is career progression for people who put in the work to get it, and that you are trained to perform all tasks, not just one part of the work flow. The most challenging aspect of the job at times is the intensity of the workload, which is why organizational skills and the ability to keep calm under pressure are key in this job.

Why is what you do important?

There is that old saying that your health is your wealth and I’m proud to work for a healthcare company providing high quality health diagnostics. These products are used every day to assist in the detection of a wide range of diseases to provide the earliest possible diagnosis and improved patient outcomes. In my department the clinical trials we manage help to detect biomarkers of disease and determine treatment efficacy, which is important to identify less invasive methods of diagnosis, and more tailored ways to treat each patient.

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

It’s important in any career to work hard and stick at it. I dropped out of two courses before I started the BTEC Diploma. I could have given up when times were hard, but I stuck with it and here I am sharing what I’ve learnt throughout my career. If you are planning specifically to study Biomedical Science, the advice I would give is to choose a course with a placement. My own course had a one-year placement in an NHS hospital, and the experience in a professional environment that gave me key laboratory skills was invaluable. It also gets you contacts in the industry which is always helpful.

If you weren’t doing this what would you like to do?

I love my job, I love my career and I love the people I work with so honestly, I wouldn’t choose any other career path!

 Describe your ideal day off.

My ideal day off work involves pyjamas, junk food and good old Netflix.

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

Sometimes job searching can be tiresome and after a while you start to apply without properly researching, but the key to any successful job search is preparation. Start by giving your CV an update and get someone – perhaps your university careers team, or a friend or family member – to proof-read it. Or, if you don’t have any other help, you can begin by searching CV templates on the internet. Personally I would advise that you include some interesting hobbies to make your application stand out. You would be surprised how things seemingly unrelated to a particular job will keep you in the recruiter’s mind. Then come up with some possible questions and think of the answers you might give before you go for interview.

We are delighted to have Kelly with us at Randox as part of our COVID-19 testing programme.

 

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 Sean Mills became Production Supervisor at Randox

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15 June 2020

How Sean Mills became Production Supervisor at Randox

 

We Are Randox | How Sean Mills became Freeze Dry Production Supervisor 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 work in Manufacturing at Randox, we spoke to Freeze Dry Production Supervisor Sean Mills.

Sean spoke to us about what his job entails, the skills required for the role, and what advice he would give someone on their first day of a new job.

Name: Sean Mills

Job Title: Supervisor

Department: Freeze Dry Production

Sean, what route did you take to get your job?

At school my favorite subjects were Biology and Physical Education, and though I completed my A-levels, I turned down the opportunity to go to the university I had selected. I just knew that going to university was not for me. I had previous work experience working in a laboratory, having volunteered in the Belfast City Hospital labs, as well as some other manufacturing experience from various summer jobs, so I applied for a Manufacturing Operative job with Randox. I started with the company on 3rd November 2008 and have progressed throughout the department.  I worked my way up to Laboratory Technician, then Lead Laboratory Technician, and now Departmental Supervisor.

Can you give us a quick summary of what your job entails?

My main responsibility is the day-to-day running of the Randox Freeze Dry Production team, which starts every day with a morning meeting to go over our schedule. I review our workload, determine what sites we will be working at, and delegate tasks to different members of the team. I also check if there were any issues from the previous day that we need to look at. As Supervisor I liaise with the Planning Team to manage our work to meet production deadlines, and with the Purchasing and Stock departments to order materials that we need to complete our work.  I like to be practical and hands-on so in addition to my administrative duties I also do manual work like loading and unloading freeze driers.

Is this what you always wanted to do?

When I was younger I was unsure what I wanted to do for full time employment but this is my 12th year as part of the Randox family and I am so glad I chose to work here. It has been a fantastic environment in a dynamic role that continues to challenge me every year. In February this year I was really proud to be named Randox Employee of the Year 2020.

 Were there any particular essential qualifications or experience needed?

For the job I originally applied for there were no specific requirements other than a GCSE in Maths and English. Given the work we do, I would definitely say that an understanding of Maths and English are important.

Are there alternative routes into the job?

One of the great things about Randox is that you can change roles internally if you want to try a new discipline or have a new experience. As such there is a real mix of backgrounds across all teams in the company. Some people join us after university or after working for other companies, and others like myself begin their careers here and then progress within their department.

What are the main personal skills your job requires?

Organisational and numerical skills, as well as excellent communication and good time management, are definitely essential in my role. The ability to follow health and safety procedures and work off your own initiative are also key.

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

Having worked within manufacturing for over 10 years now I am no stranger to a lot of hard work in order to meet a deadline. These pressure situations are something I enjoy as they allow you to think of ways to improve manufacturing processes. I am lucky I work with a fantastic team and have a great manager who has also worked his way up in the department. He is a great mentor.

Why is what you do important?

My team are responsible for manufacturing the highest quality product to facilitate patient diagnosis. My own role specifically is important to keep the team motivated and ensure everything is in place to allow them to complete their job. I am here to train new staff, help problem solve, and use my experience to support my team when they need it.

If you weren’t doing this what would you like to do?

If I wasn’t working in Manufacturing I would like to work in the Police or Fire Service.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to yourself on your first day?

To anyone about to begin their first day in a new job I would give reassurance that they don’t need to be nervous. I would also encourage asking as many questions as possible until you are 100 percent sure what you’re doing and what’s expected from you. With any job there is always something new to learn and people you can learn from. No one knows everything, and everyone needs a little help now and again.

 Describe your ideal day off.

On my ideal day off I would get up early to play a round of golf or go to the gym. Then I would spend the day with my partner, enjoy a nice meal and end the day by watching a movie.

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

I have been happily working at Randox for almost 12 years, so I think that means my last job search was a successful one! My advice would be to apply for a job that excites or interests you.

 

We are delighted to have Sean with us at Randox as part of our hard-working manufacturing 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 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.

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our Randox Careers

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Randox announces its £30m investment in specialised COVID-19 testing lab

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03 June 2020

Randox invests £30m and 200 new jobs in specialised COVID-19 testing lab

Randox invests £30m and 200 new jobs in specialised COVID-19 testing lab

As part of efforts to enhance its national testing capacity, global diagnostics company Randox has announced an investment of £30m in a new specialised COVID-19 testing hub.

The healthcare firm, which is currently conducting COVID-19 tests as part of the national testing programme, announced its investment in the new facilities based at the Randox Science Park in Antrim, Northern Ireland, during a visit yesterday by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE.

The specialised laboratory, the development of which was fast-tracked over the space of four weeks, is the first step in a wider diagnostics investment programme from Randox.

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

“The national testing programme, as a collaborative effort by government and various partners within industry, has increased testing capacity at an unparalleled speed – by installing a network of drive-through testing centres, introducing home testing kits, and now, opening this specialised lab at the Randox Science Park in Northern Ireland.

“An incredible amount of work has gone into making this cutting-edge testing facility a reality in a relatively short space of time, as we know that effective testing is the most effective way to both save lives and promote a timely return to a more normal society.”

The opening of the new laboratory at the Randox Science Park follows the company’s announcement that it is recruiting new staff across Science, Engineering and Manufacturing in support of its role within the national testing programme.

The 200 new positions will be involved in the testing of potential COVID-19 samples, as well as the construction of 200 new state-of-the-art diagnostic analysers which will significantly increase Randox’s capacity for COVID-19 testing.

Dr FitzGerald continued;

“Now that we have in place the infrastructure and laboratory space required to enhance our testing capacity, we look forward to implementing the next step in our COVID-19 investment programme.

“By accelerating the build schedule for new specialised equipment, and hiring 200 associated workers across Science, Engineering and Manufacturing we will further enhance the government’s national testing scheme, as well as facilitate testing more broadly across the general populace.”

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis MP welcomed the new investment saying:

“I was impressed during my visit with the dedication of staff and the top-class facilities at Randox. This investment will help support the UK’s nationwide effort to fight the coronavirus and ultimately save lives.”  

Dr FitzGerald concluded;

“I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all my colleagues at Randox who continue to work assiduously to process such a high volume of tests in a timely manner.

“I know I speak on behalf of everyone when I say we appreciate all your hard work and the vital role you play in the practical application of COVID-19 testing.”

    For further information please email randoxpr@randox.com

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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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    We Are Randox | Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week with Monique Uprichard

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    05 January 2020

    Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2020

    Did you know that it’s Northern Ireland Apprenticeship Week 2020?

    The new initiative from the Department for the Economy offers an opportunity through a dedicated week of events and promotional activity to demonstrate how apprenticeships work for individuals, businesses, communities and the wider economy.

    To mark the week we spoke to one of our Randox apprentices, Monique Uprichard, to find out more about her role, what she enjoys about the apprenticeship, and her advice for young people considering a career in science.

    Name: Monique Uprichard

    Job Title: Science Apprentice

    Department: Quality Control Serum Production

     

    Monique, can you describe a typical working day?

    The apprentice roles at Randox are really hands-on, so each day I have the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects and manage important laboratory processes.  I get to use the Randox analysers that conduct our health tests – for example for diabetes and cholesterol – and run maintenance on them every day. This involves checking they have the right amount of testing chemicals, filling in logbooks which detail what tests have been run, and then processing and analysing the results.”

    What has been your educational career path to this post?

    “I have always had an interest in science, studying both Chemistry and Biology at GCSE and A-level at Bloomfield Collegiate School. I enjoyed the practical aspect of these subjects, which was the main reason I applied for the Higher-Level Apprenticeship with Southern Regional College and Randox. I also get paid and have no student debts to worry about, which was a massive selling point!”

    What are the most valuable skills for your job?

    “Time management is vital for apprentices because you must make time to study and complete coursework when you’re not at work. Attention to detail is also key, as is being able to work independently. Being part of a real working laboratory is great because I’m not only developing my core scientific knowledge, but also learning some crucial professional skills like effective communication with my colleagues, and the ability to work to a deadline. Then at college I get to focus on academic skills like essay writing and how to create a good presentation.”

    What is the most rewarding part of the job?

    “Working at Randox is really rewarding because I know what we do makes a real difference to global healthcare. By ensuring that hospital tests are accurate and reliable, I’m making sure that patients get the correct diagnosis, so they can get appropriate and effective treatment as soon as possible.”

    What are the future job prospects in your industry?

    “The STEM industry is booming and new roles are emerging every day. In the field of science, nothing ever stays still and there is always a new discovery or challenge. My colleagues for example are working on a test for the latest strain of coronavirus, which is having a huge impact globally. The variety of jobs is matched also by the variety of career pathways you can take. At the end of my apprenticeship, when I gain my foundation degree in Applied and Industrial Sciences, I have the option of either progressing into my second year of Biomedical Science at university, or taking up a permanent job within Randox.”

    What is your advice to a young person starting off in your industry?

    “Never be afraid to ask questions! This will help you stay up-to-date with current research and trends, and demonstrate your enthusiasm. If you’re interested in science I would definitely recommend the Higher-Level Apprenticeship as it is a great learning experience and equips you with all the necessary skills to pursue a career in this fast-paced industry.”

    We are delighted to have Monique with us at Randox as part of the Higher-Level Apprenticeship Scheme. 

    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 about Apprenticeships at Randox please email RandoxPR@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413.

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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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