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WAAR 2020 heading for a sell out with Randox Teoranta as sponsor
Entries for the 2020 Wild Atlantic Adventure Race (WAAR) have already exceeded the total number of 2019 participants, the organisers confirmed on Friday 24th January at an event to launch the competition.
The race on 9th May, which will once again be sponsored by Randox Teoranta, already has close to 700 entrants, including Nikki Bradley who took part in the WAAR challenge in 2016 and completed the hike section as part of a team of four.
This year Nikki is challenging herself to tackle the WAAR course on her own, where she will run/walk 5km on crutches, cycle 33km of the Wild Atlantic Way and kayak 1km on the Mullaghdearg Lake, before crossing the finish line to receive the highly sought after WAARior medal.
Many athletes and both past and future WAAR participants attended the launch where a number of speakers addressed the crowd, including Irish multi-sport adventure racer Shaun Stewart who launched the 2020 event. Mr Stewart has won the event in the past two years and is looking forward to the challenge once again in May.
Speaking at the event, WAAR organiser and spokesperson Gavin Ó Dónaill commented;
“Already at this early stage in the year we have close to 700 entries for the race, representing an increase of approximately 350 on the same date last year. In May 2019, for the race itself, we had over 600 participants, along with 200 volunteers, so in January 2020 we have already surpassed the total number of 2019 participants.
“As well as Nikki Bradley, Trailblazer Mary Nolan Hickey, who ran the entire coast of Ireland in 2018, cycled around it the following year as a fundraiser for the RNLI, and is the only woman to have run every single Dublin City Marathon since its inception in 1980, is also embarking on the WAAR 2020 adventure.
“The incredible caliber of athletes the event attracts, coupled with the much-appreciated support of global healthcare company Randox, is testament to WAAR’s status as one of the biggest annual sporting events in the North West, and we are looking forward to another sell-out year.”
Dr. Ciaran Richardson, Head of Research & Development at Randox Teoranta, said:
“It is, as always, our honour to partner with the Wild Atlantic Adventure Race here in Donegal. The ethos of the race – of physical and mental health, of camaraderie and of community – is one we share at Randox Teoranta.
“From our biohub in Dungloe in the heart of Donegal, our revolutionary diagnostic technologies for conditions including Alzheimer’s, stroke, kidney disease and gastrointestinal disorders, make a real difference to global healthcare and we will continue this vital work long in to the future.
“Like WAAR, Randox Teoranta has become an integral part of the landscape in Donegal and we are delighted to bring the thrilling Wild Atlantic Adventure Race once again to Donegal in 2020.”
WAAR 2020, as in 2019, will be included as a round of the National Adventure Series, a collection of adventure races across the country from which competitors can earn points to become the all-Ireland Adventure Race Champion 2019. The full WAAR route, which features a 10km run, 42.5km cycle, 2km hike and 1km kayak, starting and finishing at C.L.G. Naomh Muire in Mullaghderg, was described by organisers of the National Adventure Series as “one of the best organised events” in which they had ever taken part, and “a fantastic addition to the National Series Calendar…in one of the most picturesque courses in the country.”
Anyone interested in taking part in the WAAR can visit the website at www.waar.ie. The event is open to anyone who is 16 or over on the 9th May 2020. If you would like to help out on the day of the event please send your name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information please contact Amy Millar in the Randox PR team by emailing email@example.com or phoning 028 9442 2413.
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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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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The sun came out for the Wild Atlantic Adventure Race (WAAR) on Saturday 11th May 2019 as brave competitors once again took to the sea and shore to take on the iconic race.
The event started early in the morning with individuals being tasked to complete a 10k run, 42.5k cycle, 2k hike and 1k kayak along one of Ireland’s most beautiful coastlines – the run even featured a stint on the live runway of Donegal airport!
Cheered on by crowds of spectators along the challenging route, over 600 participants battled against eachother to be crowned WAAR winner.
Congratulations to Shaun Stewart who was the first male across the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 5 seconds.
Congratulations to Siobhan Gallagher who was the first female across the finish line with a time of 2 hours, 43 minutes and 48 seconds.
Dr. Ciaran Richardson, Head of Research & Development at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, said:
“We are delighted to have partnered with the WAAR event, in our ongoing work to promote positive physical and mental health in the wider Donegal community.
“The race was an outstanding success, and we even had our own Randox Teoranta employees taking part – congratulations to Noel, Donal, Eibhlin, Nadine, Rosemary, Ernest, Michael, Claire, Michelle, Robert and Breid.
“This race is a test of both physical and mental strength. Indeed, in the last number of years at Randox Teoranta we have developed ground-breaking innovations aimed at the diagnosis of a broad spectrum of conditions including kidney disease, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders and stroke.
“As headline sponsor of the Wild Atlantic Adventure Race and on behalf of everyone here at Randox Teoranta, I would like to say a massive congratulations to all WAAR participants, organisers and those who helped in any way on the day – what a fantastic achievement! You should all be very proud of yourselves.”
All the results from WAAR 2019 can be viewed here.
For more information on Randox Teoranta, please contact the Randox PR team at RandoxPR@randox.com or phone (+44) 28 9442 2413.
A new and ambitious initiative to reach out to all Donegal people and all those who have a love and an affinity for Donegal was launched on Friday 1st March at Donegal Airport.
Donegal Connect is a 10 day event which will take place this autumn from 27th Sept to 6th Oct and aims to continue to strengthen links with Donegal people both on the island of Ireland and across the world by reaching out to them and inviting them to come home and connect again with the county.
There will be something for everyone including events focussed on culture and heritage, sport, and music, genealogy, employment and business development opportunities, education and career opportunities, networking events and workshops on the practicalities of relocating or returning to Donegal.
Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill believes that this initiative will be a celebration of all things Donegal saying:
”We in Donegal are very fortunate to live in a county of outstanding beauty and one that offers a unique family friendly lifestyle, a fantastic quality of life, a place where investment and employment opportunities exist and where businesses and employees can successfully operate and compete on a global stage through many of our locally based worldwide employers. Through connecting with our diaspora we want to create mutually beneficial opportunities that build on the success of the work of our Diaspora office”.
Donegal Connect is about enticing people to make the journey back to Donegal to explore the county and find out why it is a great place to visit, to relocate to, to grow up in, to be educated in, to work in, to invest in or to retire in.
An important element of the initiative is the creation of new opportunities for investment, business development and employment. Donegal Connect wants to communicate the message that Donegal is open for business, has lots of employment opportunities and offers a great quality of life.
Donegal has received some impressive accolades over the last few years including being named as the ‘coolest place on the planet’ in 2017 by National Geographic and more recently Donegal Airport being voted the most scenic landing strip in the world. This along with the filming of Star Wars at Malin Head – Ireland’s most northerly point – and the hosting of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Ballyliffin last summer has showcased the splendour of Donegal to the world and putting it most definitely on the map.
Speaking at the launch event, Breid Gallagher of Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, Donegal, said:
“We are tremendously excited for Donegal Connect and to showcase the very best Donegal has to offer. There are certainly fantastic opportunities available here, as evidenced at our state-of-the-art global diagnostic facility at Randox Teoranta. There are amazing career opportunities right on the doorstep here in Donegal and, being in the most beautiful part of the world with quality of life like no other, you couldn’t ask for a better place to ‘live the journey’!”
For more information on Donegal Connect, please visit https://www.donegalconnect.com/ or email RandoxPR@randox.com.
With fierce displays of stamina, strength and speed, WAAR or the Wild Atlantic Adventure Race is one of the most challenging adventure races in Ireland, and this year returns to the Donegal coast with headline sponsor Randox Teoranta in tow for the fifth year.
Launched in the Fitness Room at CLG Naomh Muire, last night on Wednesday 20th February 2019, this year’s WAAR promises to deliver a thrilling adrenalin rush for participant and spectator alike. Both expert and novice will take to the demanding 55.5km course or 39km sprint on Saturday 11th May 2019.
The full route features a 10km run, 42.5km cycle, 2km hike and 1km kayak, starting and finishing at C.L.G. Naomh Muire in Mullaghderg. This year, for the first time, the race will also be included in the National Adventure Race Series, allowing competitors to gain points towards becoming the all-Ireland Adventure Race champion 2019.
The WAAR event was launched by Adam Speer of Speer Performance in Letterkenny. Known as one of the top strength and conditioning coaches in Ireland, Adam was responsible for the Donegal GAA senior team’s rags-to-riches tale during their dominant 2010-2015 period.
Speaking at the event, WAAR organiser and spokesperson Brian O’Donnell commented:
“It is fantastic to launch the 2019 Wild Atlantic Adventure Race, an event which not only tests the limits of the human body but also brings the whole community together. This is a great family event and we are sure that it will pull the crowds again in Donegal. The event is designed to allow individuals of any ability to enter and be part of what is fast becoming one of the biggest annual sporting events in the North West.”
Innovative global diagnostics firm Randox Teoranta attended the launch as headline sponsor and pledged to continue their strive for faster patient diagnoses through revolutionary technology as it supports this prestigious local event once again from its Dungloe base.
Dr. Ciaran Richardson, Head of Research & Development at Randox Teoranta, said:
“We are delighted to once again partner with the Wild Atlantic Adventure Race here in Donegal. The ethos of the race – of physical and mental health, of camaraderie and of community – is one we share at Randox Teoranta.
“Our state-of-the-art facility at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe has spearheaded world-changing health research in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders and stroke, and we hope to continue this vital work long in to the future.
“Like Randox Teoranta, WAAR has become an integral part of the landscape in Donegal with over 200 locals volunteering to help with the race last year, never mind the 600 who took part. We are delighted to bring the thrilling Wild Atlantic Adventure Race once again to Donegal in 2019.”
Also in attendance was Eilis Docherty from Donegal Airport who commented:
“We were delighted to continue our support of this very successful event and look forward to having hundreds of competitors run on the runway as they did last year. What other adventure race in the world can competitors run on the live runway of the most scenic landing in the world, in the coolest place on the planet to live? It really is a special event.”
The famous WAAR After Party will again be held at Entertainment Headquarters, Caislean Óir Hotel in Annagry and the committee are delighted to announce that Phil Cawley from Today FM will be joining once again as MC and DJ on the night.
Anyone interested in taking part in the WAAR can visit the website at www.waar.ie. The event is open to anyone who is 16 or over on the 11th May 2019. If you would like to help out on the day of the event and be part of it all then please send your name and contact number to email@example.com.
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact RandoxPR@randox.com.
The Wild Atlantic Adventure Race (WAAR) boasted another successful competition on Saturday 12th May 2018 as over 600 competitors braved the challenging but exhilarating course.
The event, sponsored by Randox Teoranta for a fourth year and hosted by Naomh Mura GAA club, gave competitors a choice of two courses that included cycling, running and kayaking.
As promised, this year’s Wild Atlantic Adventure Race delivered an incredible display of stamina, strength and perseverance as outdoor pursuit enthusiasts once again completed the demanding 55.5km course or 39km sprint.
The full Wild Atlantic Adventure Race features a 10km run, 42.5km cycle, 2km hike and 1km kayak, starting and finishing at CLG Naomh Muire, Mullaghderg, Co. Donegal. Set along one of the most beautiful natural coastlines in the world, the west coast of Ireland was once again proud to play host to one of the most challenging yet enjoyable races in Ireland, featuring both novice and elite individuals, as well as several relay teams.
Congratulations to Marty Lynch who won the mens’ solo race with a time of 2hrs 22mins 33seconds and to Sonia Knox who won the womens’ solo race in a time of 2hrs 51mins and 11 seconds.
Dr. Ciaran Richardson, Head of Research & Development at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, said:
“We are delighted to, once again, partner with WAAR. The event is a real test of physical wellbeing and here at Randox, we take our on-going work to promote positive physical and mental health very seriously. In the last few years, our labs in Dungloe have led the way in world-leading diagnostic research in a wide range of areas including Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders and stroke.
The Wild Atlantic Adventure Race was a great success and we congratulate all the enthusiastic competitors who took part.”
The full list of WAAR 2018 results can be viewed here.
For more information on Randox Teoranta, please contact the Randox PR team at RandoxPR@randox.com or phone (+44) 28 9442 2413.
What makes Randox the successful, innovative and forward-thinking company it is today are the passionate, hard-working and talented staff we’re lucky enough to call our colleagues.
Our staff are our best asset and across every division our team help to save lives – whether it be designing the newest Biochip to test for Alzheimer’s disease, developing the latest software for use in hospitals and universities or managing our global offices, to ensure our pioneering health technologies make their way across the world to where they are needed the most.
Our headquarters are in Northern Ireland, but we have teams based all over the world, including in Donegal, Ireland, where Dr Ciaran Richardson heads up the Research and Development Team.
We sat down with Ciaran to ask him about his role in Randox, to find out what inspired him to become a scientist, and of course to discover what makes working in Randox Teoranta in Donegal so special.
Ciaran, can you tell us a little bit about your role at Randox Teoranta?
My name is Ciaran Richardson and I am the Research and Development Manager at the Randox Teoranta facility based in Dungloe in County Donegal. I have some operational responsibilities at the facility but I primarily focus on working closely with the Research and Development scientists here. They use unique Randox technologies to develop next-generation diagnostic tests for prevalent human diseases such as stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders and thyroid disease. What’s particularly interesting is that we don’t focus exclusively on human conditions. The team at Randox Teoranta is constantly evaluating new technologies and methodologies with a view to continuous evolving how we approach our work and we are currently developing veterinary diagnostic tests.
What kind of research takes place at Randox Teoranta?
More than 50% of the workforce in Dungloe are employed in Research and Development positions. Our teams of R&D scientists are using a world-first technology that is unique to Randox called Biochip Array Technology. This technology allows you to place multiple diagnostic tests on a single biochip and this can then be used to test for many different biomarkers in a sample of blood. This is in stark contrast to traditional diagnostic methods that perform one test at a time on a sample of blood.
But it’s not only scientific research that we undertake at Randox Teoranta. It is critically important that our hardware keeps pace with the new diagnostic tests that we are developing. We have a highly skilled team of R&D Engineers that are developing next generation diagnostic analyser systems for Randox. We have electronic, mechanical, embedded systems and software disciplines all working together to develop new analysers that enable effective and accurate reporting of results from our diagnostic tests.
We also have significant manufacturing capabilities at the site in Dungloe. We have a dedicated department for manufacture of the Randox biochips and a further department for manufacture of the Randox family of analyser systems.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I manage a broad spectrum of R&D projects so my days can be quite varied. I could be meeting with our different scientific teams or managing ongoing projects that we have with various collaborators throughout the world. R&D is a rewarding but challenging field and it is very important that we react quickly to problems as they arise. I therefore spend lots of my time meeting with the scientists to review data so that we can make strategic decisions to move things forward as efficiently as we can.
Did you always want to be a scientist?
The short answer is no. My father was a businessman and my mother was a teacher, but she said 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 there, as a scientist, were slim. I did, however, apply for a role in Randox’s County Antrim headquarters which I was delighted to get. 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 the potential to not only improve people’s lives, but extend them far beyond expectancy.
What’s your favourite thing about working here?
My drive to work is surrounded by 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.
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 career dreams. 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 work hard during the week and then the weekend is family time.
Can I find my dream career at Randox Teoranta?
We’re expanding our workforce which means there are plenty of opportunities at Randox Teoranta. From placement student roles to permanent positions, we’re always on the lookout for the right candidates in various different fields – from manufacturing to research and development, administration to mechanical, electrical and electronic design engineering and software development to administration. At Randox Teoranta, we’re involved in world-leading science and technology every day. It’s amazing to think that your dream role in global innovation could be right on your doorstep in beautiful Donegal.
We are delighted that Ciaran has found his dream job with us at Randox in his native Donegal. He is a real asset to our global healthcare company and we’re proud to have him as part of our team.
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 current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com
THE DONEGAL DIAGNOSTICS TEAM AT THE HEART OF HEALTHCARE.
TÁ FOIREANN DHIAGNÓISEACH DHÚN NA NGALL LÁRNACH I GCÚRAM SLÁINTE.
Randox has been a world leader in diagnostics for 40 years, undertaking research, development, manufacture and global distribution of innovative tests for health conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and stroke.
In early 2020, based on almost four decades of experience in diagnostic R&D, the company quickly developed tests to accurately identify COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic Randox built, equipped and staffed 80,000sq ft of PCR testing facilities, and 50,000sq ft of supporting logistic and engineering space, and now has amongst the very largest laboratories in Europe.
Randox Teoranta in Dungloe has played an active role in the company’s COVID testing programme. The staff’s contributions across science, software, engineering and manufacturing have led to the completion of almost 25 million gold-standard PCR tests, saving lives and enabling society and the economy to function in the face of a global pandemic.
SO WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE TALENTED TEAM AT THIS NEXT-GENERATION LIFE SCIENCES HUB?
The Randox Engineering Department designed several innovations to improve the speed and efficiency of COVID-19 testing, including state-of-the-art robotics equipped for sample receipt and batching. As an Engineer it means a lot to have access to the latest technologies that allow us to deploy the best possible solution to a problem. My team at Randox Teoranta specifically developed specialised equipment for the extraction of viral material from patient samples, an improvement in processes which contributed to our labs reaching an unrivalled capacity of 100,000 tests per day. As we move towards a post-pandemic future Randox will be harnessing our COVID laboratory infrastructure for new testing capabilities and I’m eager to begin work on the engineering requirements for Randox’s next generation of diagnostic innovations.
Software played a vital role in the creation of an end-to-end testing process for COVID-19. We were responsible for developing the required software for a number of specialist Randox machines for COVID-19 testing, and also had to produce bespoke systems that would scan and track samples from arrival right through to results reporting. All our projects are done collaboratively with software developers, engineers and testers across different Randox sites, and so it has been a great pleasure to work with a multi-disciplinary team of different backgrounds, interests and ages – whether it be placement students, graduates or longer-standing members of staff. We are all very excited for what’s to come in our field and the upcoming ventures that will allow patients to access a comprehensive report of all their personal health stats.
Manufacturing across all departments increased significantly during the pandemic. We ramped up the production of the Randox Biochip, on which tests are performed, and of our bespoke analysers, which house the Biochip technology. These tests and machines have been shipped to hospitals and laboratories across the world by the Randox Teoranta Logistics team. Over 5% of the world’s population, which is more than 370 million people, receive diagnosis using Randox products and I have loved the opportunity to work for a company which makes such a global impact. With more emphasis on and appreciation of the role testing plays in healthcare services, there is a focus across the manufacturing department to satisfy the increased demand for diagnostic equipment, so 2022 and beyond is shaping up to be a very busy time for our team.
When COVID-19 emerged as a global threat every department in Randox stood up to support the global testing effort.
My team at Randox Teoranta were involved in the research and development for COVID antibody tests that can determine if an individual has an effective immune response to the virus following vaccination or infection. These antibody tests, as well as other COVID-19 testing services, have been made available in our Randox Travel Centres in Dublin, Leopardstown, Sligo, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Letterkenny, providing a reliable service that has allowed people to safely travel for personal, family and business reasons. It is rewarding to know that the hard work we have put in has had such a massive impact on people’s lives during the pandemic, and that wider society now has an improved understanding of the importance of diagnostics and what we do here.
After COVID, we aim to convert the familiarity with testing across society into the improvement of people’s overall health; using what we have learnt during the pandemic to welcome a new era of truly preventative healthcare that improves patient outcomes and also reduces the burden on our vital clinical services. We have just introduced new home testing kits for vitamin deficiencies, hormone health and heart disease that will empower individuals to find out what’s going on inside their own body and truly take control of their health. It’s a very exciting time to be part of the dynamic world of healthcare diagnostics.
As understanding of the importance of diagnostics grows, so too do the career opportunities in the diagnostics industry, and nowhere more so than Randox Teoranta.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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).