The Covid 19 pandemic has presented many challenges for young people grappling with career choices. Not least the questions of; “What can I do that will allow me to make a living during future lockdowns? How can I make my career recession-proof? Are there any careers which will allow me to live and work in the Midlands, or take some time out to travel the world if I choose to do that?” Step forward “Engenuity” – the Midlands Engineering Network. This is a growing network of Small Engineering companies offering live career opportunities in 2021 in spite the covid pandemic. Jobs from entry level to mid-to-senior Management level.
Lifelong Earning in Engineering
Featuring Derek McCreanor MD – Enhance Acoustics, Edenderry
Questions by Tom Griffith, Midlandjobs.ie. Replies by Derek McCreanor, Enhance Acoustics
1. “Take us from when you left school – what was your initial career choice?”
When leaving school, I wanted to study sound engineering but at the time there were very few third level programs in that area. My guidance councillor in school told me that music was a hobby and not a career and encouraged me to apply for a computer course in Dundalk IT instead. However, that was not for me so I didn’t last very long there and I then went to work in a number of admin jobs for a couple of years. After a while I decided that I would apply for a trainee accountant position in a firm in Dublin, working for the firm during the day and studying for my AACI degree at night. This allowed me to earn a wage and study at the same time in the industry. Within that year I became ill and after a period off work to recover from surgery I decided that I did not particularly enjoy my job and decided to take some time out to find what it was I wanted to do. I went back to playing music, travelling to New York in 2001 to try make a go of it playing music over there as some of my friends had done. After the events of September 11, 2001, I returned to Ireland and knew that I wanted to play music for a little longer. So, the following summer I got a job playing music in IBIZA in an Irish Bar which I did for two years, moving to the south of Spain then for a year and then back to Ireland where I continued to play music professionally. I began to get interested in sound engineering in 2009 and decided I would go back to college. In 2011 I began a master’s degree in Trinity College in Music and Media Technology, it was here I became interested in the engineering of sound, not from a musical perspective but the way sound could have both a physiological and psychological impact on people, and how we could use sound in design to improve the spaces that we occupy to create healthier and more productive environments.
2. “What prompted you to change career mid-stream?”
After leaving college I continued to work as a sound engineer touring with theatre groups and musical groups. When my partner and I decided to have children, I wanted to get away from the long nights and trips away and have a more predictable lifestyle. I was just about to pack it all in and take up a job in a completely different field in Intel when I got a call from one of my college lecturers asking if I would be interested in a career in Acoustics and Noise Control. While I was absolutely interested, this involved going back to college again (paid for by my employer) and going back onto what was then called jobbridge. This job was a big risk for both myself and my then very young family as the first 9 months of the job cost me money to go to work every day, but I had to look to the future, I was presented with a very rare opportunity to get into the exact career I wanted even though up until this point I barely knew it existed. I worked hard to make sure after the JobBridge contract was up that my employer would keep me on. And he did, giving me a 5% stake in the company and I got to work on a number of large-scale projects both here in Ireland and abroad. I also ended up with a second master’s degree in Applied Acoustics.
3. “What made you decide to go into technical / engineering work?”
I guess I was initially inspired by my college lecturer Dermot Furlong to look at sound and its influence on us as humans. Not only musically but in every part of our lives. I then discovered the whole industry of acoustics and noise control and once I discovered this it was like a light went on in my head. I then knew that this was the industry for me. If I was told about this industry in school, I could have saved myself a lot of time. But I also think the experience I picked up along the way through my different career choices gave me a unique perspective that I could bring with me into the industry and also a valuable skill set that would stand to me when I decided to set up my own business. In other words – all experience can be valuable if you are doing the right things along the way to making your eventual final chosen career choice.
4. “What does your job involve and what services does your company provide?”
We work with architects, designers, system integrators, local authorities and other professionals in the construction industry, fit-out industry, building management and human resource sectors. We provide consultancy, design, fit-out, and acoustic testing and certification services to promote and provide healthier and more productive buildings and spaces for users. In setting up my own company, our approach to acoustic engineering is one which benefits people more than the approach of designing to meet the minimum standards set out in international standards and technical guidance documents. Although our work always obviously does adhere to the relevant international building standards and technical guidance documents, we work to exceed their requirement for minimum standards for the benefit of the people who user those buildings.
5. “What type of career opportunities will your company offer now / in future?”
In the coming months we will be looking for the following
- Junior acoustic consultant, no experience necessary just a proven passion for the industry.
- Business development manager
- Admin staff to look after accounts, marketing and general admin duties
- Fitout personnel
- Project manager
For the technical jobs at Enhance Accoustics, the following are some of the skills candidates would need to possess.
- Strong mathematical skills
- CAD or REVIT Experience
- Computer Literate
- A technical knowledge of audio devices and systems such as microphones, speakers, amplifiers, cabling, and sound level meters.
- Background in construction trade beneficial.
Winner of Innovation Award, Enterprise Awards 2020
Winner of Emerging Business Award, Enterprise Awards 2019
Ireland: +353 (86) 3744132
U.S.A: +1 646 846 1267