Beckman Coulter inspires students to pursue careers in STEM

Beckman Coulter inspires students to pursue careers in STEM

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

How do you use cutting-edge camera technology to check if medicines are labelled correctly? How do you turn a roll of paper into smart medical strips that can analyse urine and see if somebody has an illness?

These were some of the questions that engineers from Co Clare-based Beckman Coulter will be answering at the Limerick for Engineering event at Shannon Airport this Thursday, March 7 from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. The event was firmly targeted at the Mid-West region’s brightest young minds.

Limerick for Engineering (LFE) aims to inspire children to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) The LFE group is an industry led initiative which has the support of the education and training providers in the region.

The primary goal of LFE, a free event, is to increase the quality and quantity of engineering talent (apprentice, technicians and engineers) available in the Mid-West.

Engineering Manager Tom Finnegan and a team from Beckman Coulter will attend the LFE event, showcasing the work that the company does in clinical diagnostics. The organisation will be giving students face-to face advice on the many diverse career paths in science and engineering. Beckman Coulter employs 400 people at its site based in O’ Callaghan’s Mills, Co Clare.

The engineering team at Beckman Coulter are a mix of civil, mechanical, electrical, calibration, manufacturing and validation engineers whose job it is to keep the business moving and the company’s processes working at all times.

Beckman Coulter staff Louise Neylon, Andrew Sheehan, John Corcoran and Site Director Orlaith Lawler prepare for the Limerick for Engineering event – Photo: Marco Cavalleri.

Tom Finnegan added: “We will have exciting, real-life examples where engineering plays a part in making sure a product or process works properly, particularly in technology-driven business’s where precision and quality are absolute requirements.

“For example, we will be showing students how innovative camera systems can provide valuable information on labelling of medicines, seal integrity, shelf-life, best-before dates and whether a bottle contains what it should for a particular application.”

Beckman Coulter Site Director Orlaith Lawler said: “We want to play our part in growing the talent pool of engineers in Clare, Limerick and the region as a whole. This longer-term strategy will hopefully see more young people taking an interest in STEM subjects and choosing to become engineers.”

Engineering as a career has become increasingly popular in recent years. Different roles often can combine skills such as problem solving and data analytics with newer cutting-edge work practices such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

Finnegan is keen to stress that there are varied avenues open to becoming an engineer. Beckman Coulter, for example, funds some of its own employees to complete engineering degrees, while working-full time for the company.

“You can go to university or go the apprenticeship or technician route or work towards becoming a fully-fledged engineer in a way that suits you. It’s important for young people to know there are many different career paths.”

For more information on Beckman Coulter visit https://www.beckmancoulter.com/

**Students can visit the Beckman Coulter stand at LFE 2019 which is a FREE event with free car parking on the evening. For more information, see:

http://www.limerickforengineering.ie/index.html

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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