Beckman highlights best environmental practice for students 

Beckman highlights best environmental practice for students 


Tom Finnegan, Beckman Coulter Senior Engineering Manager and John Tiernan, Manufacturing Scientist – Photo Eamon Ward

Beckman Coulter is bringing a miniature wormery to Limerick for Engineering (LFE) at Shannon Airport this Thursday March 5th to demonstrate to students how the biomedical company, which has won awards for its sustainable environmental practices, manages onsite wastewater through a sophisticated filtration system and wormery.

LFE aims to inspire children to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and the team of Beckman Coulter engineers and scientists attending the event are keen to emphasise the importance of environmental considerations for anyone pursuing a career in engineering.

Beckman Coulter develops, manufactures and markets products that simplify, automate and innovate complex biomedical testing. The company’s 15,948 sq. metre facility near Tulla in Co Clare employs 420 people. Development, manufacture and support of reagents (mixtures for use in chemical analysis) for clinical chemistry, immunochemistry and haematology product lines are currently carried out at the site.

Commenting on LFE, Beckman Coulter Engineering Supervisor James Giltinan, said:  “Beckman is very focused on environmental issues. We recently won an IDA Invest in Ireland award for our commitment to sustainability. We believe it is important to demonstrate this commitment at LFE, as well as showcasing our work developing and manufacturing biomedical devices.

“This year we’re building a small working wormery to demonstrate what we do with our human waste. We will also focus on our sustainable forest that powers our woodchip boilers.”

om Finnegan, Beckman Coulter Senior Engineering Manager and Rachel Porter, Supplier Quality Engineer. – Photo Eamon Ward

The LFE group is an industry-led initiative supported by education and training providers in the Mid-West. 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 region.

Students can visit the Beckman Coulter stand at LFE 2020 which is a FREE event with free parking from 5.30pm on Thursday March 5th at Shannon Airport Departures Hall.

James and a team from Beckman Coulter will be giving students face-to-face advice on the many diverse career paths available in engineering at LFE while encouraging them not to get too caught up in the fine detail of what to study to become an engineer.

James says: “What we try to say is don’t get caught up in thinking ‘I need to do this exactly to get into this role’. Have a look across the spectrum. Engineering is so broad now that once you have experience in engineering you can use those skills across the board.

“Young people looking at college courses feel they have to make a decision that will define their future career. What we would like to try and show them is that we’re so diverse in this one company that engineering opportunities open up across a range of disciplines.”

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

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

At LFE, James and his colleagues will explain the uses of the range of products made by Beckman Coulter and the process of developing and manufacturing them, as well as giving students real-life demonstrations of the part engineering plays in making sure a product or process works properly.

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 as part of a long-term strategy. We hope to see more young people taking an interest in STEM subjects and choosing to become engineers and scientists.”

Careers in engineering have become increasingly popular in recent years as they offer rewarding opportunities across a range of disciplines. Different roles can combine skills such as problem-solving and data analytics with newer cutting-edge work practices such as artificial intelligence and robotics.