Data Acquisition Engineer at CoolPlanet
What does your job entail?
I’m responsible for implementing our CoolPlanetOS software in our customer’s factories. The software is designed to be integrated with various systems in order to extract key data so it can be viewed and analysed on CoolPlanetOS.
These systems can be supervisory systems for a production process, stand-alone energy management systems or production data systems. Integrating CoolPlanetOS with these systems allows us to collate our customers data into one central location. We find in many of our customers factories they have multiple systems but they are not connected. Using CoolPlanetOS we can help a customer connect their systems and gain further insight and value from their data.
My job also involves designing and implementing new metering systems for a customer. These systems will sit alongside their existing ones. The purpose of these metering systems is to help the customer to understand and monitor the consumption of their utilities onsite, e.g. electricity, water and gas. In many instances our customers will only have access to utility data at a high level, this can be data from the mains meter supplied by the utility provider. They have no indication as to how much energy or water is being used by the significant users onsite.
What do you enjoy most about working at Crowley Carbon?
There are a number of things I enjoy, my work, the people, the culture. CoolPlanet has some of the best people I have worked with. It’s not just in their ability or their knowledge, it’s their attitude towards work and the knowing that if you need help with something there will always be someone there to help. The culture in CoolPlanet is great, everyone shares similar values and attitudes to what we do. You have a real sense of recognition and that you are a valued member of the team.
When I left school I did an apprenticeship as an electrician. For part of it I worked in the domestic sector of the construction industry. As an electrician you are involved in different stages of the build process. When a house is complete you can take a lot of pride and satisfaction from knowing that your work went into completing that house. In CoolPlanet, I get that similar sense of job satisfaction towards the end of a project when we have CoolPlanetOS live and all the data we set out to gather from the customer's factory is now available and the customer can begin to get value out of it.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Prior to Covid I would have said the language barrier would have been the hardest part of my job. But now the hardest part would be working and trying to deliver projects remotely. Normally I would have gone to a customer's site two or three times throughout the lifecycle of a project. On some of these site visits I would have commissioned newly installed equipment. Now we have to look for support from the customer’s site teams or local contractors. This can be difficult as they may not always be familiar with the equipment.
What keeps you motivated and driven on a daily basis?
That CoolPlanet is open to so many ideas. I pitched a podcast to them and now we are launching it in the next few weeks and I am going to be the editor. What was an idea is now reality and will be called Masters of Efficiency.
My dad also motivates me. He is retired now but when he was working he was a sales manager for Xerox. He had to deal with the ongoing pressures and challenges associated with his job. He had a small team which meant he was on the road as much as the people working for him. I think seeing him work so hard over the years instilled a good work ethic in me.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I played rugby for years, both at under age and senior level. But like with many contact sports injuries are a common thing. I gave it up a few years ago and now I like to go running. I find it to be a great head clearer and a great way to keep fit. Prior to Covid, I did a lot of 5k and 10k races. With Covid now, they are virtual, but I prefer to be physically there with all the people. You are more motivated when you are there with several hundred people. There is a great atmosphere. You are more likely to hit a personal best in a race with people than doing it virtually by yourself. I’m looking forward to when those races are a common thing again.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Listen to your body. That’s something I didn’t do when I was playing rugby. My advice would be when your body is sore, stop playing whatever sport it is and take some time off and try to find out what the problem is. Especially if you are at amatuer level. If I had done that back then I probably wouldn’t have aches and pains that I have to manage on an ongoing basis.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was growing up I wanted to be a fireman. My grandad was a fireman for almost 40 years with the Dublin Fire Brigade and I looked up to him as a child. I still do to this day. He would bring me to the fire station, show me around and let me climb up into the fire engines. He would bring me to the training centre once a year to watch the new recruits train and as a kid that was exciting.
When I left school, Dublin Fire Brigade weren’t hiring at the time. So I ended up doing an apprenticeship as an electrician. I took a totally different route. After my apprenticeship I studied Mechatronics engineering and worked at Intel for four years as a manufacturing technician before joining CoolPlanet in 2018.