"The lecturers were very supportive and the comradery among classmates was great so we were able to help each other out.”
Following his appointment to a new role as Control Systems Manager at Cargotec Ireland (formerly known as Moffett Engineering Ltd) Thomas Lennon, from Dundalk, Co Louth decided it was the right time to take on a part-time course to boost his knowledge in the area of Electrical Engineering. He selected the Level 6 Certificate in Applied Electrical Engineering offered via part-time studies at DkIT and funded by the Springboard+ scheme.
I was appointed to lead a new Control System Department within Cargotec and I thought it was a good idea to go and learn a bit more about the electrical design. The Applied Electrical Engineering course really suited me and it was relevant to the area that I am working in at the minute.”
Thomas has a long history with Cargotec, having worked for the company for more than 19 years. He started out in the Research and Development (R&D) department working on the design of many of the products currently offered by the company. He progressed from design engineer to senior design engineer and then in 2017 when an opportunity to take over the new Control Systems department came around; Thomas rose to the challenge.
It was a new department that we were starting up here to apply safety mechanisms onto the machines, among other features. It encompassed the old electrical department that was already established along with the new features that we were trying to develop."
The new team was comprised of electricians and software programmers and as a manager, Thomas was keen to better understand more about their area of work and get to grips with their world.
I was keen to enhance my ability to communicate with them on their level. We have some experts on the team in the area of programming and electrical engineering and I wanted to be able to relate better to them.
I knew that by gaining a deeper understanding of electronics and about their respective areas of work that I would be in a better position to offer constructive advice and that ultimately, I would be able to add more value to the team.”
In terms of other skills learned, Thomas explained that he gained new knowledge in PLC programming, wiring and also in the area of mathematics.
I had a general understanding of the area but I would never say that maths was my biggest strength. It was great to cover this within the course and brush up on my skills in this area. The lecturers were very supportive and the comradery among classmates was great so we were able to help each other out.”
Thomas is passionate about continuous learning and he tried courses in the past but found that those which solely involved independent study did not really work for him.
I knew that the study at home options didn’t suit me. I liked the idea of joining a class with other professionals and I wanted to have the opportunity to engage and interact with a lecturer.”
Thomas is a self-described ‘practical-learner’ and so the hands-on nature of the course and its delivery also had great appeal for him. Other attractive elements included the location and evening delivery of the course.
Another big advantage of this course for me, was the easy access to the lecturers. They were very approachable and you can always follow up with them and ask questions”
In my current position, I am on the move a lot and it’s hard to juggle life and work, not to mention a part-time course. I find that I am the type of person that needs to submerse myself in something or I find it difficult to complete it. I put off a lot of travel during the year so that I could be here to do the course. A part-time course is definitely a commitment and you need to make some sacrifices. However in my view these sacrifices are definitely worth it. Having an additional qualification is always great to support your on-the-job experience and I have no doubt that it will support me as I continue in my career.”
Certificate in Applied Electrical Engineering