Concrete steps to a successful career path
16 October 2018
When you mention the word ‘cement’, most people will think of shovels and mixers. At Irish Cement, however, they think of flame temperatures, minerology and process optimisation. Modern cement manufacturing is a high-tech, high temperature process operated by engineers in state-of-the-art factories.
“We essentially rearrange the existing chemistry within the natural limestone and shale to produce the high quality cement, that is essential for the concrete in our built environment,” says David O’Brien, plant manager, at Irish Cement’s Platin cement plant in Drogheda.
Equipped with ultra-modern X-ray fluorescence and diffraction equipment
“In order to achieve that, we handle millions of tonnes of rock each year, and test our products in laboratories equipped with ultra-modern X-ray fluorescence and diffraction equipment.”
O’Brien qualified as a mechanical engineer in 1998 and carried out a variety of roles at Irish Cement and CRH before taking responsibility for running the Platin plant in 2015. With a full-time team of 114, he is responsible for the operation of Kiln 3, one of the most modern and energy-efficient cement kilns in Europe; together with Ireland’s second largest limestone quarry, adjacent to the factory.
Team made up of chemical, mechanical, electrical and environmental engineers
“While civil and structural engineers are the primary users of cement and concrete in construction projects, our team in Platin is made up of chemical, mechanical, electrical and environmental engineers. The continued success of our plant is driven by our highly talented and skilled team,” he said.
“The attraction and development of talent in Irish Cement is one of the companies top priorities”, says Nicola O’Malley, head of HR at the company. “Today’s newly qualified engineers are motivated, ambitious people and they are looking for challenging and varied career paths that are available in Irish Cement and CRH.”
In 1970, Irish Cement along with Roadstone established CRH, which has today grown to become a leading global building materials group with operations at more than 3,600 locations in 32 countries and a total workforce of 85,000 people.
Diverse range of international opportunities
Being part of this global business gives engineers training with Irish Cement access to a diverse range of international opportunities across a wide variety of businesses.
Each year Irish Cement recruits top graduates, primarily from engineering backgrounds, who are interested in a dynamic career in a critical modern industry.
Graduate engineers are attracted to the company because of the well-regarded ‘Graduate Development Programme’. Successful graduates get the opportunity to join the three-year structured process, which includes an international assignment with one of the CRH companies.
Given ‘hands on’ responsibility and ownership for areas of the cement plant
It offers innovative graduates a challenging and rewarding start to a successful career. A key feature of the programme is that from day one candidates are given ‘hands on’ responsibility and ownership for areas of the cement plant.
With supervision and support from management, the candidates gain real world experience in the complex world of cement manufacturing. Not only do they gain technical, production and cement manufacturing knowledge from both the Limerick and Platin cement plants but critically they learn key skills like people management, team working, influencing and communication.
During these first two years, the programme provides for continuous professional development with both in-company and external technical modules. Along with other graduates from across CRH Europe, Irish Cement graduates participate in the International Technical Programme for Cement, with modules such as ‘Analytical Troubleshooting, Problem Solving and Technical Report Writing’, which is led by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London.
In conjunction with the technical training provided, graduates are introduced to the various functions within the organisation, while developing interpersonal skills, leadership styles and management techniques. Further ‘Soft Skills training’ is provided by the Irish Management Institute and accredited by University College Cork.
The third year of the programme focuses on gaining international experience by working in a challenging role in a different cultural environment within the CRH Group.
Irish trained engineers are well regarded overseas
The innovation and aptitude shown by many engineers is suited to tackling a diverse set of business challenges and opportunities. Irish trained engineers are well regarded overseas and many of CRH’s senior leaders have come through the process.
The training opportunities do not stop after the three years when the candidates take on full-time roles either back in Ireland or overseas.
A variety of continuous professional development options are available from in-company, off-the-job training courses or special learning assignments, performance coaching and mentoring, structured e-learning to postgrad academic programmes such as a diploma, a degree or a master’s.
CRH is committed to improving the built environment through the delivery of superior materials and products for the construction and maintenance of infrastructure, housing and commercial projects. There is a recognition that having the right people and developing and empowering employees is critical to sustaining competitive advantage and long-term success.
Irish Cement is an Accredited Employer with Engineers Ireland, further details are available at www.irishcement.ie/careers.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2018/10/16/concrete-steps-successful-career-path/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/a-aaaicl-1024x683.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/a-aaaicl-300x300.jpgCivilcement,concrete,CRH,Irish Cement Limited