Career Profiles: Aoife Murphy

What is your name? 

Aoife Murphy 

Where do you work and what is your role/job title? 

Currently I work as a Mechanical BIM Engineer with Jones Engineering Group. BIM, or Building Information Modelling, is utilised in a variety of projects. It involves the 3D visualisation of a building or project. It allows you to see what the building with look like right down to the fine details before construction has even begun.  

I am also returning to college next September to pursue a Masters degree in Space Science and Technology and hopefully find a role that is a bit more space related in the near future.  

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with? 

Yes, I feel that it does. I enjoy the work I do and the challenges of my job, but I also make sure I keep it balanced and have time for hobbies, family and friends too.  

 

Questions about your current Job 

How did you go about getting your current job?

I did an internship with Jones Engineering and their BIM team, in the summer of my third year in college. I found the work they did quite interesting and felt that there was a lot more I could learn from working in BIM. So, when I finished my degree, I reached out to the manager I had worked with in my internship and inquired about a job. They happened to be expanding their BIM team at the time and were hiring a number of graduate engineers.  

 Describe a typical day.

A typical day for me consists of a lot of time working on the computer. We might have a team meeting in the morning where we will run through some of the key deadlines that might be coming up and provide updates on our progress with our current assignments. The majority of our communication is done over Microsoft Teams as we need to distance ourselves from each other as much as possible in person due to Covid. I spend most of my day working through my assignments, modelling pipes on CAD and crosschecking my routes on another viewing software where I can see not only our companies work but all the others working on the same project. This way we can make sure that we are not clashing with each other or blocking other people’s paths. I would also regularly run what we call clash detection tests, which allow me to see any clashes my drawing files might have with other objects in the model. 

What’s the coolest part of your job?

The coolest part of my job would probably be getting to use CAD everyday as it was something I really enjoyed both in school and college. There is just so much that you can do with Computer Aided Design, and I love finding new features and learning little tips and tricks along the way.   

Are there any elements of your job that you dislike?

There is always some element of paperwork to go with every job. While I don’t mind it, the thing I like the least is definitely the administration side of my job. We have excel sheets and online forms to fill out in relation to our drawing files and they need to be kept up to date with the latest released connection point assignments. So, you do spend some amount of time comparing excel files and crosschecking that your models are connecting into the right positions.   

 

Questions about education and training  

What subjects did you take in school/college and how have these influenced your career path? 

I always knew I wanted to study something like engineering, I just didn’t know what exactly that would be. I went to a mixed secondary school, and we had a large range of subjects to choose from. My favourite subject at Junior Cert level was Technical Drawing and I continued to study it at Leaving Cert level in Design and Communications Graphics (DCG). I also chose to study Physics and Applied Maths for my Leaving Cert. Those subjects were the ones I enjoyed the most, so it was clear that Engineering was definitely the direction to go. When I started college, we had a general first year where we got to try out the different types of Engineering. From that I decided that Mechanical Engineering was best for me. I really liked how Mechanical Engineering was so broad, and you got to study a bit of everything by doing it. 

I have always been interested in Space, but it wasn’t until college when I realised that working in the Space Industry was a realistic career goal. I took part in a course on Spacecraft Operations with ESA in my third year and have since been determined to pursue Space as a career. I then went on to complete some online courses alongside my degree in Space Mission Design and Operations, and Astronautics and Human Spaceflight. Completing these courses has only made me want to learn more and I decided I would return to college to study a more space related discipline. I will be participating in the Space Studies Program with the International Space University in Summer 2022 and I am then going back to college in September 2022 to complete a Masters in Space Science and Technology in UCD.   

 

Questions about yourself 

 What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

One of the most rewarding events in my career so far was definitely the Interactive Space Program with the International Space University. I took part in this 5-week online program in the Summer of 2020. Our mission was to research how Space could help with pandemics, in particular how it could help to monitor, mitigate, prepare for and prevent future pandemics. Participating in this course really opened my eyes to just how vast the Space industry is and the different career paths that can lead you to it. It was fantastic to work with people from all over the world, with different backgrounds, languages, and cultures. It was also amazing to see how much space can impact life on Earth and how much it can be utilised to help in global crises like the Covid-19 Pandemic.  

What is your dream job?

I don’t have an exact dream role in mind, but I know it will be related to Space. I hope to work in a position that I enjoy and work on projects that I really believe in. I like the idea of working more in a hands-on and practical position, possibly in testing or R&D.  

 

Advice for people thinking of this job as a career choice 

What advice would you give to someone considering this job? Are there important personal characteristics, or good work experience they can undertake for example.

With Engineering, there are some characteristics that are important across the board, regardless of where you might end up working. You will nearly always be part of a team, so knowing how best to work in a team and being prepared for the inevitable difficulties that might arise from working with people who have different personalities is always a good skill to have. Communication, problem solving, and being comfortable using a computer would be other important skills to have.   

When it comes to work experience, I would always say that any experience is valuable experience. Any chance you might have to work in a team or on a project no matter what industry it might be in, is going to stand to you.