Anthony Mannion – BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering
Name: Anthony Mannion
School: Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon
Current Job: Advanced Inventor Designer at Falkbuilt Engineering in Calgary, Canada
I enjoyed practical subjects in secondary school, but I was not a student that excelled, nor did I truly apply myself, nor did I know what career path I definitively wanted to follow. I completed an AutoCAD 2010 course which piqued my interest in computer aided design. Finally, I applied for and accepted an offer for Mechanical Engineering at ATU Sligo.
With every passing semester it became more apparent how each subject supported and complemented one another. I enjoyed how the theoretical was transferable to practical teachings, building pneumatic circuits, completing material testing and experiments, or applying and experiencing mechanical principals. Through these experimentations and applications, it was possible to gain a deeper understanding, which ultimately made the theory classes a lot more enjoyable.
The best thing about this degree is the lecturers. They make themselves available to help you learn both inside and outside the classroom. If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough, and their level of understanding paired with their ability to teach, and desire to help is what makes this course so great.
Solidworks was by far my favourite module. I am a visual learner/thinker and I love to brainstorm concepts and ideas, so being able to utilise Solidworks to interpret ideas into a virtual platform, then into a manufacturable output is quite rewarding. Engineering Technology was also enjoyable – lathes, milling machines, welding etc. All the practical skills needed to complete the third year Integrated Project.
I also gained key skills in communication and critical thinking. These have helped me work across multiple industries. Each industry requires different knowledge and understanding, so having the ability to interpret, problem solve and communicate across different disciplines and departments has been key to my success.
During my time in ATU Sligo I was also part of a team who won the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award. Our project was the Willow Harvester. The Willow Harvester prototype provides a cost effective harvesting solution for smaller, dispersed willow growers.
I have been very fortunate to work across a wide range of industries both in Ireland and Canada. Here is my career journey to date.
June 2015 to March 2018 – Modular Automation – Mechanical Design Engineer – Autodesk Inventor – Designing automated custom machines for Medical and Life Science companies.
April 2018 – Moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
August 2018 to June 2019 – Bilton Welding and Manufacturing – Industrial Designer – Autodesk Inventor – Designing storage tanks, pressure vessels and vent stacks for Oil and Gas companies.
July 2019 to April 2020 – Exchanger Industries – Mechanical Designer – Autodesk Inventor – Designing air cooled heat exchangers for Oil and Gas companies.
July 2019 to April 2020 – Exchanger Industries – Junior Estimator – Completing preliminary designs and proposal packages for Oil and Gas companies.
September 2020 to Present – Falkbuilt – Advanced Inventor Designer – Autodesk Inventor – Designing interior construction environments for Hospitals, Schools and Large-Scale International companies.
In my current role, as an Advanced Inventor Designer at Falkbuilt, I am required to:
Interpret Autodesk Revit production drawings to create 3D models for interior construction environments for Hospitals, Schools and Large-Scale International companies, utilizing Autodesk Inventor, and exporting an associated Bill of Materials for Production.
Support Production Project Managers until each project is fully installed on site.
Support Product Development Engineers when they require 3D models for mock-ups which are mainly used for testing and proofing new products, or for making improvements to existing product lines.
For any students thinking about a career in this field here is my advice. Mechanical Engineering is extremely broad which leads to many different roles. Stay true to what makes you happy, because having a job that you thoroughly enjoy is super rewarding and fulfilling. I have always sought a Mechanical Designer role so I could work with Autodesk Inventor every single day. I have worked beside many types of Engineers and the Mechanical Engineering course at ATU Sligo gives you all the necessary skills and confidence required to follow any engineering role you desire.
I loved the community feel in ATU Sligo. Every student belonged to their own department or could join one of the many clubs or committees but there was always a since of community within the student body. There were always events on either within the college or down in the student bars. There was always something happening so there was always a good atmosphere among the students. Simply put, there was always a bitta craic to be had outside of the learning!
To all incoming first years – show up, attend your classes, apply yourself and you will really enjoy this course. Allow yourself to be submerged in each subject, you will be among like minded people who have the same desire to learn.
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