Sustainable Energy Authority

Playing a leading role in transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices.


Des Lalor - Wind Engineer
Liam McCaul - R&D Engineer
Donal Og Cusack - Automation/Energy Engineer
Jonathan Pugsley - Energy Manager


Liam McCaul, R&D Engineer

Liam McCaul is an R&D Engineer. His daily job activities include carrying out research to develop new ways to make products more energy efficient, more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use. He holds a degree in Electronic Engineering and Product Development.

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first question!

What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

To help design and create something to make life easier for people around me.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

My father, and certain teachers within my school.

How did you go about getting your current job?

I applied online, was interviewed twice and was offered the position.

Describe a typical day?

Arriving in, checking e-mails and going through data from tests I set up previously. Creating new ways to improve the products I am working on by thinking outside the box, and trying to make things as simple as possible.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

I interact with customers through e-mail and by phone. I carry out research and try to develop new ways to make our product more energy efficient, aesthetically better, and easier to use.

What are the main challenges?

To try to accommodate all walks of people, as the products I work on could potentially be in every home.

What's cool?

The product I am working on at the minute. It enables you to control your heating from anywhere in the world, brilliant. The travelling also helps.

What's not so cool?

Nothing so far.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

Knowledge of GSM modules does help a lot. Also design skills from college and the ability to work on my own, with a team and to interact with multi stakeholders, from customers to CEOs of multinationals.

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

Physics, Chemistry and French. I also studied German in college. It is good to have another language regardless of what it is. Anything to do with Engineering, I would highly suggest Maths and Physics.

What is your education to date?

A degree in Electronic Engineering and Product Development.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

The physics and maths for me made life a lot easier in college, which had a knock on effect for my job path. To be able to take a plan from nothing, think it out, build it and run it, is a great feeling. To be able to look at it from all angles, i.e. can I break this if its working? What would happen if I change this part, etc.

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

To be part of a team whose product has been recognised at home and also internationally as an innovative product that has won awards.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

To be able to think both outside of the box and logically. To be able to talk to other people, get your idea across and to believe in what you are doing.

What is your dream job?

Hitting golf balls around courses, globally.

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

It does. I can balance work, family life and my social life very well.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Do your best to find out the most you can about your specific engineering category, whether it be Electronics, Mechanical, Civil etc. Approach companies to try and get experience whilst you are at college, that way you have a running start on how to use the most up to date packages and instruments that companies have, and that then gets you the work experience when you finish college.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Knowledge of your product, ability to take what you develop in your head and turn it into a reality, and to be able to take critique should it not go right the first time.

Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

I would like to develop more into software programming and networking to further enhance my skills.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

For me, it was going to electronic companies, working during college holidays as an operator or technician to get the experience under my belt.

What is your current job title?

R&D Engineer

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Donal Og Cusack - Automation/Energy Engineer
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Des Lalor - Wind Engineer
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Jonathan Pugsley - Energy Manager
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Liam McCaul - R&D Engineer
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