Cahan Moran – Lintel Engineer
BSc (Hons) Construction Engineering & Management
Taking place from 24th February – 2nd March 2018, Engineers Week is a festival of nationwide events celebrating the world of engineering in Ireland. The annual event is coordinated on a national basis by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme -funded under Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover programme Call.
In participation of Engineers Week, we are exploring the exciting world of engineering at Keystone, as well as highlighting the diverse career opportunities engineering offers. Next up in our blog series is Lintel Engineer Cahan Moran.
How did you get into engineering?
From a young age I was out working with my father on building sites during my school summer holidays. I was gaining basic knowledge of residential housing construction, which triggered an interest in working within the construction industry as a career.
Initially, I was unsure what road I wanted to go down within the industry so I opted to study in a more generic and all-rounded construction course at university; Construction Engineering and Management.
The third year of my degree course was a placement year, during which I was placed at Keystone Lintels. I worked in the dispatch department and learnt a lot in what felt like a short year of work.
When I graduated at the end of my 4th year in university I got a call from the Technical office manager within Keystone and started back at with Keystone immediately.
I must have made a good impression during my placement year, and I was very happy to get a job so soon after graduating. The fact that I had already a foundation of knowledge within the company helped me hit the ground running.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
A day at work would involve many different tasks.
- Forming quotes to send to builders, architects and engineers. The Builder will send in plans which I read, identify the lintels I can supply and then send the builder back a quote for the lintels required. When the drawings that have been sent in are incomplete or lack detail I will phone the builder to find out the unknown details. This is the designing part of the job, where we then work out the loads on the lintels and specify the lintel type required accordingly.
- Placing orders. Another task involved is recording orders that come in via email or phone calls, making sure that all information is included on the order; delivery date, delivery address, lintel type and quantity, lintel price, lintel weight, builder’s name and contact number in case our delivery driver needs to get directions to site. I then form production drawings for orders that have special lintels on them; such as arches, corner lintels or bay lintels. This drawing will then be used by production to manufacture the lintel.
- Answering phone calls from customers. Many customers phone in throughout the day. Some are looking for lintel prices over the phone, delivery dates, certification of lintels they have received, changes to quotes they have received, items to add on, take off or edit and so on.
- Forming confirmation drawings for orders. For the more complicated lintels, I send out confirmation drawings to builders for them to look at and confirm that they are happy with the lintel solution proposed. This will ensure that the builder knows exactly what he is getting from me. The purpose of this is to eliminate mistakes or miscommunication between the builder and myself.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favourite part of the job is the practical aspect of the role, forming solutions to problems for builders and seeing those solutions work on site, which gives me that sense of achievement.
I also enjoy the design stage of the process, making sure that all areas and eventualities are covered and ensuring that the design will withstand all forces acting upon the structure or lintel.
I enjoy the great variation in jobs and building types, which means that the design and production work is always fresh and new to me.
As an engineer I am always learning and adapting to find lintel solutions for different scenarios on site.
Any advice for aspiring engineers?
My advice would be to be prepared for a learning curve, we are by no means the finished article when we graduate from university. Many would say the learning only begins when we leave.
Communication and listening skills are very important when working in an engineering firm, and it would be a good idea to work on these skills throughout your education.
The margin for error is so small in the construction industry and learning to work at a good pace, getting through as much work as possible, yet at the same time ensuring that you are making no mistakes is the real challenge for any engineer.