National Engineers Week takes place this year from February 27th until March 5th. The week-long festival of nationwide events, of which Intel is a proud supporter, celebrates the world of engineering. 63% of all Intel employees are engineers and to coincide with Engineers Week, Intel Ireland will share our #HowIBecameanEngineer series. The series shares an insight into the many different and diverse pathways that can lead to a career in engineering. Next up in the series is Ergonomics Engineer Bridget Masterson, who shares an insight into how she became an engineer.
Can you share a brief description of what your job at Intel involves?
My role is hugely varied. I meet people face to face and virtually for injury reviews and risk assessments. One big challenge is working from home and ensuring employees have what they need to work from home safely. I try to ensure a variety of equipment for our employees so they can choose what best suits their personal circumstances. We have an Ergonomics and Human Factors Hub onsite where our team perform mathematical biomechanical modelling, host ergonomic equipment and hopefully, in the future, can use it for face to face training. I risk assess all sorts of tasks – from lifting, to scrubbing to some very challenging awkward postures in tight spaces. Technological advancements, such as augmented reality and smart software, allows me to do my job much more efficiently. There is always something new to learn and to try.
Can you share some details about your academic studies?
I have a B.A in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin. I have always been interested in why people do what they do and this was a great foundation into human behaviour. I then pursued a Masters in Ergonomics and Safety Engineering at the University of Limerick which gave me a strong engineering focus. Ergonomics and human factors is a synthesis of behaviours and engineering – a common explanation is that we ‘fit the task to the person’.
Did you have a practical work experience that led you to Intel?
At the start of my career, I worked as an Expert Witness in Forensic Engineering. Our firm prepared expert witness reports for employer liability claims and motor accidents. The documentation skillset and data and evidence required for Court cases, was great preparation for working at Intel.
Did you undertake part time work that influenced your career path?
As a student, I worked in Library and Information Services and I still retain that need to have state of the art scientific research and data.
Is there anything else unique about your pathway that you would like to share?
I completed a Development Opportunity assignment in 2011 with the Corporate Quality Network (CQN) group as a Usability Engineer. I had completed a course in Human Factors Engineering some years previously and was keen to practice those skills. DOTs are a great opportunity to expand your scope. I have been Treasurer of the Irish Human Factors and Ergonomics Society for a number of years. Establishing strong networks within these academic and industry circles allows me to continuously learn and share.
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