My name is Brian Collins and I am the Managing Director of Collins Group Consulting Engineers. My company provides engineering consultancy services to clients. We work with everyone from small one-off clients to Irelands biggest contractors. Most of the work is with large contractors. Currently we are working with a client on ground breaking new construction technology which is currently being used in Ireland for the very first time. My current interests outside of work are mainly sport, Rugby in particular. Some of my favourite subjects in school were construction and physics. What I love about engineering is that no matter what your interests are you can find some branch of it that will interest you as it varies so much. You could go down practical routes or design routes.
In your opinion, what is the biggest myth about STEM careers?
I think when people think of STEM they think of people in white lab coats in a laboratory conducting experiments, where’s in reality STEM has many different factors and can be the complete opposite of sitting in a lab.
What has been the most surprising element of your job?
That it is not a typical office job. Every day is different, and you get a great mix up of time on site and in the office.
Do you get to work with any new technologies?
Currently I am working on a permanent formwork system which is the first time it is being used in Ireland.
Do you ever get to travel abroad for work?
My company works only within Ireland but there are many opportunities to work abroad with other companies or if you wished to move.
Is your current job, and the work of the wider team, making a difference in the world?
I feel all the work we do is changing the world as structures we build not only change the physical landscape but also provide amenities and services for people such as houses, hotels, roads, water supplies etc.
Do you feel that you fit the stereotypical description of a person in your role?
From what I have seen engineering has moved away from stereotypes. Engineers come from all backgrounds now.
If a young person told you that they would like to get into your role, what advice would you give them?
Engineering is a discipline that spans the globe and can take you anywhere. There is always a need for engineers both here in Ireland and abroad. Doing an engineering degree also opens up many doors in other fields such as planning and project management.
Did you complete any sort of placement or internship during your studies? If so, did it prepare you for what you do now?
There was optional paid placement during the summer months. I did this placement and feel it really helped me with what I do now. Not only do you get to put what you learn in to practice but you also make great contacts for the future and get great experience.
What television series are you currently watching?