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Operations Supervisor, Abbvie

Matthew Kavanagh

Job title
Operations Supervisor
Medical Device Manufacturing
  1. Honours degree in Biomedical Engineering from NUIG
Favourite subjects in school
Maths , Physics and Biology
The best thing about my job
I enjoy the people aspect of my job, working closely with the team and seeing that the product we make in our department will go on to help patient’s lives.

Do the research in the course you plan on studying. Investigate the subjects you will be taught and if they sound interesting. Also if at all possible try getting exposure in the industry, weather that’s work experience, day trips, school tours etc.

The transferable skills taught to engineers are highly sought after for all kinds of industries all around the world. The natural ability to problem solve and think systemically will benefit you in your career regardless of your area of expertise.

My Main Tasks

My main tasks are achieving output, quality and service targets within agreed cost parameters. I provide leadership direction to my team on problem solving and process improvements. I address any potential obstacles, provide resources and interact with other areas of the company to assist the team in overcoming problems and streamlining the work process. Continuous improvement is a large focus of my job. As a supervisor there is also a large focus on the people aspect of my job, interacting with the department and ensuring they are listened to, valued and set achievable targets for them.


As it is the manufacturing industry I work across all shifts and potentially weekends. This can have its own challenges but a small price to pay to be part of such a creative and successful team.

Who Influenced me

My teachers in maths, physics and biology as well my mentor in my first engineering job had a huge impact on the career direction I chose. These people, along with my parents, allowed me to see the huge potential within the engineering discipline. Thanks to these people they showed me that the science and engineering industry is so incredibly varied, complex and fulfilling. Whatever your skillset or interests there is a perfect position for you.

Work/Life Balance

Generally yes! I am lucky to be in a flexible job that allows for an active and busy lifestyle, however, I do often work night shift which has drawbacks, as well as its perks!

Most Useful Aspects of my Education

Project management has proven particularly useful, as well as basic engineering principles. These basic principles are transferable to a huge range of projects, roles and assignments that I complete day to day.

Useful Work Experience

For a supervisor position I recommend manufacturing experience of any kind. This will give you a flavour for the industry and all the different departments that go into making a product.

Top Tips!

If you’re not sure ASK!! This goes for all education and career aspects. The inquisitive nature of scientists and engineers is what drives the industry, and ultimately technology, forward. By understanding we can learn, develop and grow. So don’t be afraid to ask questions, throughout your education, career and life.