This week we profile Luke Conneally, a project engineer at Crowley Carbon. A proud Galway man, Luke has a degree in renewable energy and electrical systems, as well as a master’s in energy systems engineering. In his spare time, he likes to play gaelic football for Glenamaddy, something he misses due to Covid-19 restrictions.
What does your job entail?
I work as a design and commissioning engineer with the Clarity™ team. We design and implement metering systems to monitor how much electricity, gas, air and water is being used by machines in factories. It is important to understand how well a piece of equipment is working and see if it is consuming a lot more energy when it is benchmarked against another. Our overall goal is to improve efficiency for clients, save electricity, reduce the amount of carbon being wasted and ultimately save them money.
Most plants also have a number of existing stand-alone data rich systems (SCADAs, BMS, EMS) dispersed across their site which don’t communicate with each other. We try to connect directly to these systems using standard methods and if this is not possible, we create unique solutions to integrate with these systems before bringing all this data into one intelligent, centralized system – Clarity™.
What do you enjoy most about working at Crowley Carbon?
It has changed in the last while. Historically I did a lot of travelling, which I loved, as I got to see so many new places. I’ve been to the US, Mexico, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK. On one work trip to the US, our flight from Colorado to San Francisco was cancelled so we drove. We got to see a lot of sites on that trip! I hadn’t done a great amount of travel before joining Crowley Carbon. It is one of the perks of the job. I have got to see places I never dreamt of going to.
Even though there isn’t much travelling anymore, the day-to-day job is quite similar, and I like that I am always learning. We are constantly presented with new and different challenges to figure out, be it a new meter or integration. I like starting a project, helping it all coming together and ultimately seeing savings being generated.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Time zones and language barriers. You could be dealing with people from Dubai, Sweden, Mexico and the US on the same day. There are a lot of different time zones you have to work with. Due to Covid, we have to oversee people doing installations remotely now. You might be able to do something with your eyes closed, but because we are working remotely you have to describe to someone else how to do it. This can be challenging when they don’t speak the same language as you.
What keeps you motivated and driven on a daily basis?
A love for what I do. I find the work very interesting. There are so many different projects. I like seeing I am making a difference both to the people on site/companies we work with and the environment. I believe we need to make change when it comes to our planet, which is why I am a big advocate for renewable energy.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a professional footballer. Growing up watching them and reading about them in magazines, I wanted to be one. Though it was an unrealistic goal for me. At school, a teacher told me about renewable energy and that piqued my interest. I went on to study renewable energy engineering in LIT and NUIG as a result.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Buy bitcoin. I wish I had bought that when it was a lot less expensive.
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