Brendan shares his pride of working at ESB's first and iconic power station at Ardnacrusha in Co Clare, the importance of having people skills and being IT 'smart.'
Tell us about yourself?
I am a husband, father, and grandfather. A native of Limerick City, I have worked in the electrical engineering industry for 40 years with the last 20 of those years in various management roles. I am involved in charity work and always try to help out whenever I can.
How long have you worked in this role?
I was appointed plant manager of Ardnacrusha power station in November 2021 and I am enjoying every minute of it.
What is your average working day like?
I start work around 7am after which I go through the admin side of my role and check work portals including the Smart Grid dashboard.
I complete a daily site walkabout, assess any ongoing works and have important safety conversations with the individual teams. As well as tours during the summer, we regularly host dignitaries and others on site so all such activity must be planned and managed effectively as it is a live generation site.
Safety, compliance, and power generation are the three deliverables of my role and this involves managing processes, systems and reviews to ensure the site runs efficiently and in line with all regulation.
I have daily and weekly meetings with all teams including operations, finance and procurement. I also dedicate at least 15 minutes a day, where possible, to self-learning and try to watch as many of the health and wellbeing videos that ESB provides. I try to eat healthily, hydrate, and walk around for at least five minutes in every hour and get some fresh air which helps me to think and reflect a little better.
How does your role align with ESB’s Net Zero strategy and values?
It aligns perfectly with my current role, it’s a wonderful vision to be a part of. Hopefully I will make a difference for the people who visit this wonderful station and enjoy its historical significance and what it has done and continues to do in ensuring we deliver ESB’s Net Zero 2040 strategy.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Work is never ending so don’t stress yourself out about it, talk to your manager instead. I’d tell myself to listen twice as much as I speak, I have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Study and work hard. Ignore the naysayers and try to surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious. “Those who bring sunshine to others cannot keep it from themselves.” Be more empathetic.
For people who want to join your field of work, what three things should they know?
First, when it comes to engineering, try to learn, and understand as much as you can about all the different disciplines; but only specialise in one. Secondly, be ‘IT smart’ and have the necessary skills to work with the latest Microsoft Office packages. Be digitally savvy and know how to work with media apps on your smart devices. Finally, people skills and continuous learning are vital in any career choice and must be practiced and lived every day.