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Nuala McGlynn

National Diploma in Engineering in Civil Engineering Materials

Join an International Society event at ATU Donegal and you’ll find yourself mingling with students from over 30 countries. Our extended family of graduates keep in touch with us from locations all around the globe too. After falling in love with civil engineering at ATU Donegal, for instance, Nuala McGlynn is now based in Singapore and working throughout South East Asia.

NualaHaving cut her teeth on the Athletes Village at the London Olympics, Nuala pressed all the right buttons when she was chosen to work on Singapore’s spectacular 58,000-seater National Stadium as a Deputy Production Manager.

Going out to Singapore in 2011, when the recession was impacting on the quality of construction projects in the UK and Ireland, Nuala found a very different scene. “Thanks to its booming economy Singapore is an engineer’s dream with so many great projects happening,” Nuala says. “There is so much scope for interesting work and this was an incredible opportunity.
Project Manager for one quarter of the stadium, Nuala was involved from the start of the three-year project, overseeing every aspect of construction from piling to installing M&E items like escalators and lifts. One of the many innovative features was the installation of a solar air conditioning plant in the open-air stadium. This groundbreaking technology involved building a watertight tank filled with plastic balls that contained a chemical which, when filtered with water, emits cool air. Clearly Nuala impressed, as she is now working for the company that powers the plant!

Nuala, who loves the lifestyle in Singapore, attributes a lot of her success to the solid foundations she gained at ATU Donegal. “I think the most important part was the practical hands-on knowledge I experienced doing my Higher Certificate and Diploma at ATU Donegal,” she says. “When I went on to take my honours degree in Scotland, I found that students from institutes of technology had a much better understanding of the practical side of civil engineering than the university students.”

That understanding has helped her right the way through her career. “It means you are completely comfortable when you walk out on to a site,” she says. “You know all about the materials, where they came from and what to do with them. I ended up being a project manager, where practical knowledge is crucial. I know what I am putting into the ground.”
As far as she has travelled, Nuala hasn’t forgotten home or the college that helped her translate her love of drawing into a flourishing career.

“When I got my chartership with the Institution of Civil Engineers,” she says, “I emailed my old lecturers from ATU Donegal and told them,‘I achieved this because of you’.”