MJ Malone
BE in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering MJ Malone, pictured in the Lonsdale Building at University of Limerick
Tuesday, 16 January 2024

MJ Malone from Doonbeg, in Co Clare, graduated from the Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering programme at University of Limerick in 2023. Now an Associate Project Engineer with Regeneron in Limerick, we caught up with MJ to ask him about his time in UL and for any advice he might have for students considering their career pathway after the Leaving Certificate.


Why did you choose to come to the University of Limerick to study?

I decided to come to UL for many reasons, but looking back on it now I can say the main ones were that the university has a great reputation and an extremely high graduate employment rate. Graduating from the University of Limerick makes you a sought-after candidate. This makes getting jobs with competitive salaries and huge developmental potential a reality.

I was also attracted to the University for its facilities for academic and non-academic activities which are excellent. UL is always a hive of activity meaning there is a great social life with lots to participate in regardless of your interest or preferences. The location of UL was ideal for me as it was close to home and could easily be accessed by the motorway and public transport.


What interested you about the course?

Initially what caught my attention was the fact that the course combined my two main interests, science and engineering. Once I started researching the course, I realised there would be a lot of job opportunities when I graduated, and that sparked my interest.


Which modules do you enjoy most?

The course is an intensive course that does require hard work and commitment, but as I’ve said before in the end rewards are phenomenal as you have a degree which allows you to work anywhere on this planet, which is impressive by any standards. The modules I liked the most were the ones related to Process Safety. I have a keen interest in this area, so the modules were extremely enjoyable. Other modules dealing with unit design, process optimization and sustainability were also fascinating. 


What did you enjoy most about the course and what opportunities has it presented you with?

The thing I enjoyed most about the course were the friendships I made along the way; the BE in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering is relatively small in comparison to other courses so you really do make friends for life as you progress through the course. Another aspect of the course I found enjoyable was the use of software. The course uses various software packages that allow you to model and simulate processes, which I found very beneficial. During the year I got to part take in an interesting research project on Clean-In-Place technology which led to my colleague and I being awarded the MSD Research Project of the Year Award.


Where did you go on your Co-Operative Education Placement?

I was lucky enough to complete my Co-Op placement at Regeneron. While on placement I gained valuable industry experience which gave me a taste of what it’s like to work as an Engineer in the bio-pharmaceutical industry. Before the completion of co-op placement, I was offered a full-time role in Regeneron once I qualified. Returning to the company that I completed my co-op in was a huge opportunity for me to start my career with a big company like Regeneron.


What advice would you give to students considering their career pathway after the Leaving Certificate?

The Advice I’d give to school leavers is to look at all your options before you make your decision for after school. At the end of the day it's your life and your career, so make the choices which best suit you and you feel will make you happy.  A wise man once said to me “If you enjoy your work, you’ll never work a day in your life” and I have to admit it’s a true saying. Another small piece of advice I’d give is to push yourself. Right now you might think you are not able or it would be too difficult but with some confidence, self-belief, perseverance, and hard work everything is achievable.