Bronagh O'Hanlon Campus to Career
Wednesday, 7 February 2024

Brónagh O’Hanlon from Wexford graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic & Computer Engineering from UL in 2023. Now working as a Graduate Software Systems Design Engineer in the Digital Healthcare group at Analog Devices, we caught up with her to ask her about the course, her student experience, and what advice she might have for people completing their Leaving Certificate. 

Why did you choose to study the BE in Electronic and Computer Engineering?

I studied physics, chemistry and higher-level math for my leaving certificate. These were my favourite subjects so a pathway to a science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) degree was always an attractive option. I had an interest in the electronics element of my physics course and I wanted to get an education in different software languages and improve my coding skills. UL’s degree was the perfect blend of software and hardware that I was looking for!

What did you enjoy most about the course?

The course is well laid out, and the modules build on each other year after year. It is intensive but rewarding. My favourite modules included Digital Signal Processing (DSP), and Power Electronics, & Embedded Systems. I have an interest in Electrical Energy, and modules such as Modern Electrical Power Systems helped me to understand how the national grid works, its challenges and future energy solutions.

I also enjoyed the hands-on experience that is built into the course in the form of electronic-based labs. The mix of theory and practical helped to develop a good in-depth understanding of topics. Being a UL Electronic and Computer Engineering (ECE) student presented me with many opportunities such as scholarship awards such as the Johnson and Johnson Women in STEM Award, and Analog Devices Elite Summer Scholarship. Along with networking opportunities with course directors and past graduates, which have been insightful and informative for my career.

What did you enjoy about UL during your time here?

I enjoyed my time as a student at the University. UL Student Life helps to provide a range of health, social, creative and diverse events and workshops to ensure the student body is integrated. They also help to echo the student's opinions and help make changes for the benefit of students. There are over 80 active clubs and societies, meaning there is something for everyone, whether this is a long-life sport or hobby – or something completely new!

Any volunteering involvement?

Over my four years at UL, I was involved in many different volunteering projects and positions. I was president of UL WiSTEM (Women in Science, Technology Energy & Maths), a UL college ambassador, and a Class Representative. Each of these volunteering roles helped me develop key soft skills that have benefited my professional and personal life, as well as making lifelong friends.

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

I completed my Co-Op with SensL Technologies in Cork. It was my first time working in a professional setting that was geared towards my career. I gained a wealth of knowledge. I learned how to present test results in a coherent and informative manner. I learned the technical background of the devices I was working with, which gave me context to certain tests I was assigned to develop and run. I gained mentors that helped me navigate my very early career. It was an overall positive experience that had a constructive effect on my studies.

What advice would you give to people completing their leaving certificate this year?

My advice to school leavers is to be open to new experiences, embrace challenges, and never stop learning. Your education is a journey, and every step along the way contributes to your growth. Believe in yourself, your capabilities are boundless. Don't let fear shackle your potential. Break free and discover the greatness within you!