Our New Website Goes Live!
The new SL Controls website went live today. It features who we are, what we do, and the industries that we serve. You will also find information on Industry 4.0 and systems integration for manufacturers in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and technology industries, as well as details of our latest vacancies.
Check out our new website now at slcontrols.com.
Escaping The Office In A Whole New Way In Our Latest Social Event
Working remotely and living under lockdown restrictions has made it difficult to arrange social events in the workplace. Like many other companies, we have turned to virtual events here at SL Controls. We call these events Celebrating Wins Together, and the latest one was held at the weekend. It involved escaping the office.
The theme was based on the popular escape rooms concept but adapted for virtual participation. So, we all got comfy on our sofas with our devices to take part. The concept involved being summoned to an office only to find you can’t get out and are being framed for an art heist. The goal was to work in teams to escape the room before the police arrive so you can clear your name.
Shauna Ryan, HR Manager at SL Controls, said: “We had a great turnout at this virtual social event on Friday, plus this one was really different with the escape rooms’ theme. I don’t think any of us could have imagined taking part in events like this 18 months ago, but it was fun and entertaining and full of creativity. It is also great to spend time with colleagues outside the work environment, even if we’re not in the same room together.”
Members Of The SL Controls Team Take Part In Darkness Into Light 2021
As with so many things so far this year, 2021’s Darkness Into Light fundraising and awareness event had to be very different because of rules on travel and social distancing. That didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of members of the SL Controls team who took part on Saturday morning.
In normal years, people would gather at sunrise to walk 5km together. This year, everyone involved headed out on their own or with people in their household to walk, bike, run, or swim while the sun rose on 8 May.
Several members of the SL Controls team took part, with SL Controls matching the registration fees paid by employees in a donation to Pieta.
Deirdre Loughlin, Quality and Marketing Executive at SL Controls, took part in this year’s event. She said: “SL Controls has been a strong supporter of Darkness Into Light for many years now, so we felt it was important to maintain that support, even though 2021 is a very different year. While we couldn’t come together to take part, it was still great to see so many colleagues getting involved, helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds for this very important issue.”
National Workplace Wellbeing Day 2021 At SL Controls
National Workplace Wellbeing Day takes place on Friday, 30 April, and to celebrate we have a week of activities and initiatives planned to promote health and wellbeing at SL Controls. Those activities and initiatives are part of our Live Well at SL and Think Well at SL programmes.
This Friday will be the seventh annual National Workplace Wellbeing Day. It’s an IBEC initiative that aims to focus on social, physical, and mental wellbeing in Irish workplaces.
At SL Controls, our employees can get involved in various ways:
- Digital gym – a digital gym glass schedule for the week has been made available to employees with both live and on-demand fitness classes. Employees take part in a range of classes including Combat Fitness, Pilates, HIIT, Mindfulness and Yoga. Classes take place morning, lunchtime & evening.
- Daily walks – employees are being encouraged to take morning, lunchtime, or after-work walks. Challenges are being set throughout the week for walks and other areas of wellbeing.
- Healthy eating – employees are being encouraged to eat fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables throughout the week.
- Laya events – employees have access to Laya events taking place on Friday, including a high-intensity interval training session as well as a session titled 5 Ways to Maximise Your Health & Potential.
- 5 tips a day – we’ll share five tips a day throughout the week on physical, mental, and social wellbeing.
- Virtual canteen – our virtual canteen will be open every day for employees to chat and have a cuppa with colleagues.
Norma Mulligan, HR Generalist at SL Controls, said: “Workplace physical and mental wellbeing are important priorities here at SL Controls. We also place significant importance on social wellbeing in the workplace, although that has been hard to achieve during the pandemic. We are working remotely, and all our social events for over a year now have been virtual, making Workplace Wellbeing Day 2021 even more significant.
“The activities and initiatives we have put together are designed to be fun but to also have that important message of looking after your mental, physical, and social health in the workplace.”
Easter Virtual Family Fun At SL Controls
At Easter, we normally run fun activities for our employees and their families to take part in. This year is a bit different as we are in lockdown, but we haven’t let that stop us. Instead, we made our Easter activities virtual!
We had a “How many Eggs in the Jar” competition. There were 294 eggs in the jar and Fergal Quinn got the closest with a brilliant guess of 289!
We also ran an Easter Art competition with three kid’s hampers as prizes. Our employee’s children, nieces, nephews, etc were all invited to take part. The entries were amazing, some of which you can see below.
We also gave details of Laya’s Supertroopers Easter Treasure Hunt with Ireland rugby player Johnny Sexton. It took place on Easter Sunday and many of our employees and their families got involved.
Press Release: SL Controls Announces Former PM Group CEO Pat McGrath As Its New Chairman
SL Controls Also Names John Scanlan As New Director Of Corporate Services
SL Controls, the specialist software integration firm, has announced former PM Group CEO Pat McGrath as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of its Board.
It is also announcing the appointment of John Scanlan as its new Director of Corporate Services.
The announcement comes after SL Controls recently announced it would be creating 50 new highly-skilled jobs over the next 18 months.
SL Controls is an international provider of equipment system integrated solutions to a range of world-leading brands across a number of industries including MedTech, Pharma, Healthcare and Technology. Many of the new hires will be engineers.
As a Chartered Engineer himself and having worked for PM Group for 40 years, SL Controls Chairman Pat McGrath has extensive experience in the sectors covered by the company. He was CEO of PM Group for almost 12 years and remained as a Non-Executive Director for three further years, leaving in 2014.
Some of Pat’s specialities lie in the fields of Strategic Management, Corporate Governance, Engineering, Project Management and International Business Development. Pat is also a Chartered Director (IoD).
As Director of Corporate Services, John Scanlan will play a key role in SL Controls’ delivery of total solutions from equipment systems integration to data driven insights to help customers transform their operations.
John’s experience spans across a range of disciplines and industries and, over the past five years, he has specialised in service and market development strategy for cloud technology, artificial intelligence and Industry 4.0.
SL Controls Chairman Pat McGrath says:
“I am delighted to join the board of SL Controls and look forward to working with the company as it goes through this growth phase; it is exciting to be part of that journey with them. SL Controls has already put itself into a great position with an excellent team and strong systems and procedures across the organisation. Now, with a formal board and a robust development plan to bring us to 2023, the company is really ready to scale. The company has already exceeded all targets for 2020 and is working in a sector that is seeing unprecedented growth.
“I hope to bring good corporate governance at board level as well as applying my knowledge of international business development and the multinational sector. I am personally very passionate about CPD and am very pleased that SL Controls has a strong commitment to supporting its team to continuously upskill.”
SL Controls Director of Corporate Services John Scanlan says:
“SL Controls operates at the leading edge of manufacturing systems internationally. The company has also developed turnkey control to cloud solutions for intelligent manufacturing and provides a range of innovative services. I look forward to working with my colleagues to truly deliver the benefits of our total integration expertise and real value from data in the cloud to our customers.”
SL Controls CEO Keith Moran says:
“We are delighted to welcome both Pat and John to the SL Controls team. Both have extensive experience in strategy development and implementation and these will be key skills in assisting the company in its continued growth. I look forward to working with both Pat and John and am excited to see what we can all achieve together.”
Choose to Challenge in Engineering – the Perspective of Female Engineers on International Women’s Day 2021
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge – challenging gender bias and inequality and choosing to celebrate the achievements of women. We decided to look at that topic from the perspective of some of the women who work for us at SL Controls. Specifically, two women who chose to challenge the gender stereotypes that still exist in too many aspects of engineering.
Saoirse and Blessing are both recent graduates and have been working for us for a while now on various projects. Therefore, they have direct, recent experience of studying engineering as a woman and then starting their careers.
Studying Engineering as a Women
Saoirse Kearse is a Software Quality Engineer at SL Controls. She said: “In the last years in secondary school, I knew what I wanted to do because I’d done maths, applied maths, physics, and chemistry in my Leaving Cert.
“I went on to study electronics and computer engineering at NUIG. There were 60 people in that class, and only four of us were women. That is a big gender imbalance, but I received plenty of support and encouragement.”
Unfortunately, that experience is not universal. Blessing Nwachukwu, a Systems Engineer at SL Controls, obtained her bachelor’s degree in Romania. She is originally from Nigeria and received a scholarship to study at the Romanian university where the focus was marine engineering.
“In secondary school, I enjoyed chemistry, physics, and especially maths,” Blessing said. “I considered going into medicine but then decided that engineering was what I really wanted to do. I then won the scholarship to study electromechanical engineering.
“My experience studying for my bachelor’s degree was challenging, as women were typically moved into studying navigation. That’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to be an engineer. So, myself and another lady fought to get onto the engineering course.”
Blessing’s experience in Ireland as she studied a master’s in mechatronics at UL was substantially more positive in terms of attitude and support.
However, the gender balance in terms of class makeup was still weighted heavily towards males, something that most in the educational and engineering sectors believe must change as soon as possible.
Working as a Female Engineer
What about the experience after you leave college, getting a job and starting your career? Both Saoirse and Blessing joined SL Controls as graduates. Blessing explained that she has experienced support from day one, despite engineering currently being a male-dominated profession.
She said: “From the first conversation I had with management in SL Controls, they recognised my ambition and aspirations to move into project management. It is an environment where everyone wants you to discover your potential, male or female. I am enjoying my growth and believe this experience is laying a good foundation for my career.”
Saoirse said: “From my experience working with the SL Controls team and out on client sites, it is never an issue that you are a girl. Some of the projects I have been working on have been with international pharmaceutical companies, and I’ve never had the experience of you can’t do this because you are female.”
Choose to Challenge in Engineering
What messages do Saoirse and Blessing have for girls in secondary school and young women considering their future careers?
Saoirse said: “I think if it is something they want to do, they should go for it and try it. There were only four girls in my college class out of 60, but I know that more girls were starting to apply in the years after I started.
“The stereotype of engineering being for men is gone. This is not a male-only industry.“I find a lot of encouragement and support, not because I am female, but because I want to succeed, I always put myself out there for roles, and I want to learn and develop.”
Blessing has a similar message. “For young females, the sky should be your starting point, not your limit,” she said. “You might meet barriers as I did in Romania, but once you make up your mind, you need to stand your ground.
“You don’t need to act like a man. You need to have a passion for engineering. You need to have a purpose. I am thankful I am an engineer. This is my purpose; it is what I know best. You have to find out what that is for you, and you have to pursue it, not allowing anything to stop you along the way. When you do, it is very rewarding.”