What do you do at SL Controls?
I am a Validation Engineer. I work alongside the software engineers at SL Controls on many different client software implementations and solutions.
As a Validation Engineer, I provide quality assurance and technical expertise. My role is to make sure the implementations and solutions that we develop at SL Controls are compliant with pharma industry-specific regulations.
In practical terms, I work on a team that provides documentation for the software engineers then we verify what they do.
Describe your job without using the words engineer or engineering.
My job is to create and review documents as part of the quality assurance process. The objective is to ensure software installations meet all regulations that apply to the pharmaceutical industry and our client’s requirements.
As a daily tool, I use a specific paperless program provided by the client as a portal for the creation and review of project documents, such as DDS (drug delivery system), FS (functional specification), and RTM (requirements traceability matrix).
What made you want to build your career in engineering?
I started as an architect but within six months in my first role, I found the job didn’t involve any physical interaction with products or services. I understood immediately that this was not what I wanted to do. So, I decided to return to college and start over with a post-graduate degree in mechanical engineering.
As an engineer, we can see things happen. We start with drawings before quickly moving on to manufacturing or building. In architecture, similar processes take a long time. The fact that engineering happens faster suits my personality more, so it was the biggest thing I wanted to change.
I was in Portugal at the time and when a job opportunity came up to work as a Validation Engineer in a manufacturing company, I immediately decide to go for it. Validation engineering is an area where I get to increase my knowledge on a daily basis, and I’m always looking for new solutions.
What is it about engineering that gives you the most satisfaction or that you are proudest of?
Clients with manufacturing sites are always looking to improve their production outcomes. They are looking for equipment upgrades and they are even replacing equipment for new and more capable models.
This means I need to improve all the time. At SL Controls, we continually look to increase our skillset so we can answer this demand for technological advancement.
We need to think about the project and the problem we need to solve, and we have to study to find a solution. That is the best thing about being an engineer – the strong industry demand for learning. We don’t stand still.
What was your first day working at SL Controls like?
My first day was during the pandemic, so I started working for SL Controls from my home country, Portugal. On the first day, I spoke with Norma and Shauna. Both were really friendly and welcoming, and they helped make our life easier moving to a new country. They still help with this.
We moved to Ireland in the middle of August 2021 and settled in Limerick. I wanted a new experience and I got this by moving to a new country. Ireland is a growth country and a good country to live in with really friendly people. It is a beautiful country too.
Is there anything about SL Controls that makes it stand out from working at other companies?
Sure. All the people are very warm and ready to support any professional questions I may have. The company looks after its people too. This is the opposite of what I experienced in my last job where we were treated like numbers. In SL Controls, people take care of each other. We are not just numbers.
What advice would you give to people interested in joining SL Controls?
My direct experience is moving from another country to work in Ireland for SL Controls, and it was a positive experience. So, I would tell people to apply as the company will give you a really good start in Ireland. And like I said previously, we are not just numbers doing a shift in SL Controls. We are treated like people.