MEET THE TEAM - Declan Costello

Meet the Team – Declan Costello, SL Controls Project Manager

What do you do at SL Controls?

I’m now a Project Manager working with local and international clients to ensure the smooth rollout of projects across sites in Europe and the US.

This means having to reign in the different parties involved in the project, hosting multi-functional calls, and managing the different areas of expertise. Rightly, all stakeholders in the project want to fight for their corner, but everybody needs to get their job done to complete the project.

The reality is you can’t complete every process in a project immediately. I need to manage that and ensure everyone involved understands the process flow. For example, we can’t test a product until we have every facility installed, tested, and signed off – there is a flow to the process.

Describe your job without using the words engineer or engineering.

My job is to achieve project success, so I am involved in every stage of the process. This starts at the initial project scoping stage right to the final closeout of the handover meeting to the customer.

I assist in managing the communication process and I give technical input to everyone involved to ensure all requirements are met and we achieve the initial scope of the project.

What made you want to build your career in engineering?

I am from a farming background, so from an early age, I was always working on some sort of breakdown on a machine or piece of equipment.

I attended Dundalk & Athlone RTC before my degree where I then got into high volume inkjet manufacturing. This role involved the maintenance of highly technical equipment in a fast-moving and rapidly developing industry. It required me to work on the latest technology and deliver manufacturing solutions across the world.

I am still involved in providing technical input to projects as part of my Project Management role.

What is it about engineering that gives you the most satisfaction or that you are proudest of?

Engineering innovation and development never stop, so it is a great segment to be in and see where it will lead us. It affects all areas of our lives in different ways and is constantly evolving to the needs of our times.

Even the pandemic has us all now using technology differently than we were before, including to continue delivering on our work responsibilities.

A project I worked on during the Covid-19 lockdown period is a good example. It involved the installation of new lines for an international client, as well as the upgrading of existing lines. It was a challenge for all involved, but we completed it successfully.

What was your first day working at SL Controls like?

My first day was a long introduction to all policies and general aspects of SL Controls and the way the company functions. The HR team was excellent in delivering the induction and made the experience a fun and enjoyable process.

As this was back in January 2017, it was very different from the current world situation, so it was a personal process that was great. I also got to meet a lot of other employees that day and all are still involved in SL Controls.

Is there anything about SL Controls that makes it stand out from working at other companies?

SL Controls let you get on and just do your job. If additional assistance is required, you just reach out for it and the support will be there.

I have been on contract for five years with a multinational company, and once you get the project progressing successfully, they leave you to manage it with the vendor. Constant feedback is provided to SL Controls, the vendor, and me personally to ensure all parts are working to the required goal.

What advice would you give to people interested in joining SL Controls?

SL Controls is developing to meet new challenges in the industry. This means there are many opportunities to join what is a fast-moving environment – opportunities in engineering and management.

You can also develop your career to enhance your prospects and move with the times. There is a referral scheme in place, too, that makes the onboarding process as easy as possible.