Meet the Team – Fiona Chung, SL Controls Validation Engineer

Meet the Team – Fiona Chung, SL Controls Validation Engineer

What do you do at SL Controls?

I am a validation engineer. I work with clients to ensure their manufacturing systems are compliant with industry-specific standards and regulations.

Describe your job without using the words engineer or engineering.

My role is to plan, create, and execute tests that check if a company’s manufacturing system produces products that meet performance and quality standards, and industry-related regulations.

What made you want to build your career in engineering?

I started off as a laboratory analyst. It was a great area to be in, but it didn’t offer me the variety of experience I was looking for.

I get bored easily once I’ve understood a concept, so I need to be frequently challenged, either by learning something new, finding new ways to apply learned concepts, or taking on more difficult tasks. This is where engineering is a good fit for me because there’s always something new to learn and new puzzles to solve.

I find engineering to be one of the most dynamic roles to be working in as new innovations are being introduced every day.

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

As mentioned earlier, engineering to me is full of puzzles and there’s so much satisfaction when you finally get that click. The click of ‘Oh. I understand it, that’s how it works, I’ve solved a puzzle!’ That ‘ah-ha’ feeling is very addictive.

What was your first day working at SL Controls like?

I started during Covid-19 when we were all still in the midst of pandemic-induced isolation. Norma, from our HR team, gave me an induction and although we could only interact via an MS Teams video call, I felt welcomed immediately. Norma was very organised with the induction but also very personable, warm, and good craic.

My manager, Alan Loughlin, also made me feel welcomed on my first day. We got straight into the good stuff – CSV projects that I would be working on! There wasn’t a long lag period of training, set-up on platforms, or waiting for access to systems. I got the chance to look at a project’s requirements and deliverables on the first day which made me feel like the company trusted my abilities from the beginning.

Previous companies I’ve worked for make you wait a long time until they give you anything substantial to do. This can make you feel like you’re being sussed out first, and that can make you feel more like a commodity than a real person. My first day at SL Controls was far from that.

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

Yes, I always feel like a real person working at SL Controls. You’re not just some staff number or some tool the company uses to make money.

Of course, as a business, the company needs to make money, but they don’t do it at the expense of an individual’s needs, interests, time, or health. They’ve been financially transparent and do share the wealth with everyone in the company. I don’t feel like I’m being taken advantage of, it’s quite a people-orientated company.

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

I’d give the same advice a colleague gave me when I was first interested “Apply, and just be yourself”.