While growing up in Dublin, I was always interested in science and math. I earned a mechanical engineering degree at University College Dublin. Like most people in my program, I had to emigrate to find work. There was a 20% unemployment rate in Ireland at the time, and I was sponsored to leave Ireland to work in the U.S. for a few years. The Irish government’s goal was to send graduate engineers and scientists abroad for training, hoping that many would return to fuel the Irish economy. This plan led to the “Celtic Tiger,” the Irish economic boom of the 1990s. I left and have been here ever since.
My first job was at a syringe manufacturer in Connecticut, and it was there that I learned that small changes can have a big impact on the lives of patients. We were producing small syringes used mainly by diabetic patients—we produced 15 million of these syringes a week—and I saw how fine variations in the needle point design could reduce the discomfort of daily injections. During the HIV crisis we developed safety syringes with retractable needles to avoid unintended needle sticks. I learned even the simplest of medical devices can have a huge impact on patient safety and quality of life.
From syringe manufacturing, I went on to work on devices for interventional cardiology, once again seeing how a discipline like mechanical engineering can change patients’ lives for the better. These jobs showed me that I am fundamentally inspired to work with, or on behalf of, patients. I gained a lot of experience over many years, seeing different parts of large organizations, from product development and project management, all the way to corporate quality positions. But I found that as my career continued, I was getting further and further away from what inspired me the most.
When I met Andrew, Tyler and Rose, believe it or not, they talked to me about Lyndra on and off over the course of one-and-a-half years. I realized this opportunity would bring me back to product development in a meaningful way. I was “sold” when I met Amy. She’s just one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever come across. For me, Lyndra’s technology was the hook. But it’s the people that landed me.
I know I’m using the word “inspiring” a lot, but it sums up the entirety of this company. What we’re doing here at Lyndra can change the world, improving healthcare outcomes by changing the way people take their medicine rather than trying to change people’s behaviors. This Lyndra team continues to innovate daily, finding solutions to complex problems and allowing us to move forward. Everyone here is striving to achieve something unique, something that other groups have tried and failed to achieve over the last 30 years. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is. From working with patients early on in my career, I now feel like I’ve come full circle, back to what I enjoy doing the most, and I am so grateful to be here.