Japanese firms tend not to believe in sending their staff to university – they feel that education during one’s career should be the responsibility of the company. So when Sean Dooley, now business development manager at special purpose printer Fujitsu Isotec in Dublin, wanted to do an MSc in manufacturing, he had to find the £7,000 course fee himself, although he was given time off.
‘I graduated 14 years ago and 3D CAD packages weren’t available then,’ says Dooley. He also found himself moving into areas of finance and industrial relations, for which he’d had no formal training.
‘Now in developing new products, I’ve got a broader understanding of cashflow and understand the payback in terms of overheads,’ says Dooley.
Manufacturing systems and simulation, management competence and new product design and innovation are part of the core disciplines in the IGDS programme at Queen’s University, Belfast.
‘The course is dedicated to engineers in whatever discipline they find themselves,’ says Malcolm Reid, course coordinator.