Karen´s Story

Karen Connolly Kingspan

Karen Connolly
R&D Project Engineer, IKON Ireland

" Kingspan means a lot, more than just job. It a very successful multi-national organisation, yet you are part of the team, part of the Kingspan family."

How long you have worked for Kingspan and what is your role?

I’ve worked for Kingspan since 2015, I joined straight after completing my Masters in Energy & Building Services at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown.

I work as a Project Engineer within our Research & Development department based out of our Innovation Hub, IKON in Kingscourt Co. Cavan. 

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I like how my job challenges me and requires a degree of problem solving. Given the nature of my role, I work on new and emerging technologies that are being launched into the market, which means I am constantly learning. Part of my role is to research renewable technologies, looking at new products to meet changing market needs. In recent years we have seen a massive focus on climate change and sustainability.

If you participated in the Yours to Shape Graduate Development Programme, can you tell me about that experience and what you enjoyed/appreciated most about it.

Yes, I was part of the first “Yours to Shape Graduate Development Programme” held in 2011. The graduate programme is a great way to meet colleagues from different departments and locations within Kingspan group that I may never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Throughout the year we got to travel to several locations in Europe where skills workshops were held on topics such as communication, presentation, people and project management. At the end of the programme, we got to present to senior management within Kingspan, which at the time was a very daunting experience so early in my career but as I look back now it was one of the highlights of the programme.  

What is the best career advice you’ve ever had?

It’s probably one of the most common pieces of advice that anyone receives but is one of the most important ones; do not be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions and having confidence in your own ability is key to a successful career in any industry.

Often in the construction industry there is a significant divide between male and female Engineers, however I have never been treated any differently to my male counter parts. Having a good work ethic and willingness to learn will stand you in good stead in any job.

Tell us about yourself, your interests, activities, achievements etc outside of work.

Outside of work my hobbies include playing football for my local GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) team, and hiking, with my most recent climb being Carrauntoohil – the highest mountain in Ireland… anything that involves being outdoors and being active really.

What three words would you use to describe Kingspan?

  • Leaders

  • Innovative

  • Supportive

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