Seán is a Senior Mechanical Engineer based in Dublin, Ireland. He joined AWS in May, 2018.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Seán: I started life as a structural engineer but somehow accidentally ended up interviewing at a building services company. I was excited by the variety of the work they did compared to structural engineering, and worked on large commercial office projects in London including Bloomberg Place, which won the Stirling Award. Having moved back to Ireland, I drifted towards the more technical, mission-critical type of projects. After four years of designing data centres as a consultant, I got the opportunity to move to AWS to get closer to the action.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Seán: I design mechanical systems which support our data centres. This includes air handling and cooling plant, water systems and diesel systems supporting the generators. My work involves delivering the designs for projects in new and existing regions ensuring global consistency and reliability for our Construction and Operations teams.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Seán: From a technical point of view, the ability to break down complex problems to first principles engineering allows me to identify the important aspects of any design problem. Strong communication skills are essential to speak to a varied audience of technical and non-technical team members and stakeholders to ensure important points are conveyed to the correct audience.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Seán: I’ve learned to better understand my audience. Previously, I would have presented mainly to a technical audience. Over my time at AWS, I’ve worked to understand the reason certain teams will use the information I’m providing and tailored my work to give them a better understanding.
HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Seán: Our designs work to minimise the power and water footprints. I have worked with the Energy team on heat recovery and water reuse projects to provide a sustainable resource for local communities.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Seán: Innovating. I love breaking down challenges to allow us to deliver faster, cheaper and more resilient designs for our customers.
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Seán: Everyone at AWS is at the top of their game. Different perspectives lead to better design, so it is great to get to know as many people as possible as you’ll know where to go when you run into specific challenges.
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Seán: Roller Coaster Ride.
HereAtAWS: Is there anything else you would like to add about your personal journey?
Seán: Working at AWS has allowed me to work with diverse teams in countries I never would have visited if not for the projects I’ve been involved in. These experiences have helped me grow technically as an engineer but also given me the chance to explore places I would otherwise not have had the chance to visit.