Make a difference with Mannok
– Help us achieve our net zero goal
– Work with cutting edge technology
– Join internationally collaborative projects
– Work on emerging renewable technologies
– Join a team of leading experts to develop innovative
With ambitious plans to develop innovative, industry leading technology, working with Mannok gives Engineers a wide range of opportunities to work with international teams on cutting edge, environmentally led projects, including potentially world first renewable solutions.
We are seeking Engineers with a range of experience levels, from graduate Engineers to those with valuable industry experience, to join our Engineering Hub to help us lead the way in changing the carbon intensive nature of cement manufacturing to create a clean, green business powered almost completely by renewable technologies.
As a Mannok Engineer, you will have the opportunity to work with some of the most innovative emerging technologies to decarbonise our cement production. A series of key internationally collaborative projects are already underway, focusing on:
Fossil fuel displacement
Carbon capture and use
Green hydrogen adoption
Accelerated carbonation technology
Alternative raw materials
Paul joined our Cement division over 22 years ago as a graduate Mechanical Engineer with a Master’s degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering. After joining the company, Paul progressed very quickly to a managerial engineering position and now, as one of our most experienced engineers, he is leading the huge challenge we have upon us to decarbonise our Cement facility, which includes nine key projects that are already underway to reduce our CO2 emissions by 33% by 2030.
We have spoken to Paul to find out more about him and what it’s like to be an engineer in our Cement plant.
When I was in college, I applied for one of the graduate engineering positions at the company through the recruitment opportunities offered via my college. There were positions in Cement or Glass and as part of the process we were taken on a tour of the Glass Plant initially and then Cement. After the tour of the cement plant my choice was made. Incidentally I was offered a job at a different company on the same day I was offered a role at this company, but my mind had been made up after the tour of Cement.
I started in a graduate role in September 2000. I progressed from that to a management role and on to an Engineering Manager role. Over the years my Engineering Manager role developed further, taking on more responsibility with each variation of the role. This year, I have been given the opportunity to take up a new challenge to lead the decarbonisation and sustainability of the Cement plant.
Decarbonisation and sustainability are a huge challenge, not just for me but for the business as a whole. While I was aware of the whole decarbonisation discussion, it was very much in the background of my previous role. However, when you can focus on it, it becomes clear how big of a task this is, not just for us but for every industry worldwide. Already we have been introduced and exposed to many different people and technologies, all working towards industrial decarbonisation. The priority for us at the moment is to maximise our alternative fuels and source alternative forms of energy. Following on from that we have major commitments to reduce our CO2 emissions by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050. To help us achieve this, we have a few projects at contractual/ order stage and several in planning.
I have been involved in every major shutdown, breakdown and the majority of CapEx projects in Cement. Each one was different and each one had its own significant challenges. For me the one that stands out is the gearbox failure in the raw mill main gearbox in June’21. We had been monitoring an issue for a while and we had plans and preparations in place in the eventuality of a failure. However, you never know how it’s going to go until you are actually dealing with it. When the gearbox failed, it failed at the worst possible time as cement and clinker stocks were low.
We removed the gearbox and stripped out 140 tonnes of gears and bearings and rebuilt and reinstalled the gearbox in just 12 days. The plant was back in production in 14 days from point of failure. The fastest this job has been done anywhere else in the world is 3-4 weeks. For me that job stands out as a positive representation of our teamwork and planning, and it highlights the talent, capability and the commitment of our workshop team and the contractor that was involved.
Life in Mannok has its ups and downs like everywhere else. But every day is a school day if you are prepared to be open and willing to constantly learn. For me the people that I have worked with make the biggest and lasting impression on my work life. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with and learned from great people like Micky Rowan, Pat O’Callaghan and of course TP Feehan our General Manager, to name but a few of them.
Well, it’s part of my new role for a start! The world is changing, and we as a company have no choice but to be part of that change. Now, we could sit back and tag along for the ride or we can be proactive and lead from the front. I think the ambitions and the road map that has been set out, give clear indication as to what our intentions are, which will transform the nature of the business into the future.
Engineering as a career can be very rewarding, especially if you are open to different challenges. Always strive to be the best you can be at what you do. Keep an open mind and be willing to learn from everyone around you. Lots of problems can be solved by listening to the people on the ground. Always have a plan B. A lot of people know what engineering is about and a lot of people think they know. When you leave college with your degree you need to realise that engineering can follow many paths. It’s not about any one thing or niche. It may take you a while to realise what you are suited to. A design engineer in the motor industry, for example, will have a completely different set of challenges to a design engineer working on heavy industrial plant. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to different industries early in my career, so I had a good idea what direction I wanted to take.
In the garage working on my own or someone else’s rally car.
Mark joined the company over a year ago, with a Bachelor of Science degree and a PhD in Chemistry.
As a Process Engineer, Mark is involved in designing processes and equipment, and monitoring equipment in our Cement plant through regular testing. Mark is also involved in projects to help us decarbonise cement production.
We have spoken to Mark to find out more about him and what it’s like to be an engineer in Cement.
I found the company’s ambitious plans to become more sustainable very interesting and attractive, and, having worked in the construction product manufacturing industry previously, the job appealed to me as it was well aligned to my background.
My role is one which contributes to the present and future. Daily, I work with the production of clinker/cement, ensuring the process of converting raw materials to a finished product is done effectively and efficiently. I also help with the research and development of our new cement manufacturing projects which are designed to reduce our carbon emissions and are set out in the Mannok sustainability strategy.
Working alongside FLSmidth on the development of their FUELFLEX has been an exciting and rewarding project as it is a world first solution to adapt an existing plant. It has required interdisciplinary collaboration both within Mannok and with our partners on the project. We are now able to realise the benefits of this project, further displacing fossil fuels and reducing our emissions.
Working with good people, and with the different challenges that come up daily when managing processes on such a large scale, there is great variety in my role.
Mannok is attempting to address the challenge of decarbonisation head on, the company produces building materials which are essential to our everyday lives to provide shelter and warmth. Portland cement is here for the foreseeable future, therefore, globally we need to tackle the challenge of how it can be made more sustainably. Mannok has set out a clear pathway of how it intends to rise to this challenge.
Engineering is very wide ranging, with many different disciplines and even within each discipline, there are roles that may be desk-based, lab-based or out on-site. Therefore, there is something that can appeal to everyone.
Spending time with family, socialising with friends and getting out around the forests and lakes of Fermanagh.
Reece is one of several newly recruited engineers who joined the company and is delighted to be developing a career in Engineering.
In this interview, Reece talks us through what his role entails and why Mannok is a leading company at which to develop a career in Engineering.
When I was searching for a role in Engineering, a recruitment agency recommended a Reliability Engineer role at Mannok to me. I asked the recruitment agency to contact Mannok and highlight that I had absolutely no experience in the industry or the role. This didn’t put Mannok off considering me as a potential candidate.
During my interview, I felt it wasn’t going well at all and I was worried about my lack of experience, but Mannok assured me full training would be provided, informed me of the type of progression I’d be encouraged to take and what the future vision for my role is.
After my interview, I was offered this role. I accepted the Engineering opportunity at Mannok, as I felt it was important to be working for a company that was setting realistic expectations, providing training/support, and having a clear career progression pathway.
My progress has been upward; I am learning so much. I covered an Energy Engineering role when I first started employment, until another graduate started in September. I am now working in my Reliability Engineering role, and it was useful for me to have some knowledge of Energy Engineering as both Energy and Reliability Engineering complement each other.
Currently, I am developing a reliability database for the Plant. To do this, I perform thermal imaging on motors, bearings, couplings, gearboxes, hydraulics, etc., during their operation, and I record the readings. Temperature is a good indicator if something isn’t working how it should and if there is a potential problem arising.
During shutdown, I perform measurements and tests on mill segments, drive couplings, sealing blades, crusher wear, etc., and record the results. This enables me to keep track of the wear on parts, I then compare this with the tonnage to predict when these parts will need to be replaced or repaired.
To be honest, since it’s a new industry and a new role for me, I find all of it exciting. I’m constantly learning which keeps me interested, and the equipment required to make cement is totally mind blowing.
My daughter was born in January and time with my family is important to me. Since joining Mannok, my work-life balance is the best it has ever been. In a previous role at another company, I was travelling 3.5 hours per day and covering 700 miles per week, now I travel less than an hour per day.
I also enjoy working with the people at Mannok, everyone I have encountered has been more than welcoming to me.
The fact the name Mannok came from “Fear Manach” shows just how much the company values its heritage and community. There are some extremely interesting projects in the works to become carbon neutral by 2050, which I hope I can be involved in.
In all honesty, my degree was tough, and I think it aged me by about 15 years, especially the final year. A degree in engineering is earned and requires hard work. For me, all the hard work was worth it, as I am now in a role I enjoy with lots of career progression ahead of me.
If you’re a hands-on person, who enjoys finding out exactly how things function and being involved with projects that are impactful, then engineering could be an ideal career choice for you.
I spend as much time as possible with my family, especially my better half and four kids, who have somehow replaced me in my own family. As mentioned, I have an eleven-month-old daughter that has me wrapped around her teeny tiny finger, so most of my time is spent being bossed about by her and I absolutely LOVE it. And if I’m not with family, you’ll probably find me in the gym as I’m a competitive bodybuilder.
In order to deliver on our net zero goals, we require a team of Engineers with a broad skillset, who will collaborate with our international partners on innovative research, development and implementation of our decarbonisation programme.
Our Mannok 2030 Vision outlines our commitment to sustainability under the three core pillars of People, Planet and Partners. Outlining a series of 36 ambitious targets, the Vision details our sustainability strategy to the end of the decade, focusing on decarbonisation, biodiversity, energy efficiency and waste elimination, safety, wellbeing and development of our people, and supporting our community, customers and suppliers.
The commitments within include an outline of our decarbonisation journey, which is key to the future sustainability of our business. The nine key decarbonisation projects detailed in the Mannok 2030 Vision will underpin our longer term net zero goal and our ambitious plans to become a sustainability leaders in our industry.
Here at Mannok we pride ourselves on our innovative spirit and seek to work with Engineers who are keen to play an important role in the development of industry leading technology and solutions. We are working with leading global partners on some of the most exciting and potentially game changing environmental solutions, which can transform one of the most carbon intensive processes in the construction and manufacturing industries into a clean, green operation, and you can be part of it.
As part of our expert Engineers Hub, you will have the opportunity to work across multiple high profile projects on new and emerging technological solutions to transform one of the nation’s leading cement and concrete products manufacturing facilities through the development of green energy solutions, using renewable energy sources, carbon capture and cure, electrolysis and synthetic fuel generation.
Our Leading Excellence Programme focuses on achieving and sustaining the highest operational standards across our business through the core principles of teamwork, problem-solving, innovation and leadership. It is a multi-faceted programme which is designed to achieve engagement of all our people by embedding Lean and Continuous Improvement initiatives in our everyday work to support the long-term sustainability of our business whilst ensuring optimum efficiency and added value for our customers.
The Programme incorporates four core strands:
2. Skills & Development
4. Continuous Improvement
Our goal is to achieve Operational Excellence (OpEx), getting the best out of all our resources, and providing greater opportunities for our people, all of which is key to the success of our business. As we strive to achieve operational excellence the net result will be a highly efficient business with greater productivity and a multi-skilled, motivated workforce, delivering significant benefits for our customers and our people.