When Orla was 16 she won the Maths, Physics and Chemistry Catergory of the BT Young Scientist competition in Ireland. She loved the challenge of investigating a problem and came up with a solution involving bubbles. She did well in science and maths classes but she loved playing music too, which made her feel pulled in different directions. She wanted to find a university course that combined all her interests.
She found a course that mixed science and music perfectly at the University of Glasgow and graduated with an MEng in Electronic Engineering with Music.
Orla worked for Jaguar Land Rover as an audio engineer. She has tested and tweaked in-car sound systems both in the lab and on the road. She wants to make every driver and passenger feel like they are in a concert hall on their journey! Orla has worked with speakers, microphones, and amplifiers to create the best sound features in a vehicle. She tested state of the art sound systems with every type of music, from Ed Sheeran to Mozart.
Next, Orla was part of the “Squeak and Rattle Team”. This team finds unwanted noises in the car and gets rid of them. From rattling door handles to windscreen wipers, all affect the sound and driving experience. Now, Orla is working as the Software Change Robustness manager, making sure that new software for the car is up to scratch.
Today’s cars have computing power equal to 70 laptops and are becoming even more electronic and smart. Orla’s job is to make sure all the electronics, including the sound system, work perfectly. She has worked in problem solving to ensure any issues with new designs were fixed, working with everything from windows to parking sensors.
Orla used to think engineering was not very glamorous. Now she travels the world and sees the newest cars and tech years before anyone else. She has moved around the company in many interesting jobs and always learns new skills to grow her career. She was even the “Lead Black Belt in problem solving forelectrical engineering” – a real title!