I qualified with a Degree in Environmental Health from Dublin Institute of Technology in 2007 and gained a Masters in Environmental Health Law from University of Surrey in 2012. Since graduating I have held a variety of public and private sector roles. In 2016 I joined the catering subsidiary of a large airline based in the Middle East as a Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) Specialist. I worked as part of a small, dedicated team to contribute to the safety and quality of about 70,000 meals per day. In addition to my work at the airline’s Middle East base I was also responsible for conducting food safety and Halal audits throughout our global supply chain. A typical month could include audits from Sydney to Sao Paulo and London to Lagos. The role provided a fantastic opportunity to gain quality assurance experience in a commercial environment while protecting the airline’s brand and travelling the world at the same time.
Senior Environmental Health Officer, HSE
As a Senior EHO based in Dublin City Centre no two days are the same. I am responsible for regulating about 120 food business to ensure compliance with strict EU and Irish food safety legislation. As a Senior officer I also provide advice, guidance and support to others within the team. We deal with everything from routine, unannounced inspections of businesses to customer complaints of alleged food poisoning or allergic reactions to undeclared allergens in food. Much of the work involves helping businesses comply with the law though the provision of advice and guidance. However we also take enforcement action which can include the immediate closure of those businesses that present a serious risk to health. The role can be challenging at times and you’ll draw on your knowledge of food science, microbiology and toxicology to help you make risk based decisions. Although challenging, a career in Environmental Health is both varied and rewarding and you’ll end each day knowing you have made a positive contribution towards protecting consumers.
Director, JMG (EHS) Solutions Ltd: Health and Safety
I would highly recommend studying Environmental Health as a college degree course. The subject area is diverse which in turn gives students the opportunity on qualification to explore a number of different career options. My own experience is testament to this.
On qualification I obtained full-time employment with one of Ireland’s leading telecommunications/ construction companies, where I worked as an Environmental Health & Safety practitioner for eight years. During that time I returned to DIT to undertake and complete a part-time Masters degree course in Environmental Health & Safety.
I then took up a role as an EHS Superintendent with Tullow Oil Ltd in East Africa. This was a great experience both from a professional and personal point of view.
While in East Africa I worked closely with a number of key government stakeholders, including the Kenyan National Environmental Management Authority as the majority of our projects were within a UNESCO World Heritage site along the Rift Valley. My role also involved liaising with leaders in the local communities with a view to developing good, long-term relationships with the local communities, managing risk and seeking to mitigate the impact of operations on the communities and environments in which we were working.
EHO Local Authority
I graduated from Environmental Health in Dublin Institute of Technology in 2016 with a First Class Honours degree. One of the great things the course offered was the seven-month placement where I gained experience in the public sector and private sector. Having this experience behind me when finishing the course really stood to me. I have been working with the local authority for over a year. I am currently an Environmental Health Officer in Dublin City Council.
The Environmental Health Section is dedicated to improving the living standards of tenants in private rented housing through inspections. I really enjoy working in the local authority because it is a challenging yet motivating environment where I feel I can make a difference in my daily job.
WaSH/Environmental Health Specialist and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Global Health, Trinity College Dublin
I qualified from the DIT in 1988 and spent three years working as an EHO in Dublin City before embarking on a new direction within Environmental Health. My career path changing after I took up a volunteer role with the Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) Concern Worldwide supporting the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) needs of Cambodian refugees in Thailand. Since then I have worked in numerous settings (acute and protracted emergencies as well as development) all across Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and to a limited extent in the Caribbean.
I now work as a consultant and part-time lecturer/trainer. Consultancy work is mostly in supporting organisations (NGOs and UN agencies such as Unicef in the main) evaluate how they have protected and promoted public health in all sorts of situations such as responses to natural disasters and conflict or the recovery phase after such events. I also lecture part-time and deliver training on a range of issues such as Public Health in Humanitarian Action and Health, Environment and Climate in TCD, UCD, NUI Galway and other institutions within Europe.
In the context of climate change and increasing numbers of people displaced by conflict or otherwise there is an ever more urgent need for Environmental Health professionals to be engaged in protecting and promoting the health of the most vulnerable in our global community.
Programme Chair for Environmental Health, School of Food Science & Environmental Health, Dublin Institute of Technology.
I have a background qualification in Environmental Health from DIT and have been lecturing in the School of Food Science & Environmental Health for over 15 years. I am involved in curriculum, design, delivery, examination and review. I take great satisfaction in teaching and supervising at undergraduate and postgraduate level. My role in EH education has afforded me the opportunity to work most recently on internationalisation and globalisation in EH education in America, Abu Dhabi, Bangladesh, Russia and Kazakhstan. I collaborate closely with the EH State Profession and the private sector on internship, mentoring and assessment of EH student performance.
On graduating from DIT I worked with the Dublin Airport Authority with their Environmental Management Team on environmental management systems and accreditation. My qualification has also allowed me to work in the area of consultancy in Food & Occupational Safety Management. There is immense variety to the job and the EH qualification provides multidisciplinary skills which can be applied to the areas of Food, Environment, Safety, Public Health and the Built Environment. I have had a very successful and happy career to date.