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January 11th, 2018

Ireland’s engineers need a creative flair, says global medtech company

When it comes to the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), a solid grasp of numbers and logic is essential. But it’s not everything, commented Darach McGrath, Director of Engineering of Cook Medical. The Limerick-based medical device company has a stand in the ‘World of Technology and Science’ section at the BT Young Scienctist & Technology Exhibition.

“The biggest medical breakthroughs happen when people think outside the box. This requires imagination and creativity. A company that emphasises the creativity element in STEM or has a culture of design thinking enjoys a real competitive advantage because they’re looking at things differently,” said Darach McGrath of Cook Medical.

Increasingly, companies in the engineering and medical technology space are looking for graduates and new employees with creativity and a flair for design.

“When we look for new employees—even those who are taking on highly technical, specialised roles—we look for the most versatile people. The difference between a good engineer and an excellent one often comes down to their ideas, their ability to work well in a team, and their leadership ability. For future engineers, like the students at today’s event, it’s important to develop the so called ‘softer’ skillset – which can take longer to develop than some technical skills.”

“Beyond the core technical skills, engineers should focus on enhancing their people and project management, communication, leadership, and knowledge of how the business model operates.”

School pupils who visit the stand can take part in several demos that simulate using Cook Medical products in a hospital operating room. The simulations include placing an oesophageal stent on a table-top ‘patient’ and a Kidney stone extraction challenge. Visitors will gain insight into the operating room environment and how medical technology engineers design life saving devices.

Cook Medical exports 1.4 million medtech products worldwide every year from its Limerick facility, where the company develops, manufactures and distributes medical devices including stents and catheters. The global medtech company employs more than 850 people in Limerick.

From its Limerick headquarters, Cook Medical works closely with physicians to develop technologies that eliminate the need for open surgery. Cook Medical combines medical devices and biologic materials to help the world’s healthcare systems deliver better outcomes more efficiently.

Ireland is one of Europe’s largest medtech hubs and is home to over 300 companies, employing 25,000 people. Thirteen of the world’s top fifteen companies have operations In Ireland where they employ the highest number of medtech personnel per capita in Europe.

About Cook Medical
Since 1963 Cook Medical has worked closely with clinicians to develop technologies that eliminate the need for open surgery. Today we are combining medical devices, biologic materials and cellular therapies to help the world’s healthcare systems deliver better outcomes more efficiently. We have always remained family owned so that we have the freedom to focus on what we care about: patients, our employees and our communities. Find out more at, and for the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.