MTU Cork Department of Mathematics
MTU Graduates Use Maths
Not everyone aspires to be a mathematician but maths is fundamental to the core disciplines of many professional courses offered at MTU. Read on to see what MTU graduates say about their experience with maths at MTU and how they use maths in their every day jobs.
David HanrahanBachelor of Business (2015) Equity analyst for Davy Stockbrokers 

“My experience with maths was a bit of a rollercoaster. It wasn’t a subject that I took to naturally in school. Having come from Irish speaking primary and secondary schools, I believed that I was at a disadvantage in relation to other students. With help from the lecturers, and the extracurricular maths classes organised by MTU, I enjoyed the challenge. It’s something I worked hard at as I saw certain benefits associated with the subject". “Contrary to belief, maths isn't implemented as a hinderance, but has been developed to create efficiency in life and employment. It's crucial to have an open mind with maths and understand that it can be used anywhere. I've realised maths has its place across all programmes: having begun in recreation and leisure and switching to business management the same fundamental principles apply". “In school, I never saw myself being somebody who would work with and excel in maths on a daily basis. But now it's something I use every day. I have the lecturers and the services implemented by MTU to thank for a new found confidence in maths". “My daytoday use of mathematics largely involves the medium of Microsoft Excel. Due to the large quantity of data analysis, the use of Excel is crucial due to its efficiency and accuracy. Large aspects of my daily tasks are or have been quantified. Shares/stock prices going up or down, quantity of stocks being bought or sold, commission charges on each individual trade, and profit or losses on a daily trading account balances. For example, at the end of each day we provide a profit and loss figure for the daily trading figures of the company. Essentially, the purpose of this is providing a quantified performance measure that can be conveyed and understood in an efficient and effective manner”.


Robert McGowanBEng in Mechanical Engineering & BEng in Sustainable Energy (2010) Business Unit Leader at ESI Technologies 

“I found maths quite difficult during my time in MTU but honestly the level of tuition we had throughout our time there was simply second to none. My lecturers were always available to go through previous exam questions or explain an example in a multitude of ways until it was understood. MTU offers a very unique method of tuition as I found that you can create a great relationship with the lecturers that really enhances the learning process". “I work for a local engineering company by the name of ESI TECHNOLOGIES. We provide engineering solutions to most pharmaceutical companies around Ireland and internationally. My role with ESI is Business Unit Leader. The role consists of me managing my division as a small company, managing workload, resources, essential KPIs and stock levels. For me, as an engineer, maths is a critical aspect of my daytoday as I do a lot of technical sizing for safety components on vessels and other pharmaceutical equipment”.



Anna PietrzakBEng in Civil Engineering (2014) & BEng in Structural Engineering (2016) Design Engineer at Arup 

“Maths was one of my favourite subjects in college. All lecturers were very helpful and always happy to answer my questions. Each maths topic was always explained by a number of examples and there were always plenty of problems to solve after each class. The Academic Learning Centre (ALC) also provided me with an excellent support when preparing for exams or class assessments. Solving as many examples as possible, and taking advantage of ALC support definitely helped me achieve good grades". “Currently I am using maths in everyday tasks to design structures. Problem solving skills obtained in maths classes are helping me tackle not only mathematical problems”.


Dylan SmythBSc in Software Development & Computer Networking (2015) Pursuing a PhD with the Nimbus research centre in MTU 

“I found my maths experience with MTU both challenging and enjoyable. The maths we covered in my course was applicable to the real world, and the application of what we were learning was always highlighted. The lecturers were very good, they were great teachers and passionate about what they were teaching". “My research is in the area of SoftwareDefined Network Security. My daytoday work would usually include programming and analysis of experiment results, so I would mostly use discrete maths (e.g. Boolean algebra) and statistics”.


Aisling O’NeillBSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (2014) Quality Control Analyst in Eli Lilly 

“I found the maths programme in MTU to be very comprehensive, particularly in catering for students that had entered with different levels of leaving certificate maths. The additional facilities provided in the Academic Learning Centre served to reassure all students that the extra support was there if required". “My role is quite varied but maths is a critical part of everything I do. As a QC analyst, I test a variety of different sample types using a number of different analytical methods. In order to test these samples, I first need to prepare them to the correct concentration. I then analyse these samples using different instrumentation. These instruments must be qualified correctly before use. This involves a series of tests, formulae and acceptance criteria. Once I have analysed the samples, further calculations are completed in order to report the results. Similarly, when developing new analytical test methods, it is critical that the maths in the background of every method is correct, ensuring all methods are capable and robust. The areas of maths utilised in my role can vary from fundamentals of arithmetic such as molarity, concentration, units of measure, to graphs and linear/nonlinear relationships, precision, and accuracy determination. I cannot emphasise enough how vital maths is in the daytoday practicalities of my role in the laboratory”.


Michael GittonsBEng in Mechanical Engineering (2011) Maintenance Engineer in MSD 

“My experience at MTU was truly very positive. I had completed one year of the honours leaving cert maths programme in 1996 and sat the ordinary level paper the following year. I spent 12 years in the workforce as a maintenance technician before returning to college to complete my degree in 2009. My maths skill set was very rusty to say the least. For example, I had not completed calculus before, so my maths base was not where it needed to be, especially for an engineering programme. I believe the approach to maths teaching at MTU really helped me get up to speed very quickly. The tutorials and walk in maths workshops (ALC) on offer were invaluable. I'm not sure the same level of support existed elsewhere at the time. Looking back, I believe the mathematics department fully understood that if students were supported, particularly during the early stages of their college life, then the student would be less likely to drop out. Once my mathematical competence was established, my requirement to avail of the services did wane. Throughout the first few months the motivation and encouragement offered by all the lecturers was unwavering. They all knew that the mathematical subjects would be where we might struggle, and time and time again you would be met with "hang in there", or "it will eventually click", and "we will get you through this". Fantastic!" “My current role is a maintenance engineer for the production lines. The role itself is challenging but extremely rewarding. My responsibilities include ensuring that the maintenance program is functional, fit for purpose, supported, and resourced. I can honestly say that no two days are the same. We tend to use a lot of statistics; mostly to support studies, analysis, and garner support from various stakeholders in order to implement changes, prove theories, and defend various approaches, etc. Mathsbased subjects would always be to the forefront of trying to understand issues with processes, e.g. physics and thermodynamics”.

