Engineers Week Blasts Off with Abbott

On Sunday 25th February, schoolchildren from across Sligo were present for a special event to mark the start of Abbott’s participation in Engineers Week 2018. Hosted by Abbott’s diagnostics team in Sligo, children of Abbott employees had the opportunity to meet leading Irish engineer Norah Patten, who is bidding to become Ireland’s first-ever astronaut.

Norah, who has a PhD in Engineering and is a faculty member at the International Space University, addressed the crowd on the importance of engineering to everyday life and the unique career opportunities it provides.

Speaking at the event, Norah Patten said, “Engineering is a fascinating and exciting career path, which opens up many diverse opportunities. As my life has shown, it can even lead to opportunities that are out of this world. Inspiring young people is a passion of mine, and by helping them explore the role engineering plays in their interests, I hope to encourage the next generation of engineers. Events such as this special event hosted by Abbott are a great way of achieving this.”

Each year, Engineers Week encourages primary and post-primary students to explore the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) while also promoting engineering as a career choice. Annually, Abbott employees at the manufacturing facilities in Sligo, Donegal, Clonmel, Longford and Cootehill engage with students through their engineering outreach activities. Abbott is one of a large number of organisations across Ireland who are delivering hands-on, engaging STEM programmes to students during Engineers Week.


Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) will play an increasingly important role in the future of our planet, particularly in developing the healthcare solutions we need. By inspiring young people today, we can produce innovators for our industry tomorrow.

Our employee’s passion for STEM education is evident through our delivering of family science and operation discovery programmes for the past 10 years. Recently, employees at ADD Sligo have developed a bespoke Engineering outreach programme called Ignition. This six-week programme is aimed at primary school students, to encourage them in gaining an interest in the world of Engineering. This programme features school visits from Abbott volunteers. These volunteers carry out discussions and experiments based around different areas of engineering including electrical, civil, mechanical and biomedical engineering. To conclude the programme the students are invited on site to see how what they learn in the classroom translated in a working environment.

Speaking about Abbott’s STEM engagement, Conor Murphy, site director, Abbott’s diagnostics business in Sligo said, “We welcome Norah Patten to Abbott, to help us inspire the next generation. By leveraging Abbott’s expertise and by working in partnership with our community and leaders like Norah, we believe that inspiring the young people of today can produce the scientific and engineering leaders of tomorrow.”

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