In Conversation with Colin Quinn17 Nov 21
1.What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Post All-Ireland final pints, especially the few scoops in 2011. It’s my best sporting day in living memory. My wife is from Kerry, so she won’t like this answer.
2. What’s your favourite holiday memory?
The J1 Visa has to be up there, spent it in Ann Arbor in Michigan, playing GAA and working in an Irish bar. It’s a rite of passage, and a great way to make friends and see the USA.
3. What are you reading? Would you recommend it?
Emails mostly, and I wouldn’t recommend it. Bad for the blood pressure.
4. Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be able to sing. I murder every song I’ve ever tried.
5. What do you consider to be your greatest professional achievement to date?
I spent a year in Abu Dhabi, working on the Aldar HQ, the only way to describe it is that it’s a giant 23 storey minstrel in the desert. I was based on site with the Contractor, Architect and other Engineers. It was early in my career and I learnt a lot being in that environment and we delivered a really iconic building.
6. What practice area do you specialise in and why does it matter?
I am a mechanical engineer. It matters because people spend so much time indoors, whether it is in their office or at home. Making these environments healthier and more comfortable and responsive is our goal in mechanical design.
Good mechanical design goes unnoticed, it is a compliment to me if the mechanical systems are never mentioned once our Client moves in, it just works and they are happy.
7. What is the quality you most admire in a leader?
Decisiveness. Opportunities tend to be fleeting. Being able to pull the strands together to make an informed decision quickly and grabbing those opportunities is key to building a business. Sometimes it goes wrong, but at least a decision was made and we tried.
8. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever been given?
If there is something important or you have to give bad news, do it in person.
9. Name your favourite building (international only + why?)
I like visiting the Tate Modern, it is an imposing structure, but inside it is an incredibly light and airy space for exhibitions, within what was an old power station.
10. Tell us something not many people know about you.
I slipped on the ice and broke my back on the same night as RTE news broadcast the live report with the man slipping on the ice in the background. I rang home to say I was in A&E, the response I got was ‘you weren’t that eejit on the news were you?’ Zero sympathy for me!