Joe Beggan, Technical Sales Engineer for Flogas
1. What is your current role?
I am currently Technical Sales Engineer for Flogas, covering Northern Ireland & Co. Donegal. Flogas supply bulk and cylinder LP Gas solutions to homes and businesses across the UK & Ireland. We serve a range of markets including residential, hospitality, commercial, industrial, agricultural and automotive markets with versatile, efficient and cost effective energy solutions.
2. A brief outline of your employment history to date
After graduating with a Diploma in Architectural Technology in 1985, I joined the engineering department of a local company specialising in the fabrication of bespoke pressure vessels.
After eleven enjoyable years, during which I completed my apprenticeship in fabrication and advanced welding and became a senior member of the design team, the company closed and I reverted back to my architectural roots, working in various practices.
Following several years at Kingspan Insulation as a Technical Services Manager, I left to become self employed as a planning consultant while also returning to further education, graduating with a Hons degree in Engineering and Management at the University of Ulster Jordanstown.
However, being your own boss is not all that it’s cracked up to be and with the economic downturn I returned to direct employment in August 2010.
3. What does your role involve?
My role involves advising larger businesses and third party stakeholders (architects, planning consultants etc.) on the benefits of LP Gas and then designing bespoke energy systems that will deliver cost effective, energy efficient solutions for their organisation.
4. When did you take up this post?
I started working with Flogas in August 2010. Quite ironically though I was working with bespoke pressure vessels in my first engineering role in 1985 so in some ways I have come full circle!
5. What are the best/worst parts of your job?
Without doubt, one of the best parts of my current role is the variety. Each day is different and every client unique. I thoroughly enjoy the people aspect of the business, both externally liaising with the client and internally being part of the strong team ethos within Flogas required to bring a project to completion.
In addition, I enjoy my involvement in the Flogas Energy Solutions concept, an internal, cross functional team that collaborate to constantly monitor and develop initiatives whereby LPG can be promoted as a clean, energy efficient fuel. This team keeps us right at the cutting edge of LPG fuelled technology. We are living in exciting times in relation to energy efficiency and awareness and the constant bombardment of new technologies powered by LPG is endless. Developments in the transport sector, combined heat and power and high efficiency LPG fuelled boilers must be embraced and promoted.
Frustrations? Not enough hours in the day and certainly not enough days in the week!!
6. Give us a brief outline of what a typical day involves
A typical day could involve anything from advising on the installation of a cylinder LPG supply at a domestic or commercial property, through to designing a bulk supply for a large production facility.
Such work involves site visits, interpretation of client briefs, site surveys, system design, preparation of CAD drawings, client approval and project management of the final installation, including both critical risk assessments and method statements.
7. What has been the proudest moment of your career to date?
To date, graduating as a mature student from UUJ the same year that my daughter entered QUB. Getting 10% discount in sports shops with a student card at my age was quite a novelty!!
8. What is the best thing about working with the local hospitality industry?
Flogas has been supplying the hospitality industry throughout the UK & Ireland for over thirty years, whether that is cylinders to a small corner takeaway or bulk installations to some of the largest hotels in the province. For me, the best thing about working so closely with the local hospitality industry is the resilience and positive ‘can-do’ attitude of the people within it. Over the decades the hospitality industry has faced many challenges from the wider macro environment yet it is has responded successfully to these challenges and remains at the forefront of portraying a positive, welcoming image of Northern Ireland throughout the world. This is largely thanks to the tenacity of the people working within the industry and the industry’s emphasis on the customer.
From my perspective working with such people and building long lasting relationships with those in the hospitality industry is a delight.
9. What do you like to do to unwind away from work?
I’m a big believer in twenty minute power naps to recharge! I also try to fit in eighteen holes of golf at some stage over the weekend with my long term golf partners but this can bring its own frustrations… I do enjoy a good family get together and five teenage kids keep me grounded, active & busy.
10. Tell us something about yourself that not many people may know
When I was running in a father’s race at a local sports day last summer I proceeded to tear a hamstring after ten steps! Furthermore, this ungracious event was captured on film and made its way into the local paper. Isn’t that what friends are for?