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Home » Women in STEM » Turning a love of maths into an invigorating career in engineering

Mary Coughlin

Regional Sales Manager, Calor Ireland

Mary Coughlin, a trailblazer in engineering and sustainability, shares her inspiring career journey from being one of few female students to becoming a Regional Sales Manager, advocating for women in STEM fields.

For anyone who is interested in a career in engineering and has a passion for thinking of new ideas or new answers to existing problems, Coughlin advises: “Embrace all doors that open to you, and don’t fix your sights on a specific engineering discipline too early.”

This is a lesson that she has learned thanks to her career in Calor Ireland, which has spanned almost 20 years. As a first-class honours degree student in Technology and Design from Ulster University, Coughlin attributes the start of her interest in engineering to her love of maths, science and art. A guidance counsellor made the connection and pointed her in the direction of engineering.

From engineering student to sales manager

Coughlin entered Calor as an engineering student, undertaking work experience in 2004. She found a fit that has kept her passion alive ever since. Throughout the years, she has worked as an industrial sales engineer, BioLPG product manager and strategic business development manager before becoming a regional sales manager in 2021.

BioLPG is the first step on the sustainability journey.

Involvement in renewable energy product

An admirable point in Coughlin’s career was her leadership skills in the introduction of a renewable LPG product to six European countries. She was approached by SHV Energy to work on a European scale in the rollout of BioLPG — a certified renewable gas.

Previously, BioLPG would have been considered impossible, but in 2018, Calor was the first company on the island of Ireland to introduce and supply the certified renewable LPG to homes and businesses.

The role allowed Coughlin to travel around Ireland and Europe to provide guidance and support on the new innovative renewable energy product, broadening networks and deepening leadership skills. 

Putting sustainability on the agenda

BioLPG is the first step on the sustainability journey as the company has set itself the target of only supplying renewable energy products to its customers by 2037 — its centenary year. It is a big ask, and only 15 years away, but Coughlin urges anyone who is taking the steps to undertake a career in LPG to embrace sustainability and avoid being afraid to stand up and be noticed by putting it on the agenda.

“To ensure the LPG industry remains relevant, it is imperative that we remain commercially focused while simultaneously remaining aware of our future impact,” insists Coughlin.

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