The engineering industry in the West of Ireland is a vibrant sector of the economy with many world-class manufacturing operations. This region of Ireland plays host to a diverse range of multi-national corporations, which are aided by a strong indigenous base.
The development of state-of-the-art engineering facilities is supported by a number of technology initiatives in the Institutes of Technology and the Universities. The West Region of Ireland, with a population in excess of one million is home to centres of excellence in bioengineering, polymer technology, laser applications, toolmaking, materials handling, refrigeration and information technology.


The West of Ireland is one of the most attractive locations in Europe for investment in electronics today. Electronic companies in the West of Ireland can be categorised by segment as follows: Components, Computers, Contract Manufacturing, Semiconductors, Software Development, Production, Telecommunications, Data communications, Services.

The West of Ireland is a key location for the pharmaceutical and chemical industry in Europe. Ireland as a whole has over 120 overseas pharmaceutical companies, which employ 17,000 people. This represents a significant investment, conservatively estimated at US$7 billion. The engineers working in this sector are responsible for exports totalling US$18 billion annually, which makes Ireland one of the largest exporters of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals in the world.

A large number of medical device manufacturing and support companies have located in the West of Ireland. Companies such as Abbott, Baxter, Mallinckrodt and Boston Scientific have located multiple plants in this area. Other world leaders such as Medtronic AVE (Galway), Allergan (Westport) and Hollister (Ballina) also operate from this area. These companies export over IR£2.5 billion every year.

According to the OECD Information Technology Outlook 2000, Ireland is the largest exporter of software goods in the world. The top 10 independent software companies in the world have significant operations in Ireland and today over 40% of all PC package software sold in Europe is produced here.

Over 60 overseas software companies use their operation in the West of Ireland to carry out a broad range of activities including core software development, product customisation, software testing and fulfilment. The software that is being developed in this region has a range of applications in mobile communications, electronics, engineering, enterprise e-source planning, database management, banking and insurance solutions.

Electronic Engineering:
Nortel Networks Corporation:

Nortel Networks is a global leader in telephony, data, wireless, and wireline solutions for the Internet and employs approximately 600 people out of a global company work force of 75,000. Nortel Networks is one of Ireland's leading Internet development companies and they have one of Ireland's largest independent R&D facilities. They employ over 250 engineers in their R&D department and are responsible for the creation of the Internet and e-business architecture of the future. Engineers in Nortel work on projects in the fields of Optical Internet, Internet Telephony, Wireless Internet and Internet Services. The type of engineers employed range from software, hardware, test/validation and manufacturing engineers.

Software Engineering:
Aimware Ltd:

The West of Ireland can boast a number of successful indigenous software start-ups, typical of which is Aimware Ltd. Based in the Galway Business Park, Dangan, Galway, and with offices in US and Mexico, aimware¹s objective is to make software management easy for their customers.
They offer a suite of web-enabled tools and supporting services to enable managers and staff to take control of user requests, process guidance information, project data, and development work products while providing a combination of flexibility and integration. Aimware has won numerous awards since its inception, in 1996 - Aimware won two prestigious Lotus Beacon wards, and in 1998 the coveted "Young Irish Software Company of the Year". Engineers at Aimware work with technologies such as: Lotus Domino, ASP, COM, DHTML, Javascript, VBScript, Visual Basic, XML and XSL.

Mechanical Engineering:
Thermo King:

Thermo King is the world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of temperature control and air conditioning equipment for transportation vehicles. The plant was established in 1976 and currently services over 140 countries. Engineers are employed in the following areas: Design Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Safety,
Environmental Services, Information Technology, Production Planning, Technical Services, Customer Service, Product Development.
A recent development at their Galway Plant is the establishment of a Research and Development Center. In this center, the next generation of transport refrigeration units are being developed. Engineers use advanced Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture software tools to develop computer models of their latest product. These concepts can be numerically tested using simulations tools such as CFD and FEA techniques to optimise the design.