Meet Eoghan Lewis, Business Excellence Lead
Eoghan is a long-standing figure in Atlantic Aviation Group. Eoghan began his career as a Sheet Metal Worker in 2005 before moving into a Structures Crew Leader position a few years later. He has diversified his role in the business and has made a significant impact in his current role as Business Excellence Lead. Eoghan is a key member of our MRO leadership team, with his role involving continuous project improvements, root cause analysis and training staff on the use of lean systems. We caught up with Eoghan to learn more about his experience in Atlantic Aviation Group.
Can you tell me about yourself and your career so far? When did you join the team at Atlantic Aviation Group and how has your experience been?
I have been working in aviation for 19 years. My career started in Shannon Aerospace as a Mechanical/Electrical/Sheetmetal/Composite trainee. I joined AAG around 2005-2006, which was Air Atlanta Aero Engineering at the time, as a Sheet Metal Work contractor and applied for a permanent position a few months later.
I really enjoyed that the company wasn’t this huge organisation that had hundreds of employees. This helped in getting to know people a lot quicker. This being one of the main reasons I applied for a permanent position.
After a few years as a Sheet Metal Worker, I applied for a Structures Crew Lead position. I really loved that position: the teamwork, successes and belly laughs were on a daily basis. We mainly worked the B767 aircraft which were typically structural defect heavy. We once had 36 team members on our crew, and I couldn’t have delivered as a crew lead without each and every one of their efforts and support!
During that time, our large group of crew leads, along with project leads and company team leads completed the Certificate in Management, a 1–year course delivered by the University of Limerick and supported by AAG. This inspired me to keep going with my studies and I continued to complete the Quality Management and Lean Systems course, again funded by AAG.
As the company began to expand, additional project lead positions were required. I enjoyed this role also because it showed me more of the sales/commercial/planning/materials aspect of what is required for production to operate.
With the company expanding, the role of Business Excellence Lead was advertised which I was successful in applying.
What inspired you to work in aviation (Aircraft Maintenance/Design/CAMO/Training)?
Like many people leaving school at the time, I liked working with my hands. Fixing (and breaking) a lot of items around the house/sheds. I had a few summer jobs during school as construction labourer, general operative in Foynes pier, duct fabricator for a venting company etc.
A FAS rep gave a talk at my secondary school in our final year and he spoke about apprenticeships in aviation. What sold it for me was being able to learn and earn while having the opportunity to work on aircraft!
Can you describe to me what it is like to work in your department/team?
My current role as Business Excellence Lead, isn’t a “department” in everyday terms but more of a supporting role. I work as part of the MRO leadership team and interact with many teams daily regarding improvement projects and opportunities.
What is a typical day at work for you? What are some of your favourite tasks to do/projects to work on?
I like to start my day early, arriving at work around 7.30 am most days. This also gives me the opportunity to finish early if needed. I like the boots on the floor approach, going and seeing exactly what is occurring or the challenges that are being faced. This leads to great interaction from people and keeps me in the creative thinking space.
As mentioned, we do have our challenges, but the great thing is that there is a focus to address these and make the necessary changes. The overall goal with projects is to address the root cause that created the challenge and make a change that creates an easier working day for the people involved.
Training staff on the use of lean systems and lean tools such as practical problem solving would also be a favourite of mine.
What are the benefits to working in AAG?
For me, the career path and career opportunities have been a great benefit. It is amazing to see the amount of staff who have come through an apprentice or trainee programme and are now in lead or managerial positions. Also, the support when I went back to college was much appreciated.
Flexi time or time in lieu is very useful also. The ability to create additional holidays on top of annual leave can really help the work life balance.
What’s your favourite thing about working in AAG?
Everybody says it, but it has to be the people! People make businesses enjoyable and successful and AAG are no different. Having fun while getting the work done is widespread across the business too.
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
To be able to live a day in the life of my idols. Musicians to sporting greats. Being able to understand their thought process and internalised commitment to what they do/did.