Meet Kate Gallagher, Materials Coordinator
Kate Gallagher is a long-standing figure in Atlantic Aviation Group, beginning her career in 2008 working in our shops. She has diversified her role in the business, seeking new opportunities to learn more about aircraft maintenance and has now worked as a Materials Coordinator for the last five years. Her role is key to instructing the on-time delivery of materials required by the production team, ensuring that the team are fully prepared to complete the aircraft work according to schedule. We caught up with Kate to learn more about her experience in Atlantic Aviation Group.
Can you tell me about yourself and your career so far?
Currently, I have been working in AAG since 2008 which is 12 years. Before that, I was working as an Aircraft Painter and Cabin Trimmer in Shannon Aerospace. Prior to that, I was in college trying to become a chef, but I left on my final year as it I wasn’t for me. I knew that I didn’t want a boring job and I also knew that I wanted a creative job where I could use my hands. It wasn’t until I saw an ad in the local paper at the time for an apprenticeship in aircraft painting/cabin trimmer that I thought that this would be an exciting experience, so I applied and was successful in finishing the course. From there, I was taken on full-time and worked there until I applied for a Cabin Trimmer job in AAG.
When I started in AAG, I worked in the shops which helps to support production. As time went on there was a position for Composition Technician, and I saw this as an opportunity to learn another aspect of the aircraft. I applied for the course and I was successful, and then worked as a Composition Technician for 6 years. Following this, an opportunity came along for a position of Materials Coordinator. This was totally different from what I was used to as it was more the material side of things, but it helped me learn more about the parts side of the industry which I found interesting. I have now been working in this role for the last 5 years.
What inspired you to work in aviation?
As a child, I always had an interest in engineering and how machines worked. While a lot of my female friends were playing with girl stuff and doing girl-things I was always helping my dad in his garage working on cars by fixing them and painting them. I knew I was never going to be happy working a job that didn’t involve getting your hands dirty.
Can you describe what it is like to work in your team?
I really enjoy working in my team as I find that we all get on so well with different personalities. We all bounce off each other and work well together. We have a lot of fun along the way, but we all have the one goal in that we are determined to get the job done to our best ability. I also love the fact that every day is different, and anything can happen from one day to the next. As a team, we love the challenge: it keeps the job interesting and keeps us on our toes.
What is a typical day at work for you? What are some of your favourite tasks to do?
As a Materials Coordinator, my day starts off at 8:00 am. I then meet up with my project team, which is made up of a project leader and a scheduler, around 8:20 am. We do a walk around the aircraft and meet up with the crew leaders to discuss the status of the aircraft. The crew leaders highlight to me any problems with parts and highlight the priority parts that are needed for the day to progress the aircraft to the next stage. I then take this back to the buyer and we discuss these problems and all the priority parts.
I also liaise with our Stores department to make sure that they are informed about what parts are needed for the day and get them to supply the parts as soon as possible to keep production going. Throughout the day I liaise with the buyer on any problems that may occur with parts and provide feedback with any solutions to solve these problems. I also attend a meeting with the customer and their buyer to discuss any problems that may arise on their side and try to help solve the problem.
The main aim of my job is to make sure that production gets what parts they need to get the aeroplane out on time, and that no parts affect this. My favourite task would be interacting with the guys and making sure that they get everything they need to do their job for the day.
What are the benefits of working in AAG?
As I am working Flexi Hours, I find this a great help as I have a 5-year-old that needs to be dropped to school, and these working hours take a lot of pressure off. Another benefit is if a person is willing to apply themselves and put in the work, there are many career progression opportunities within the company and the aviation industry.
What’s your favourite thing about working in AAG?
My favourite thing about AAG is the people. I have the pleasure of working with some of the most hardworking, dedicated and driven people.
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
The ability to time travel so I could see into the future and come back and be ready for it.