Meet our principal engineers - Kenny McNamee

Kenny McNamee, a Principal Engineer at Intel Ireland, gives a glimpse into his role

News

author-image

By

Martin G. Dixon
Intel fellow and Vice President, Intel Security Architecture and Engineering Group

Principal Engineers at Intel are active technical leaders inside and outside the company. They help to shape Intel's  technical landscape and to ensure that deep technical expertise is nurtured and grown. 

We caught up with Ireland based Principal Engineer Kenny McNamee to hear more about his role and the path that led him to a career as an engineer.

​Born in the historical town of Coatbridge, in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, Kenny graduated in 1991 from the University of Glasgow with a bachelors in Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

He has been working at Intel for 18 years and has been recently promoted to the role Principal Engineer. Kenny leads a variety of teams through key projects while developing the technical expertise and leadership skills of our next generation of engineers.
 
What inspired you to decide to become an engineer?
My Physics teacher at Secondary School. She made the laws of physics come alive in many great class experiments.
 
What are your main responsibilities at Intel? 
Currently I'm working in front end process integration, product performance and technology transfers. I’m focused on enabling a successful Intel 4 technology transfer, start-up and ramp here in Ireland.
 
Who or what was your greatest influence?
In my first engineering job I was trained by an equipment engineer whose depth of technical expertise and problem-solving skills just amazed me. However, this was surpassed by his ability to patiently teach and empower me to solve highly complex problems with extremely innovative solutions. He was both brilliant and humble - a combination I have strived to achieve in my 30-year career in engineering.
 
What skills do you need to become a good engineer?
Develop critical thinking and structured problem-solving skills. Have a very strong technical depth in an engineering area that you are passionate for, and continuously focus on improving your ability to lead and work with teams.
 
What can be done to encourage more people, and in particular young girls, to explore careers in engineering?
Burst all myths around engineering careers during school years, even at primary school level. Highlight and promote the innovative female role models in the industry. Companies need to do more to promote the work/life balance of an engineering career that will span over many decades of your life with skillsets that will be in increasingly high demand for many years to come.
 
What is your favourite thing about your job?
That no two days are ever the same!
 
Can you share with us an interesting fact about yourself?
One of my most rewarding interests was helping to run a weekly club for children with special needs for 10 years in my hometown in Scotland. It was a fantastic privilege and certainly taught me some great teamwork and leadership skills. And how to dance and sing badly and have fun without a care in the world (at least for a couple of hours a week!)