Symphysis Medical

Placement and Intern Programme

SymPhysis Medical is proud to have in place a flourishing placement programme in which students of Engineering backgrounds can come into our dynamic environment to undertake their work experience and enjoy the new challenges that arise from working in a start up office & lab environment. At SymPhysis, we find that placement students collaborate, acquire new skills, gain valuable professional development and make a meaningful contribution to our team. 


Ailise Fahy
Bio-Medical Engineering, University of Galway

Ailise Fahy

I gained invaluable knowledge and insight into the medical device industry during my 8-month placement at SymPhysis Medical. Throughout my placement, it was evident that SymPhysis Medical is a patient-centric company that puts patients’ comfort and independence first. The dual role of R&D and DA Engineer gave a well-rounded perspective and enabled a collaborative experience with the whole team. I really enjoyed my time at SymPhysis Medical and feel positive about my future as a Graduate Engineer.


Dean Hynes
Mechanical Engineering, University of Galway


I have gained a broad range of valuable experience at SymPhysis Medical over the last seven months of my student placement as a mechanical engineer. SymPhysis Medical provided valuable opportunities to work across several departments, particularly Design Assurance and R&D. As a small, close-knit team, I quickly built strong positive relationships with my colleagues. The company has been very accommodating in ensuring the work I undertook was not only valuable to the company but also to myself, providing insights and challenges that are invaluable to my career development. From my time in SymPhysis Medical I have gained a new perspective of the industry in which I am starting my career and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.        


Ijeoma Nkwonta
Strategy and Innovation Intern, University of Galway


My experience working with SymPhysis was indeed a great way to get Irish work experience. I had supportive colleagues who were always willing to give me perspectives – as I was new to the sector. If you love taking charge of your projects end to end with no micromanagement whilst desiring leaders who are proactive to ask you what you think and value your contributions and judgement – then you will find that in SymPhysis Medical. The best of the experience you will ever get in an Irish Medtech startup for sure!


John McIntyre
Bio-Medical Engineering, University of Galway

John McIntyre

My time with Symphysis medical was a huge learning experience, as I had the opportunity to work with both quality and R&D engineers. I was treated as a part of the team in everything I did, and I never felt like I was simply an intern. I was given meaningful tasks that impacted the R&D process. I also found the team incredible helpful and understanding, and they ensured that I learned a lot from the placement without feeling overwhelmed.


Team photo3


As a growing organisation, SymPhysis Medical is always looking for smart, dynamic people to join its hardworking team that keeps patient care at the core of its work.

We are currently hiring for future positions.


Senior R&D Engineer

The opportunity

SymPhysis Medical are looking for a Senior R&D Engineer who will thrive in a multidisciplinary start-up environment. We are looking for candidates that are curious, have a strong work ethic and are motivated by the positive influence their work will have on the quality of life of our customers. We are a high paced start-up moving from Phase 2 to Phase 4 within the next year working closely with our Contact Manufacturer.

See job description for more details Senior R&D Engineer


Please send CV to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Placement and Intern Programme

Please click here for information on our placement and intern programme.


Scam alert

Recently there has been a series of phishing emails and posts on job websites which purport to be from SymPhysis Medical, offering remote work with our company. If you are contacted by anyone in relation to a remote work position, it is likely to be a scam.


Tim Jones

     Tim Jones
CEO & Co-Founder

BEng BSc PgDip

Tim Jones | LinkedIn






Dean Hynes

Graduate Design Assurance Engineer


Dean Hynes | LinkedIn




Conor McNamara 
R&D Manager


Conor Mc Namara | LinkedIn




Board Members

Suzanne Ryan

Suzanne Ryan

Suzanne Ryan | LinkedIn  








Dr. Michelle Tierney

  Dr. Michelle Tierney
   CSO & Co-Founder

   BSc MSc PhD

Michelle Tierney | LinkedIn





Upasana Mali

Senior DA Engineer

beng MA

Upasana Mali | LinkedIn

















Mike Ryan

Mike Ryan
Non-Executive Director

Mike Ryan | LinkedIn



Trevor Tuffy


      Trevor Tuffy
    QARA Manager


Trevor Tuffy | LinkedIn




 Trevor Tuffy


Nate Reynolds

Operations  Admin

       BA MA

Nate Reynolds | LinkedIn


















Phil Hendrick

Philip Hendrick
Non-Executive Director 

Philip Hendrick | LinkedIn


Trevor Tuffy


        Stuart Deane Principal R&D Engineer


Stuart Deane | LinkedIn






Mary Wall

R&D Engineering Intern


Mary Wall | LinkedIn
















Richard Watson

Richard Watson

Richard Watson | LinkedIn

Trevor Tuffy


      Oonagh Hassett
    Program Manager 

       MSC BENG

Oonagh Hassett | LinkedIn



John McIntyre


John McIntrye

Associate R&D Engineer


John McIntyre | LinkedIn



































Tim Jones   Dr. Michelle Tierney  Trevor_Tuffy2  Stuart_Deane   Oonagh Hassett

         Tim Jones               Dr. Michelle Tierney           Trevor Tuffy                 Stuart Deane                 Oonagh Hassett 
      CEO & Co-Founder          CSO & Co-Founder            QARA Manager          Principal R&D Engineer      Project Manager

  BEng BSc PgDip       BSc MSc PhD       BSC CSQP CMDA      DPL MSc BAI             MSc BENG


Over 15 years experience                  Michelle has more than                Trevor has over 25 years’              Stuart has spent a decade                Oonagh has over 20 years’
in medtech and                                   10 years experience in                   experience in various                    working in medical device              experience in Programme 
entrepreneurial ventures.                 the life sciences sector.                 Quality roles within the                 development in contract                  Management and Product 
Tim drives the company’s                A former Pharmacologist,            medical device industry.                Manufacturing,                                  Management roles. She
commercial and technical               she is motivated by                        He has an in-depth                          multinationals and                            has an extensive
activities, and enjoys                         delivering clinical                          knowledge of FDA and                   startups from concept                       experience in developing    
liaising with healthcare                   solutions that improve                  EU regulations, and                         to clinical trial.                                    and launching new
professionals for                                 palliative care and                         extensive experience                       He leads the R&D                                products across the
patient-centric solutions.                 people’s quality of life.                  delivering process                            team in bringing the                          global medical device 
                                                                                                                             improvements and cost                  technology through the                     industry.   
                                                                                                                             reductions.                                         development pathway.


  Maeve McWalter                  Sandra O'Halloran                 Nate Reynolds

          Maeve McWalter                                                                  Sandra O’Halloran                                                             Nate Reynolds
           R&D Engineer                                                        Senior Design Assurance Engineer                                        Operations Admin.

        BENG PGC                                                  BSC PGDIP                                            BA MA

   Maeve has 3 years’ experience in the                                           With 16 years’ experience, Sandra's extensive expertise                    Nate has worked in Administration
   medical device industry. With technical skills                          in design assurance ensures that all designs adhere to                     for 12 years on three continents. His 
   and strategic thinking,  she is passionate                                    the highest standards of  design, quality, and                                       thorough experience in both the public       about developing  impactful solutions                                          regulatory requirements. Her track record includes                           and private sector  allows him a                   and improving patient care.                                                             leading and contributing  to the successful launch of                        helicopter view of requirements                                                                                                                                    multiple innovative Medical Device products                                       and possible issues in the day-to-day                                                                                                                            across global markets.                                                                                  running of the office.





The Unmet Need

Malignant Pleural Effusions (MPEs)

Independence | Comfort | Quality of Life
A common complication of late-stage cancers is the build-up of fluid in the chest cavity, known as a malignant pleural effusion (MPE), causing significant shortness of breath and chest pain.

For patients that manage the fluid at home they have an indwelling pleural catheter (IPC) inserted into the chest cavity that must be drained regularly and is often in place for a significant portion of their end-of-life stage.

IPCs are designed to manage the symptoms resulting from fluid build-up, however they are associated with very long (up to 12 months) and unpredictable treatment durations, acute hospital readmissions due to catheter-related complications, and challenges with patient use and comfort.


How Big is the Unmet Need?

MPE affects up to 50% of late-stage cancer patients. There are >200,000 new cases of MPE per year in the USA, and approximately 375,000 per year in Europe.


  • Patient Independence
  • Less Invasive
  • More Effective
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Cost Savings
  • Disruptive Technology


SymPhysis Medicalreleaze is a novel drainage catheter system that will be a significantly more effective and patient-friendly device for managing MPE in the home setting compared to current IPC devices. The technology will incorporate features that improve the functionality and the comfort/aesthetics of the device. A key aspect of the device’s design is to enable most patients to drain themselves

Patient independence

  • a patient friendly design that enables ‘one-handed’ drainage, thereby increasing patient independence and making IPC treatment accessible to more patients
  • provide patients with autonomy in their care through user-centric design and a mobile Health (mHealth) approach
  • limit the risks posed to vulnerable patients by reducing the time they spend in hospital

Less invasive

  • half the number of surgical incisions required for IPC insertion (from two to one) thanks to a unique anchoring system (how the catheter is secured under the skin)

More effective

  • actively prevent fluid reaccumulating within 30 days by using a unique 'active' technology, as opposed to up to 12 months with current IPCs
  • targeting an increase in the rate of pleurodesis from 50% to ≥70%

Environmentally friendly

  • releaze aims to use significantly less plastic materials than current devices

Cost savings

  • releaze is targeting 25% cost savings on home-related costs due to fewer drainage supplies and a reduced risk of catheter-related complications.

Disruptive technology

  • the second generation device, releaze+, will provide the first ever smart digitally-enabled IPC approach that improves patients quality of life and supports the patient at home.

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Supported By

Enterprise Ireland
Translational Medical Device Lab