Engineering Technicians solve practical engineering problems, contributing to the design, manufacture, and operation or maintenance of products, equipment, or processes.
Laurie-Anne Benner started as an apprentice with specialist engineering company PEME and now works as a Reliability Engineer. She particularly enjoys the variety of her work, “For me there aren’t any ordinary days, one day I could be doing mechanical maintenance, the next day I could be doing a thermal imaging survey or electrical panels and the day after that I could be setting up a computerised system.” She works in blue chip processing factories across the country to reduce break downs and down time, which involves specialist skills in thermal imaging, oil analysis and vibration.
Tom Hamer is a Technician in the Department of Engineering at the University College London (UCL). He makes and designs prototypes for students’ research, as well as for UCL and external research projects, and has just finished a prototype for a Vodaphone solar-powered umbrella to boost signals and charge mobile phones.
He started work at UCL at 16 and says technician roles at the university encompass a wide range of jobs and opportunities,”It can be anyone really, from someone who cleans test tubes in the laboratory to making intricate pieces of metal and plastic work, ” he explains, “I do know a few Technicians within other universities that have actually gone on to become Doctors and Professors because they found it so intriguing.”
Engineering Apprentice Matthew Parkinson works at missile and defence company MBDA. He considered going to university but liked the idea of work-based learning and has now completed four years of his apprenticeship. The first part of his training focused on getting to know and understand the company, “We spent time going round the shop floor, which is the manufacturing and working area, going round various areas learning the capabilities that we have, what the various machines do, what each section within the factory does,” he explains. Matthew has now moved on to engineering placements, “working with fellow Engineers to get the product through and out to the customer.”
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