Mechanical Engineer
Ulster Carpets

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Aiden Loughran

0:02 My name’s Loughran, I’m a mechanical engineer and I work in the research and development of Ulster Carpets. Can actually involve pretty much anything from, electronics, software and to my degree in mechanical engineering. I’ve worked in a number of projects involving electronics and software where we’ve developed our own system to wind yarn that’s not other company in the worth has. So it’s saved has saved us quite a bit of money and we have got the Queen’s award for innovation for the project.

00:37 It started off in university my final year project I started writing the software for it, it was a based on a calculation of the quantity of yarn to use, the project then, we got grant funding for it, and we implemented it over the next few years and it’s currently very successful.

00:58 I always wanted to be an engineer, even from an early age where I was taking stuff apart and, usually tried to put it back together but, unsuccessfully. Even from primary school I remember getting electric shocks from taking stuff apart so, it started at a very, very early age.

01:15 Mother and father both owned a corner shop and I grew up working in it so, probably that’s where I got my maths from but as far as engineering not really, although my father’s brothers were out being mechanics and they’d always been cars being worked on.

01:35 Well school I actually did like school, probably one of the few that did, particularly liked mathematics and physics, technology, had an interest in the field and it just came easy to me. I knew I wanted to be an engineer, and they pointed me towards maths, chemistry, physics, kept my options open and the A levels that I done our careers department, my school was quite good, they told me that there was an industrial scholarship scheme for students doing engineering at the time I didn’t know what type of engineering I wanted to do and there was a mechanical electrical, civil, and I couldn’t decide between them, but I opted for mechanical in the end, on my UCAS form I had at least four courses of engineering at university and to the same one’s quite difficult I chose mechanical more out of luck probably than anything and I don’t think it’s that important what you choose then because you can change and adapt, what you decide now won’t shape your entire future, it’s a start and you can move on.

02:44 After going for an interview for the scholarship scheme also Ulster Carpets took me on. In my first year I’d before I’d started university was working for the company, I worked in every department and learned how the job was done, this was great in future because it showed me how the people actually got in their jobs, and how we could make improvement. You met people on your course who hadn’t the experience that I had, and we had to do design projects and the knowledge that I had learned from here the real world of how things actually operated as opposed to theory was invaluable, it actually got me good marks for my projects and, it also helps understand you can relate what you have to learn in theory to the real world.

03:30 From there I went to university and each summer I’d come back and work for the factory and I’ve actually spent one of the summers in South Africa working for them. After I graduated then, the company has employed me and I’ve been working here since. As I’d said earlier my parents had owned a shop and seeing them working for themselves I’ve always had a desire to eventually work for myself, doing what I’m not quite sure but, we’ll there’re skills that I’ve got from here I’m sure that can fix something.

Aiden Loughran is a Mechanical Engineer. He received an industrial scholarship with Ulster Carpets and worked for them during his time at university, gaining practical experience to go alongside his studies. Won the Queen’s award for innovation for his final year project.

More information about Mechanical engineers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

93%  male 
7%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Mechanical engineers undertake research and design, direct the manufacture and manage the operation and maintenance of engines, machines, aircraft, vehicle and ships’ structures, building services and other mechanical items.
Mechanical engineers usually possess an accredited university degree. After qualifying, periods of appropriate training and experience are required before membership of a chartered engineering institution is attainable. Incorporated engineers possess an accredited university degree, BTEC/SQA award or an apprenticeship leading to an NVQ/SVQ at Level 4, followed by periods of training and relevant experience.
  • Undertakes research and advises on energy use, materials handling, thermodynamic processes, fluid mechanics, vehicles and environmental controls;
  • Determines materials, equipment, piping, capacities, layout of plant or system and specification for manufacture;
  • Designs mechanical equipment, such as steam, internal combustion and other non-electrical motors for railway locomotives, road vehicles, aeroplanes and other machinery;
  • Ensures that equipment, operation and maintenance comply with design specifications and safety standards;
  • Organises and establishes control systems to monitor operational efficiency and performance of materials and systems.
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