Manufacturing Engineer
EADS Astrium

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Lloyd M

0.00.00 My name is Lloyd M. I’m a manufacturing engineer working at EADS Astrium in Stevenage. A manufacturing engineer normally means manufacturing a product, however I’ve got quite a strange job because I work directly in process improvements. So instead of manufacturing an actual spacecraft, what we do is we look at how we can reduce the cost, reduce the schedule and overall just trying to keep the quality

0.00.30 as high as possible so that our products are the best out there. When I was at school I had an ambition to be a fireman and my uncle was a fireman at the time and I thought it was a very, very interesting job, saving peoples’ lives. When I was at the age of sixteen I didn’t do quite as well in my GCSE’s as I expected. I actually failed my English, I only got a D and in some respects

0.01.00 I really did want the C in English, so what I did was I stayed on to do my A levels and I had the opportunity of redoing my English, which I did and succeeded and I got a C. The A levels I studied, I did information communication and technology, which otherwise known as IT, mathematics and biology. I like to use my mind and my numbers and kind of the form teacher was really did choose my path.

0.01.30 I knew in my frame of mind I wasn’t going to be able to do university. I already had some work experience behind me successfully and I got the feel of money and didn’t quite think that university life was for me. I needed a slight change and thankfully my form tutor at the time walked in and she passed me a piece of newspaper cutting and a bit bemused I kind of asked what this is and she understood that I wasn’t going to go to university but she knew that I still

0.02.00 enjoyed learning and it was for an apprenticeship for EADS Astrium and I applied and never looked back really. I didn’t even know who Astrium was at the time even though living in Stevenage, and it wasn’t until I went for my second interview that I actually found out what really Astrium did. And it wasn’t until you actually visit on site and you actually get an understanding of the complexity, the actual value of the product we’re producing

0.02.30 and what they cater for and give us as normal persons in a day to day life. The reward from that I felt was amazing and the opportunity of building something that everybody is going to use was something I thought, this is where I could be and help contribute. So that was the turning point really. I mean it wasn’t until I got here and actually saw what it was that I thought, yeah, this is where I would like to be.

0.03.00 My mum works in a sandwich shop and my father is a self employed plumber. So I’ve been to work many a times with my dad and hence why I love working with my hands, so that’s why I thought working in the company like this, in a manufacturing environment is fantastic cos I always like working with my hands. I do like my DIY and anything really making things. So that’s why I felt they were a good influence to me. In my spare time I like to do a bit of DIY.

0.03.30 I’ve got a baby on the way so I’ve got to get the house prepared and baby safe. Apart from that, I like to keep a little bit fit so I do help the environment, I cycle to and from work every day and I do, like I do a bit of cycling. I’m also a keen fisherman so unfortunately I’m one of those that sits at the lake and, well tries to catch a fish every now and again, and really just socialising with my friends and family. We’ve got a very close family so I like to keep in touch, find out what everyone’s doing and help where I can help.


AFter being disappointed with his GCSE results Lloyd went on to do A levels and re-took his GCSE English. After A levels he knew University wasn’t for him. His form tutor gave him a newspaper advert for an apprenticeship at Astrium, a subsidary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company. He started his apprenticeship and has never looked back.

More information about Design and development engineers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

96%  male 
4%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Design and development engineers conceive engineering designs from product ideas or requirements in mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering.
Design and development engineers usually possess an accredited university degree or equivalent qualification. All routes are followed by periods of appropriate training and relevant experience in order to qualify for membership of a chartered engineering institution. Incorporated engineers possess an accredited university degree, BTEC/SQA award or an apprenticeship leading to an NVQ/SVQ at Level 4.
  • Assesses product requirements, including costs, manufacturing feasibility and market requirements;
  • Prepares working designs for steam, aero, turbine, marine and electrical engines, mechanical instruments, aircraft and missile structures, vehicle and ship structures, plant and machinery equipment, domestic electrical appliances, building systems and services, and electronic computing and telecommunications equipment;
  • Arranges construction and testing of model or prototype and modifies design if necessary;
  • Produces final design information for use in preparation of layouts, parts lists, etc.;
  • Prepares specifications for materials and other components.
Employment by region
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Metal products 2360
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