Ousedale School (Newport Pagnell), Milton Keynes College, The Open University, Cranfield University
GCSE’s, AS level, 2 x BTEC National Diplomas, a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) and a Master of Science (MSc)
I worked as an assistant for a family when i was young, worked in motorsport as a race technician, worked in a warehouse and then got a job as an apprentice at Cranfield
Specialist Technical Officer
I am a you(ish) engineering working for a university where I specialize in breaking things
I live in the countryside near Milton Keynes with my cat Maui.
I like to get out and explore the amazing world that we live in and I am passionate about preserving it for others to enjoy too.
I started working at the university when I was an apprentice, this was a great way to learn from the basics of engineering alongside college. I then kept studying part-time, completed my Bachelor of Engineering with the Open University and finally completed a Master of Science with Cranfield University (the best university in the land might I add).
I work on lots of mechanical engineering biased research projects in aerospace, manufacturing, renewable energy, automotive and more
The work I do with the Space Research Centre is around prototype development for small scale space missions. There are very small satellites called CubeSats which are often sent into space to demonstate technology like cameras. We can also carry out very small scale experiments in these satellites. One of the projects was to develop a way of causing the satellite to move into the atmosphere once the mission is over to burn up and not continue orbiting the earth as space junk for years and years.
I also work in the aerospace sector with industry partners such as Rolls-Royce and Airbus. We work on projects which make aircraft safer, more efficient and better for the environment.
One of my specialisms is structural integrity, this is a study to ensure that structures aren’t going to fail. To prevent structures from failing we first need to break the material/structure so that we can get the information we need. So a lot of the time I spend breaking things or helping other people break things.
My Typical Day: I get to work in the morning and check on some tests that I have been running overnight to see if they have failed. If they have then I will start new test and monitor it throughout the day. I also run a facility and manage some staff members so I have to make sure that projects and tasks are all going to plan, as well as making sure everyone is safe and knows what to do. I have to look at data from tests and write reports so that others can clearly see what the results are, they can then use these results for designs etc.
Some of these pictures give an idea of the kind of things that I do at work.
The first picture which shows a piece of titanium (metal), known as a specimen, which is being bent by a machine. This is a fatigue test, which is the same as bending the specimen, letting it go straight again, then bending it again, letting it go straight and repeating this until a crack grows and causes the specimen to break in half.
The second picture shows a lot of screens, which is the control room for the facility that I run. In this facility we test parts from aircraft fluid systems, such as pumps. The pumps are used to pump fuel from the aircraft fuel tank to the engine so that it can be burnt and provide a force to push the aircraft forward. We need to many screens as the tests are very complicated so we need to watch a lot of different things, such as the pump itself, the motor which drives the pump, instrumentation which monitor temperature, pressure, speed, as well as for safety in case of a fire or leak.
The final picture shows an Airbus A320 wing, which is the type of aircraft that we would fly to Spain on with Easyjet. Aircrafts have ‘lives’ which mean that once they have flown a certain amount of miles or have taken off and landed a certain number of times, then they have to be retired and generally scrapped for parts and metal. This wing was cut from one of these retired aircraft and will be used for research to get valuable data.
What I'd do with the money
I want to bring awareness to climate change and living sustainably
Climate change and sustainable living is very important and the new generation that are at school now are the people who can make a difference. At Cranfield University we work on a lot of projects which research ways in which we can help. I would like to use the money to show people from the local community the types of things that we are doing at the university, which should help raise awareness and enable people to help.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
A fun engineer
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Built a very complicated test facility
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Having an inquisitive mind and enjoying hands on work
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Once or twice
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
An architect or software engineer
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
The worlds highest natural bungee jump
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Very rich, an idea to save the world, the perfect wife
Tell us a joke.
Why did the jellyfish blush? Because the sea weed