I’ve worked at my current company, MAATS Tech, since I graduated university. I also did a marketing internship at a software engineering company between my 3rd and 4th year of uni.
Finite Element Analysis engineer
I create virtual simulations of equipment on huge construction vessels to see if it will survive real world conditions like stormy seas and try and strengthen them if they fail.
I’m in the analysis department of a marine consultancy firm which designs and builds equipment to go on ships which lay pipes and cables at the bottom of the sea for things like oil and gas rigs and wind farms. We design carousels which hold up to 7000 tonnes of cable, tensioners which pull the pipe or cable in and out the ship and chutes which guide them around. My job is to take the designs of the equipment and create a computed version called a Finite Element Model. I work out what forces the equipment will have to withstand when on the ship then input them into the Finite Element Model. Then I can create a simulation which tells me what the stresses are and where they are so I can tell if the structure will break or not. Then I report back to the design department and work with them to improve the design.
My Typical Day: I’m generally at my computer most of the day with occasional meetings and often in discussion with design engineers.
I use specialist software to create a 3D computer model of the equipment I’m analysing so most of the time I am at my computer. But I have to keep in constant contact with the design engineers as they are changing the designs all the time. Luckily the design office is just a couple of doors down so it’s easy for me to go and ask questions and keep up to date. Every so often I get to see the structures I’ve worked on in person either at the factory in Middlesbrough or at the shipyard which is usually either in the Netherlands or Norway. Last year I got to go to a ship launch where the almost completed ship was launched from the shipyard into the sea.
What I'd do with the money
I would donate it to a society in the University of Bristol Engineering outreach program who do amazing work with schools in my area.
I graduated from the University of Bristol and I’m still based here so if I were to donate to them I could get involved and really see where the money is going. The outreach program in the engineering faculty do lots of work with schools and with Engineers Without Borders who teach pupils about the difference engineering can make in developing countries. Two of the societies in the program that interests me are Robogals and Student Robotics. Robogals teaches young girls about engineering and encourages them to pursue it as a career. Student Robotics enables 16-18 year olds to make robots which they can enter in an annual robotics competition.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Small, cheerful and geeky
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Help design a carousel that can carry 7000 tons of pipe across the world.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really, I was pretty quiet until my late teens.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Something to do with marketing and websites.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Most rock music. At the moment probably Foo Fighters.
What's your favourite food?