Author: Joseph -
Hi there, my name is Joseph and last month I began to give some sort of insight into the daily life of an Extended Integrated Project (EIP) student working at Rolls-Royce as part of my Master’s Degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (IMEE) at Bath.
Since the last time I wrote, a lot has happened. Whilst it feels like I am only just getting to grips with my specific project, the end is in sight, with no more than three months left at the company. However, for the sake of coherence, I will try not to miss anything out.
So here it is, a brief chronology of events since my introductory blog post in February…
Rolls-Royce Global Induction
Following a Rolls-Royce ‘global induction’ day in Derby it wasn’t long before we all felt like fully-fledged employees and were set our respective tasks due to take up the large majority of our 6-month placement with the company. The global induction day was a fabulous opportunity to visit the company head-quarters in Derby and appreciate how vast the Rolls-Royce empire really is. As a company, Rolls-Royce is very proud of its heritage and there are, in fact, small ‘heritage museums’ at both the HQ in Derby and at the site in Bristol. These heritage museums provide an excellent opportunity to gain a wider contextual understanding of the company and how it has developed over its long history.
As per any significant university project, the first few weeks were spent project planning; outlining project scope, understanding the deliverables – both to Rolls-Royce and to the University, whilst making sure that what we aimed to do was feasible in the restricted time-frame. Given the military projects undertaken at the Bristol facility (I talked about this in my first blog post), it was very important for us all to learn about export control laws and non-disclosure agreements that the company has in place to enable us to share our work with the University. We all completed mandatory training in export control and were told about the stringent rules and regulations regarding sharing information with people outside of the company.
As part of the EIP scheme, we were all expected to have completed a formal project plan outlining all aspects with an associated Gantt chart to identify key dates and dependencies. Unsurprisingly, the Gantt chart created in week two has been a welcome fall back for me and I often use it to check that my progress is as expected and that I have not missed any crucial deadlines.
Regrettably I am unable to give any detail on the projects I am working on in light of the strictly private status of my work at Rolls-Royce. However, as you can imagine, the following two months were firstly spent compiling a relevant literature review of all existing work in my subject area and secondly putting this new-found understanding to work as per my supervisor’s suggestions. This said, given the academic nature of the work carried out for the EIP scheme, if at any point, for whatever reason, I felt it best to steer the project in a different direction, my supervisor had no issue with this, provided I could give sufficient reasoning and explanation. I have relished the relative freedom of my work at Rolls-Royce, and I have enjoyed considering certain areas in more detail as I see fit.
Lengthy weekly review sessions with my supervisor make sure that I do not go completely off-track – this is a very good thing! Moreover, department wide technical review sessions have allowed me to gain valuable insight into the opinions of other experts in relevant fields. Similarly, I have taken time to talk to various professors at the University and seek their advice across numerous fields within electrical engineering, chemical engineering and chemistry. Professors at the University have provided me with the academic foundation I need for the type of work I am carrying out at Rolls-Royce and allow me to provide enormous academic insight and opinion to Rolls-Royce as a regular deliverable – something which my supervisor is very happy with.
Photo: An inspired audience at the Renishaw keynote speech.
More recently, all Rolls-Royce EIP students were incredibly lucky to exhibit (what we could!) at the Bath University Engineering Design Exhibition. This was an excellent opportunity to catch up with peers, speak to academics and most importantly, see what everybody else had been working on as part of their GBDP on campus. Unfortunately, I am of a squeamish disposition, but nevertheless, the keynote speech about neurosurgery, delivered by the CTO of Renishaw was inspirational and showed me, yet again, how engineering can be applied to change the lives of people in need beyond recognition.
Until next time!