What is your current position?
Technical Supervisor for Mech Eng Labs.
How long have you worked at the University?
I started as an apprentice at the University in September 2000.
What did you do before that?
Prior to working at the University, I spent three years working as a warehouse operative in Westbury and nearly two years working as a delivery driver for a pharmacy in Frome.
Tell us about your journey so far at Bath
During my apprenticeship, I spent some time in each area within the department. A large part of this was based in the Manufacturing lab. I spent a fair amount of time on lab sessions, becoming familiar with engineering applications such as injection moulding, vacuum forming, press forging and CNC machining. I also supported research and student projects during this period and gained broader experience in machining, fitting and fabricating. On completion of my apprenticeship, I spent around a year working in the composites department, before returning to Manufacturing. I also later spent some time in Materials Testing, looking at CT scanning and tensile testing, amongst other things. My primary interest, however, was in CNC machining and I returned to the Manufacturing lab to continue in the role as Senior Technician, before starting my current role in April of last year.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
Although my path at the University seemed to take me backwards and forwards a bit, this provided me with interesting new experiences, so I don’t regret this path. I also feel that moving around the department during my apprenticeship gave me a good basis on which to build, having completed my training. Having a degree of knowledge in many of the different areas I now oversee has been beneficial in my new role. Having said that, I am still learning all the time!
Was there any particular training or other development resource that you found especially useful?
The experience of other technicians in the department was undoubtedly the most useful resource available to me, during my apprenticeship. I had several individual training courses for various machine tools that I have used. These courses have been helpful. It is always important to back up this learning with regular use of the machines, where possible. I also made use of quite a few of the available staff development courses over the years, which I would certainly recommend doing, where relevant.
As I am still relatively new to my role, and given that it is very different to my previous one, I am conscious of the fact that I have a great deal of learning to do. That is my primary focus at the moment. I am also undertaking a work based management apprenticeship, which will take around 18 months to complete. I hope this will provide me with a solid foundation for my role, moving forward.