Inspiring engineering stories from Tomorrow's Engineers week

Following Tomorrow’s Engineers week, we want to thank all of those who contributed their own stories and experiences in the engineering industry. We believe that your responses can help inspire our engineers of the future, and have been overwhelmed by the support.

Blane Judd, Chief Executive at EngTechNow said, “As the son and grandson of electricians I was always interested in engineering. I was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship with the electricity industry when I left school. I worked on some amazing projects including the building of power stations, the tallest pylons in the South of England and the electricity link that connects England to France. I have flown in helicopters to survey power lines, driven a steam train and even been to the depths of a gold mine in South Africa, all because of engineering. I have met royalty, politicians and great engineers on many continents around the world. I have been interviewed on television and radio about engineering. My career has placed me at the centre of developments in new techniques which have been adopted by other countries. Best of all I am now promoting excellence of UK engineering and helping engineers to become recognised for their skills, competence and ethics to make the UK a better place for Tomorrow’s Engineers.”

Furthermore, Colin Butler said, “Ships have always been a hobby as well as a job. Technical drawing was one of the few subjects in which I excelled at school, and so I started work in the design office of a shipyard. Later I gained a degree in technology, and worked all around the world as a ship surveyor and superintendent. Following a lifetime of technical challenges and exciting experiences, I have learned to use AutoCAD and reverted to being a ship draughtsman. Fifty years on, and I still have the same enjoyment and satisfaction of starting with a blank screen, developing an idea, issuing a drawing for production, and then seeing the result installed and functional on-board ship. Shipbuilding is a complex and creative industry – an intriguing combination of art, engineering and technology.”

Andrew Fay added, “I always loved Lego, and grew up on a farm where I worked holidays and weekends until I was 18. The problems you encounter in farming as a farm hand are always practical, and I loved working with my hands and solving problems. I had to cycle to work, so the bike – and fixing it – became important. Lots of learning!

Studying Marine Engineering at Warsash delivered a combination of study and hands-on work, which I loved. After my sea time, I worked in a drawing office in Romsey. A special highlight was drawing a very large piece of equipment, (for uncoiling 10mm diameter wire from a wire mill). On the drawing board, (before AutoCAD), I knew that it was 10,000mm tall. When I went to the factory to see it being tested, I saw a huge mobile crane in the car park. I quickly realised that the mobile crane was there for my wire machinery. It lifted it form the horizontal position it had been fabricated in, to a vertical position. It towered over me. It was an incredible moment – my thoughts had become something real, and I had been able to communicate my ideas via my drawings.

This feeling continues today and is at the heart of why I enjoy engineering so much. The team are presented with a challenge, we draw on our experience and that of others, and then we communicate it to another team that will deliver our design.

My marine experience has developed through warships and commercial vessels, and I’m currently part of a great team delivering Megayachts. It’s a delight to walk through a ship that you have never been on before, and know your way around intimately, because you have walked through it in CAD. It was built on a computer years before the steel was cut and fabricated.

The challenges are different, but the principles are the same, and I’m so proud of being involved in British Engineering – although we have to get other countries to build it now. I’m well under way on my Master in Engineering as my desire is to become chartered through the IMarEST. I take engineering seriously, and still love it, 30 years after leaving the farm!”

Engineers have also been tweeting us with their journey to becoming an engineer with @neilplant73 stating;

RT @neilplant73: @matchtech Got passion through my Dad, did heating&AC Apprenticeship then onto engineer& CR mgr – teaching others #teweek15

If you have any stories you would like to share please feel free to comment below, there is an audience of future engineers out there, and you could be their inspiration. For more engineering stories please visit http://www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk/.

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