Institution of Mechanical Engineers member Andrew Franklin works as a manufacturing engineer for Peterborough-based Perkins Engines. In March, he was named Technician of the Year at the SEMTA Skills Awards. We caught up with him to find out about the impact it’s had and more.
Congratulations on winning your award, Andrew. Could you tell us more about the story behind it?
The SEMTA awards celebrate individuals and companies whose commitment is making a significant difference in the workplace – and the UK’s advanced manufacturing engineering sector as a whole. I highlighted a robotics skills shortage and developed a training course to help apprentices operate the production and paint robots across our facilities.
What impact has winning the award had on you?
More people are seeking my advice and assistance on engineering problems, which means I get to be involved with complex issues and be trusted to deliver a result. When starting out, I never imagined I would be named the best technician in the UK, so it has suppressed any doubts I had and will spur me on to become a facility manager.
Do you think winning awards can give young engineers a sense of validation and push them to achieve more?
I do. As a young engineer myself, I know it can be difficult to get your ideas heard and to promote your talents, especially when working with more experienced team members. Awards like the one presented to me can really help to reinforce an individual’s ability and boost workplace confidence.
What role can the Institution of Mechanical Engineers play in personal development?
When you’re new to the industry, you need to be able to develop a skill set that will help you deal with a variety of tasks. The Institution provides access to courses and experience days that can bolster personal development at any stage in your career.
Finally, why is it important that young engineers apply for professional registration?
As the saying goes, many hands make light work, and as a member of a 100,000-strong global institution, you can tap into a vast pool of knowledge to help you with problem solving in the workplace.