I joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) in 2003 and have thoroughly enjoyed my 15 years service as a vehicle mechanic.
During my time in the REME I have had the opportunity to work on an eclectic range of equipment ranging from 2kwh generators, weapons and small drones to the more sizeable protected mobility vehicles, plant equipment and AS-90 self-propelled howitzers. I have deployed to countries all over the world, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Oman, Latvia, Belize, Czech Republic to name just a few. I have had the privilege of being able to influence quite tense situations; be that through using my military knowledge and skills to provide protection and safety, or my engineering background to help alleviate technical challenges in aid to my friends, colleagues and people in need. I am now in the closing stages of the artificer course at DSEME Lyneham gaining an HND BETEC level 5 in automotive engineering technology.
What do you most enjoy about being involved with the IMechE?
I have the opportunity to actively promote the Institution to the younger tradesmen. Membership can help them develop their engineering abilities and instils a sense of pride for their chosen profession.
I have been a member for seven years and have benefited from attending events on an assortment of engineering subjects such as Crossrail and Greenpower, where I learnt about the development/challenges of Crossrail and the opportunities Greenpower is giving to young engineers of the future. As well as helping to introduce me to like-minded people, the Professional Engineering magazine and the engineer’s data handbook have been invaluable during my studies. The content of the magazine is diverse and helps to bring together technology advances and stories from around the world while the data handbook has been used consistently throughout my HND; picking up many hints and tips that have assisted me while studying. As a member you also have access to the technical library of IMechE which is vast. The offers and discounts you get as a member are excellent, ranging from holidays to insurance.
How do you see your association with IMechE evolving?
My future plans involve progressing to Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status, which will enable me to take a more active role within the Institution; such as volunteering and mentoring Eng Techs as I have been mentored in the past. I take great pride in knowing that I can pass on my knowledge to help develop my juniors so that they can share some of the opportunities that have been available to me.
What advice would you give someone considering professional registration as an EngTech?
My advice to anyone considering professional registration is to apply as soon as you are eligible. There is a wealth of experience and information that you can tap into when you become a member. It does spur you on to better yourself as a professional engineer and get involved with the broader engineering community, which gives you the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals.
The Institution stood out to me due to its long history. I felt like it was an organisation where I could get involved, to broaden my engineering knowledge and capability.
How has becoming an EngTech benefited your career?
Becoming an EngTech has given me the confidence to try out different engineering solutions to problems, to think more openly using lessons from other engineering disciplines to help me develop. Eng Tech has enabled me to stand out from other engineers and progress smoothly through my career. It has helped to develop my engineering foundations and commands a certain professional respect when amongst engineering peers.
How does your employer benefit from you being an EngTech?
Being able to find solutions for complex engineering problems due to the mentoring I have received from Incorporated and Chartered Engineers, has helped my employer keep the production going even in the most challenging of circumstances. Professionally registered engineers can pass on knowledge to younger tradesmen and in turn provide the British Army with a system of continued learning which is passed down from engineer to engineer.
Within the REME professional registration is highly valued as it shows your commitment to developing your engineering competences. Registration demonstrates your willingness to learn from engineers of various backgrounds and abilities. Registration gives the REME credibility in the broader engineering community showing that REME tradesmen have qualifications and skills that are on par and transferable to a civilian workplace.
What are your future career goals?
In the short term, I am going to complete my artificer course and from that complete a degree in engineering management. Longer term I intend to achieve the position of Warrant Officer Class 1 within the REME; to me that is the pinnacle of a young tradesman’s career and where all of us should be aspiring to be.
What would be your message to young engineers?
Becoming professionally registered opens you up to all kinds of new experiences and opportunities. Since becoming a member I feel like I have had more opportunities to learn about technology and engineering that I thought was beyond me when I was a young tradesman.
It is also an opportunity to give something back to share our experiences and knowledge with other engineers, to assist them in their development. Also, let’s not forget the charitable arm of the Institution that helps men and women that have given much to our profession throughout their careers. I would say join the IMechE! You have nothing to lose, but so much to gain.