What is your current role?
I am responsible for the development, maintenance and implementation of engineering policies, specifications and procedures for the Operate & Maintain discipline. This includes pipelines, pressure regulators, pressure vessels, valves and heat exchangers.
I am also responsible for quality assurance of these asset types, including the investigation of issues and root cause analysis to determine appropriate action.
Outline your career so far. Have you worked on any unusual or high profile projects?
I have had the opportunity to progress throughout my career at Cadent and National Grid.
: After completing an advanced apprenticeship scheme, where I was awarded Apprentice of the Year, I carried out fault finding and maintenance tasks on pressure control and storage assets in the North London network.
: In this Process and Delivery role I managed work allocation for the local field teams, identifying maintenance jobs to be distributed to 25 field operatives. I was part of a team responsible for ensuring the safe supply of gas to the Olympic flame, stadium and athletes village.
Network Supervisor: In this role for Pressure Control Assets I was recognised as a pressure control project specialist for various upgrades and replacement of mechanical, civil, electrical and instrumentation equipment in the gas network.
I managed 12 asset replacement projects across forty-eight sites with an overall budget of £1 million per year, which included liaison with multiple stakeholders such as power stations and local authorities.
I oversaw the project plans, budgets and technical reports to ensure successful project delivery. I was also responsible for the management of two project managers and contract and direct labour teams.
As an authorising engineer I ensured safe systems of work, including writing permit to works and non-routine operations procedures.
You were registered as an EngTech (Engineering Technician) before becoming an IEng (Incorporated Engineer)? Describe your experience of becoming an EngTech
I completed an accredited advanced apprenticeship scheme with National Grid and was able to register as an Engineering Technician with the Institution.
What encouraged your registration as an IEng?
I was sponsored to complete a part-time mechanical engineering degree by National Grid. During this time I also started to take on additional responsibilities in my role that included team and project management as well as design and advanced problem solving.
Many of the engineers that I looked up to were professionally registered as Incorporated or Chartered Engineers and this motivated me to work towards upgrading my professional registration and be recognised for my achievements.
Describe how you became an IEng.
I found the Institution website extremely helpful in explaining what was required to become registered as an Incorporated Engineer. I started benchmarking myself against the IEng competences to identify gaps and areas for development.
I worked with my manager to find opportunities in my role to fill the identified gaps. My company also supported me by finding a mentor outside of my department to help with my development towards IEng.
My mentor is an experienced Chartered Engineer who has previously helped graduates to achieve professional registration. I followed the standard pathway, completing an accredited degree and submitting competency statements. The process took approximately 4 years.
Did anything surprise you about the experience?
I found the experience extremely rewarding. It was satisfying to work towards something for a long period of time and then be recognised as a professional engineer at the end. I found that the process made me more self-aware and helped identify my strengths and areas for development.
I was extremely nervous going into the Professional Review Interview but the panel put me at ease and it was more relaxed than I had anticipated.
What advice would you give someone considering professional registration as an IEng?
The process can seem quite overwhelming at first, but with the help of a good mentor it becomes much more manageable.
How has becoming an IEng benefited your career?
Gaining professional registration has helped me gain respect from my peers. It demonstrates my commitment to engineering and a high level of competence, which is important when interacting with external stakeholders.
How does your employer benefit from you being an IEng?
Being registered as an Incorporated Engineer gives my employer additional confidence in my ability. It also means that I can mentor junior engineers in gaining professional registration.
What are your future career goals?
I am due to finish a Mechanical Engineering MSc in September 2017 and have been using the Institution’s Monitored Professional Development Scheme (MPDS) to record my competence. Following the completion of the Masters course, I plan to apply for CEng status.
My aim is to be recognised as a technical expert in the Gas Industry while also helping up and coming engineers to achieve their goals.
Find out more about becoming an Incorporated Engineer (IEng).