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New Engineering


Stephen Sisman

Stephen Sisman

"I left this course knowing what would work back in the office, as well as new things I could try. That’s a success. I’d really recommend this course to engineers who are training to become managers"

Verified by an engineer

Stephen Sisman studied Aerospace Engineering at Hertfordshire University. His first jobs after graduating were within quality control for a foundry serving the aerospace sector and then an SME specialising in camera lenses. In 2019, Stephen moved to his present company, Russell Finex, to be a Development Engineer. The company specialises in developing and manufacturing sieving and filtration equipment.

Stephen is now the Senior Mechanical Engineer in the Development Department. “My role is to ensure we remain market leaders by improving efficiencies on our existing products, as well as designing new equipment and bringing it to market,” says Stephen, 32. “It comes as a surprise to some people that we work with so many sectors – pharmaceutical companies, the food industry, paint and varnish manufacturers, the list is endless. Anything that has been manufactured will have a component that was a powder or slurry at some point – and it’s likely that it will have gone through a Russell Finex sieve.”


Why the New Engineering Manager course?

“My last company was very small – just myself and a few others, so everything was extremely informal. I had manager in my title but really I was more the problem solver and arranging work for everybody else. I wasn’t getting the experience or guidance of how to be the senior engineer in a department. That’s one of the reasons I moved to Russell Finex.

“It’s a much larger company here, although it’s still a small team in my department. I came in as a development engineer and have now moved up to a more senior role. My line managers recommended the course as part of my new position. I need to be able to use management techniques that work within an engineering environment, which is why the course was of interest.”

What was your experience of the course?

"Compared to other courses I have taken where there was not enough time to process the technical information given, this two-day course sounded like it would have the right balance.

“We covered some areas that I had worked on in previous courses elsewhere, such as DiSC profiling (Dominance, influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness). This framework was one I found difficult to know how to implement. However, thanks to the trainer's approach and explanation, I left with a better understanding of how to implement it to suit different personality profiles.

“Previously on courses elsewhere, I’ve left with a textbook and course notes but no idea how to implement things. This was different. I left this course knowing what would work back in the office, as well as new things I could try. That’s a success. I’d really recommend this course to engineers who are training to become managers.”

What are the key reasons someone should attend the New Engineering Manager course?

  1. “You’ll understand the difference between pull and push influencing – that will help you and your team get the best results”
  2. “You will learn how to talk to individuals within meetings. Communication with people within a group is different to when you are one-on-one”
  3. “You’ll get to grips with what coaching means within the management environment – being the person who guides rather than the one who tells people what to do”

What’s been the impact?

I am now able to implement techniques I have learned, as situations present themselves.

“One area where I have changed my approach is project management. By using the skills that were presented in the course, I have been making improvements on how we communicate within the team and how we can get things back on track if they show signs of starting to drift.

“I’ve also tried to alter my approach to managing people by using some of the processes suggested by DiSC profiling as a guide – but always remembering it’s not the only way to do it!”

Three pieces of advice you’d give future attendees

  1. “Don’t let experiences of previous courses from other suppliers colour your judgment. I had a slightly negative view of courses beforehand but the IMechE has changed that”
  2. “Think what practical issues you face. This course is not about theories in a textbook. I could see how the things we were taught could be used in the real world”
  3. “Come with an open mind and aim to get everything you can out of the opportunity”

What’s next?

“There is the opportunity to have a 360-degree appraisal after the course, as well complete an assignment to get CMI Level 3. I don’t have much time at the moment – my wife and I have an 18-month-old, so it’s not the best time to take on extra tasks outside work. Plus, I like to let concepts sink in first. But it is something I am interested in for the future.

“I am also interested in taking the IMechE’s Managing Time course. That is something that would be really useful and would be good for us to do as a department – especially if there was a way of tailoring it to us. Time management is one of the areas that people in R&D struggle with.”

New Engineering Manager

  • Duration:
    2 days
  • Location:
  • CPD Hours:
  • UK-Spec:
    B, C, D, E