Job title: Project Manager (retired)
Company employed by: Airbus Defence and Space Ltd.
When you were a child, what did you dream you’d be when you grew up?
I guess, in a family of Engineers (father and grandfather) it was a logical career path for me to follow in their footsteps and become and Engineer. An interest in Engineering also follows from an interest in inland waterways and industrial archaeology in general.
What is the biggest impact your work will or could have in the future?
I look forward to the day when the BepiColombo spacecraft reaches the planet Mercury and returns the science data and images, enabling a better understanding of this mysterious planet. Also, I hope that the hardware we have put into the Science Museum in London will inspire future generations of students to follow a career in science or engineering.
What excites you most about STEM?
The process of creating a finished article, starting with a specification and a set of requirements, performing an analysis, releasing to manufacture and testing the end product (then you see how close your analysis was! That’s a real learning exercise).
What do you love about your job? What would you change?
The variety - no two days are the same. Even as a Project Manager, it is often the engineering that matters the most in the end.
I would change very little – I enjoyed my job, right up to the end.
What gives you the most job satisfaction?
Seeing and testing the end product, especially when the test has been passed successfully!
What does a typical day at work involve?
There is no ‘typical’ day. In my Engineering days, I would typically assess the results of any analyses run overnight and determine if further analysis might be required or if the design can be allowed to progress. As a Project Manager, apart from scheduled meetings, it would be verifying that everything is progressing to plan.