It's been a great couple of weeks and hopefully we have inspired some new engineers! I can't believe I made it through... How very exciting! Just the last hurdle to go, don't forget to vote :)
While I was at university I worked as a Production Engineer in NZ’s Largest Brewery. When I left university I moved to the UK and worked as a Business Analyst for a large IT Company before joining the Royal Navy as a Weapon Engineer Officer 4 years ago.
I run a department of 27 Engineering Technicians to make sure the Captain can use the ship’s weapon and sensor systems when he needs them.
Royal Navy – I currently work onboard HMS SOMERSET as the Deputy Weapon Engineer Officer
I am responsible for keeping the weapons (that’s Guns, Missiles, Torpedos) and sensors (that’s Sonars and Radars) running on the Royal Navy T23 warship, HMS SOMERSET.
I manage a group of 27 Engineering Technicians, both male and female, with specialist skills. We make sure the ship is ready for any operations to protect UK interests at any time. I make sure the weapon and sensor systems are available when the ship’s Captain needs them. That may be for keeping the ship safe when navigating through dangerous water ways to firing warning shot at pirates in the Indian Ocean.
My Typical Day
Varies from chasing pirates to planning equipment maintenance. EVERY day is different!
My day starts at 0630 when I get up, before call the hands (there are 12 people to get through the 1 shower on my deck!).
I check my signals and emails after breakfast perhaps to see if the parts we require to fix a defect have been sent to us yet. I then visit the Technical Office to discuss what needs to be done in the day with the 2 Weapon Engineer Warrant Officers.
When we are in UK waters, my day may consist of routinely inspecting Explosives Stowages (magazines) to ensure the are kept safe, doing engineering inspections on equipment or perhaps testing the performance of radars, sonars and weapon systems by testing them against a trial aircraft.
When we are on operations, I may work from the Operations Room providing advice to the team who fight and manoeuvre the ship. This varies from defect investigation of equipment faults to advice on deploying a Towed Array Sonar.
What I'd do with the money
They say every engineer was inspired by another engineer….
…..so to inspire tomorrow’s engineers, you have to make it interesting!
My job is really interesting and sometimes exciting! I would like to try and convert some of the best parts of my job into something everyone can understand – A gun firing a bullet is just a really fast projectile…. Sonars are devices for transmitting and receiving sound waves.
I would work with a local school to make science more interactive and fun and help the students relate that to everyday life. There are some great teaching kits which show basic engineering principles in action, like Forces, Electricity, Waves and Mechanics.
I would use the money to invest in resources (like Lego Mindstorms) for the school and work with the teachers to relate the most important engineering principles to the real world.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Hardworking, Energetic, Firm
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Going on safari in Africa (the ship stopped in Tanzania for a few days) and learning to skydive (with work!)
What did you want to be after you left school?
I didn’t know exactly when I was at school, but I was always interested in how things worked.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not very often, usually for talking too much!
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
I have done lots of great things, one of the best was spending the day on a submarine. I got to watch through the periscope as we dived under the water!
Tell us a joke.
Arguing with an Engineer is a lot like wrestling in the mud with a pig: After a while, you will realise they like it!
This is HMS Somerset. We recently returned from Counter Piracy Operations in the Indian Ocean and for the next few months the ship will be in dry dock undergoing deep maintenance.
This is me with some of my engineering colleagues. We were in the Middle East so we are wearing our tropical uniforms. (The chap in middle is my boss!)
This is HMS SOMERSET’s 4.5 inch calibre gun being fired – you can see the round leaving the barrel!
I took this photo from the top of the mast (they stopped the Radar turning first!) when we were travelling through the Suez Canal last year.