A Day in the Life – Graduate Mechanical Engineer

Name: Callum Henderson

Introduction:

I’m 25 years old and have a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

I currently work with the HMS Bulwark team at Devonport.

Before working for Babcock I’ve worked in a wider variety of jobs including hospitality, public sector, transport, defence and manufacture.

My trade, why I chose it and why I chose Babcock:

I chose to become a mechanical engineer as I’ve always had a fascination for how things work – at school I was interested in science and mathematics which was why I chose to do a Mechanical Engineering degree. I want my career to be in designing, maintaining, and managing mechanical systems and machines.

I chose Babcock because it gave me an opportunity to work with huge ships and complex systems. I wanted a job that would challenge and drive me to improve, whilst providing opportunities to learn.

My Typical Day:

I start my day by reviewing previously completed work as this helps to organise the projects I’m working on. I also schedule any meetings with colleagues that I need to speak with.

Sometimes I’ll go on board a platform to do a survey, asses a route for equipment or personnel, or to visualise how to complete a task, which I will then report on during projects and briefings.

After this there are usually further tasks to complete which require solutions – a busy day will be spent problem solving with colleagues around you.

My favourite part of the job:

I have enjoyed how versatile the placements have been – at times I have felt like I am doing something different every day! There aren’t many jobs where you’ll be walking past warships and nuclear submarines on a daily basis either.

Most challenging thing I’ve ever done to date:

I had to produce a report as part of one of my placements which analysed how dockyard projects take account of environmental considerations.

There were sessions spent in front of whiteboards with colleagues writing spider diagrams to connect everything together and many equations to dig deeper into the data I had collected. This allowed me to build a picture of how the systems within that business unit effect the environment. This pushed me to think critically and logically in a way that I hadn’t done before.

At the end of the project, I had to deliver a presentation in front of several senior people explaining the findings of the report. This was very challenging but also enjoyable – it’s possibly the most complex piece of work I’ve had to do and the outcome of several months of work. Knowing that the findings will be built upon by others to help the company in the future is incredibly satisfying.

My contribution as a STEM Ambassador:

As a STEM Ambassador I’ve provided support to various events:

  • Events at a primary school which included making landing craft and creating plasticine boats to see which team’s vessel could hold the most marbles without sinking.
  • A challenge at a local college where students had to build cranes out of Lego whilst taking into account budget, project roles and structure.
  • A university mock assessment centre event to give students a taste of what it’s like to go to job interviews and to help them develop their skills.