• Question: What does your engineering job involve?

    Asked by chloe1 on 23 Apr 2020. This question was also asked by kory123, chloew, manman.
    • Photo: K-Jo O'Flynn

      K-Jo O'Flynn answered on 23 Apr 2020:

      My engineering job involves assembling and testing structures and antennas for space.

    • Photo: Sophie Louth

      Sophie Louth answered on 23 Apr 2020:

      Hi Chloes and Kory,

      My job involves doing experiments in a lap, I test metal bones that I make to see how strong they are, so I crush them to see when they break.
      I also read about research that other scientists have done so I don’t have to spend time finding out something that the world already knows.
      I then I write about what I have found out so other people can read it.

    • Photo: Claire Brockett

      Claire Brockett answered on 23 Apr 2020:

      My work involves designing tests that mimic how the body moves so we can develop new implants to treat arthritis and joint damage.

    • Photo: Louise France

      Louise France answered on 23 Apr 2020:

      My work involves trying to find ways to allow the human body to heal quicker. Sometimes this is done using biology, sometimes this is done using technology that is used in space. It’s pretty cool!

    • Photo: Jeni Spragg

      Jeni Spragg answered on 23 Apr 2020:

      I am a chemical engineer, and my work involves testing and designing new technologies that can remove carbon dioxide from power plant flue gases, so that we can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we release (and therefore slow down climate change).

      My job involves a mix of lots of different things. Sometimes I have meetings with experts from all over the world, where we help each other understand if their ideas might work. Sometimes I work on-site at the power plant, where we are testing technologies on a small scale. I also spend a lot of time doing process designs and calculations to figure out how we can do carbon capture on a really big scale.

    • Photo: Stephen Lang

      Stephen Lang answered on 23 Apr 2020:

      Designing new products that meet my client’s needs. Most relate to prosthetic limbs.
      I write specifications and make sure I understand what is needed, then I sketch my ideas for something that will do what they want. I then model the new product on a computer and produce drawings, so that someone can make parts for a prototype or two and I assemble them.. I try out the prototype and test it to make sure it does what it’s supposed to. I then talk to the people who will make the parts and put them together to make it as easy for them as we can.

    • Photo: Diana Mathew

      Diana Mathew answered on 23 Apr 2020:

      Eventhough I’m a Telecommunications Engineer by training, I’ve moved into technical project management. My work usually involves collaborating with various engineers in the team – delegating tasks depending on the scope of a project, regularly following-up with the team, making sure enough resource (people, money, time) is available, keeping higher management updated about our progress and so on. Along with good interpersonal skills,depending on the project I’m working on, I have had to get a high level understanding of various topics e.g., Satellite communications, GIS, Electrical engineering, Computer networks, front-end development, Optical Engineering etc.

    • Photo: Douglas Wragg

      Douglas Wragg answered on 23 Apr 2020:

      Four things:-
      1. Accident investigation.
      2. Accident reconstruction.
      3. Catastrophic Failure Analysis – when something goes bang, what caused it to happen?
      4. Provenance – where a vehicle is found not to be as it left the factory – a write off that has been repaired or a stolen vehicle which has had its identiy changed.

    • Photo: Katie Sparks

      Katie Sparks answered on 23 Apr 2020:

      I work in thermal analysis for spacecraft. That means I create computer models of a spacecraft to work out how hot and cold different parts will get and how the heat moves around. From the results, I will then suggest changes to the spacecraft to make sure things are at the right temperature.

      I get to do all sorts of things to make this happen, such as:
      * meet with people who know about the different pieces of equipment and how they will be used (I need these to make my computer model) and also where the spacecraft will go
      * present my finding – by writing reports and in meetings, to show what needs to be done and why
      * using computers – to make those models
      * using lots of maths, often graphs, to work out what is going on
      * research – lots of reading of different types of materials and options to help control the heat moving around

    • Photo: Kate Davies

      Kate Davies answered on 29 Apr 2020:


      My job involves supporting production of hydrodynamic testing models (bigger versions of toy boats and submarines with a little more capability).

      This mainly includes working with the Design, Workshop and Instrumentation teams to produce project plans used to figure out when we are going to do our work to make sure we finish on time.

      I also use my skills as an engineer to help solve problems and develop skills within the teams. πŸ™‚

      All the best,

    • Photo: Sean Creed

      Sean Creed answered on 29 Apr 2020: last edited 29 Apr 2020 1:53 pm

      My engineering job involves solving problems to help design new products or design the tools used to create those products in mass manufacture.

      Typically this involves first some sketches of concepts on paper. These are discussed with others and often change rapidly.
      Next, some of these concepts may be modelled in 3D CAD (Computer-aided design) on a computer.
      These concepts are again discussed and some may be tested by producing them in 3D printing or another form of quick manufacturing.
      Some of these designs may be chosen to be developed further and one or two may make it to final testing where the part is manufactured in it’s final form. Many tests are performed to make sure that the part meets the requirements initially set out in the project. Losing site of the initial goal is easy to do sometimes as things evolve.
      Eventually the design is finalised and manufactured, but even then it is often supported through use and sometimes still evolved as new requirements come along.

      For me, this is all related to the creation of optical encoders. These are items that help machinery know where they are to a very precise location. They can measure to less than the thickness of a human hair. Important for helping to manufacture your new high-definition TV screens or miniature computer chips.

    • Photo: Charles Sparey

      Charles Sparey answered on 29 Apr 2020:

      As a technical project manager mainly scheduling work, looking out for things that might cause problems, delays, resourcing / cost overruns and helping my teams to stay on track and deliver good, safe and working products to our customers that they actually want. πŸ™‚

    • Photo: Amber Villegas - Williamson

      Amber Villegas - Williamson answered on 29 Apr 2020:

      My job involves checking πŸ€“ electrical power ⚑and mechanical cooling ❄️ designs for data centers (where the Internet lives) when I’m working from home to check for single points of failure. I also travel the 🌍 world 🌍 checking that data centers designs match the drawings I’ve looked and…….. then we test 😎 to prove it works as per the design.

    • Photo: Jennifer Hughes

      Jennifer Hughes answered on 29 Apr 2020:

      I am a research engineer so I conduct research to aid industries, what is called applied research. I have also worked as a mechanical engineer in the oil and gas industry designing subsea Xmas trees

    • Photo: Rob Hudd

      Rob Hudd answered on 29 Apr 2020:

      My job is to make passenger aeroplane parts lighter and stronger. Here’s a few things that my days often involve:

      Meetings – face to face in Swindon or over Skype with engineers in France, Germany, India and North America.
      Computer Aided Design (CAD) – this is modelling components in 3D on a computer.
      Simulating – I can simulate parts bending, vibrating, twisting and being heated to see what will happen.
      Sketching – I draw ideas for new parts and present them to colleagues to see what they think.
      Testing – I ask technicians to run tests for me and I inspect them to see how the part is performing.
      Writing reports/presentations – I do this to keep a record of what we’ve done and to communicate it to the customer.
      Travel – Sometimes I have to travel to customers to or other TE Connectivity sites to work on things in person.

    • Photo: Nicola Grahamslaw

      Nicola Grahamslaw answered on 29 Apr 2020: last edited 29 Apr 2020 4:27 pm

      My job involves using computers to control machines which dry out air and then blow it around museums. The dry air is used to stop the historic objects from getting too damp which would make them go rusty or mouldy. In our museum we’ve got the world’s first metal ship and I want to stop it from rusting so the structure stays safe for people to climb around on and explore!
      I have put sensors in all different parts of the ship and museum so I can see on my computer exactly how dry the air is, and where it’s going, to make any changes to my computer code if I need to.
      Some of the calculations I’m doing will help work out how we can save energy, so we can reduce our carbon footprint while still keeping everything safe.
      Lots of smaller museums don’t have an engineer working there, so part of my job is to help them with their air flow too, by going to conferences and teaching people about the techniques I use.
      I also help museum visitors understand how we look after the displays by doing tours or presentations, or writing blogs and newsletters.

    • Photo: Juan Carlos Fallas-Chinchilla

      Juan Carlos Fallas-Chinchilla answered on 29 Apr 2020:

      In my company, we have computer models of jet engines and how they behave. Inputs such as temperatures, speeds, stress and tolerance to damages are important to predict for how long components are safe.

      As the engines keep flying and services (overhauls) are performed, we update the models with recent information to include the wear-and-tear and check if our life predictions are accurate or need to be corrected.

    • Photo: Rob Husband

      Rob Husband answered on 30 Apr 2020: last edited 30 Apr 2020 11:02 am

      My job involves writing code as part of large scale control system used in UK and international railways. I also specialised code that runs to test that the code I’ve written works as expected which is called unit testing (a very important part of software development).
      Most of my code is written with the C# language and i also write specialised code that is used to test code in isolation, this is referred to unit testing and is a very important thing to learn as a software engineer.

    • Photo: Jean-Luc Bulber

      Jean-Luc Bulber answered on 30 Apr 2020:

      As a project manager, my job involves a lot of communication. I need to make sure that everyone in the project team is working towards the same goal, and knows what is going on.

      I speak directly with our customer and am their first point of call when they have questions. I keep them informed of the progress on the project, and anticipate any delays with a suitable corrective action plan.

      Internally, I account for the money we spend on the project, and the use of the resources that I am allocated. And of course I am the one building and following the project timing plan through the key milestones that we have identified at the beginning of the project. These are regular reviews of what needs to be done now, where we are, and who is doing it. If there is a drift, I escalate it to the project director; otherwise I make most of the decisions myself within my responsibilities.

      On a personal level as a mechanical and industrial engineer, I still have a very keen interest in the manufacturing process itself, and how it is introduced in our production plant. I like to get the direct feedback from the people who run the machines.

    • Photo: Conrad Manning

      Conrad Manning answered on 1 May 2020:

      My job is really varied as one day it is looking at composite engineering of whole boats using some great tools that can analyse things using FEA (Finite Element Analysis), another day it could be hand calculations in excel for small components.

      The engineering council have a really useful document for those who want to take engineering into the next level after university showing the general skills that each engineer needs to pass their test.

    • Photo: Tom Stewart-Brackenridge

      Tom Stewart-Brackenridge answered on 2 May 2020:

      My job consists of the design and manufacturing of temporary structures for some of the biggest motorsport teams in the world! It is very rewarding, but also very challenging at times. I use 3D CAD software called SOLIDWORKS to do my design work, and carry out Finite Element Analysis (FEA) studies on my designs to see if they are structurally strong enough to withstand the forces the outside elements put on them.

    • Photo: Frances Askill-Kirk

      Frances Askill-Kirk answered on 4 May 2020: last edited 4 May 2020 3:00 pm

      I am a product development engineer for Polestar – an electric vehicle company.

      My job includes;
      – Creating 3D geometry of parts
      – solving problems related to my parts
      – ensuring my parts are able to be made to cost and in time.
      – DVA analysis (dimensional variation)
      – writing technical specifications
      – writing legal documents
      – working in cross functional teams
      – liaising with suppliers
      – The list goes on and on!!
      I follow my parts from concept phase to the day they are assembled to the car. 4 years in total!!

    • Photo: Martin McKie

      Martin McKie answered on 5 May 2020:

      I work in the automotive industry, one of the key things in any engineering role is engagement with people.

      How do you get people to buy into your ideas, how do you get the wider business to adopt them.