Name: Gareth Black
Degree: First Class Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering (MEng) from the University of Bath, 2004.
Title: Technical Manager, Delta Fluid Products
What do you actually do? I work for Delta Fluid Products as their technical manager for gas products and am responsible for the design and engineering of their gas products, which have a turnover of over £5 million a year.
When I left university, I took a job as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) associate with the school of engineering at Liverpool John Moores University and Delta Fluid Products with the aim to embed and apply modern design methods to develop a brand new gas product. These KTP schemes are subsidised by the government and aimed at transferring knowledge between academia and industry. In addition to presenting my work at international conferences in China and Canada, the highlight of my time on this programme was winning the Business Leader of Tomorrow award.
On a day-to-day basis I now juggle my time between managing the development of new or improved products, providing technical support to customers, and helping the production team overcome problems on the shop-floor. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing products that I have designed become a reality. I don’t think there are many professions where you apply your creativity to products that could potentially go into millions of people’s houses around the world.
Would you undertake further education to progress your career? Planning your career progression is important and since graduating, I have been awarded a project management qualification, completed an NVQ in management, and am now working towards a PhD in my spare time. All of these things show that I am interested in my profession and they will continue to make me stand out as an excellent engineer.
What do you most like about what you do? Being interested in what I do helps me balance my research, job responsibilities and personal life. I have now been in graduate engineering for four years and firmly believe that enthusiasm is one of the most important attributes that you can exhibit.
What advice would you give graduates coming into this sector? The most important piece of advice that I could give to a graduate wishing to come into engineering is to pick a job that interests you. Do your research on the companies that are recruiting and do not take the first job that is offered, unless is right for you. I find my job interesting, exciting and rewarding, and there are not many days that I do not look forward to getting into work.