What do you do at ISIS?
I am an Electrical and Electronic Engineer which means my typical day varies quite a lot – depending on when you ask me! I could be designing a network structure for wireless reporting of our liquid helium storage tanks, programming a handheld motion controller to be used for motors in some of our facilities, or upgrading equipment we use to make sure the experiments we do at our facility are performed in safe conditions. Currently, I am studying for a qualification on electrical inspection and testing which I will then be able to make use of as part of my job role when it is complete.
What route did you take to get to where you are now?
I was always interested in learning about how things worked, and often took apart equipment that I could get my hands on like stereos and speakers to see what was inside. I also had ideas for lots of little technical projects I could do in my spare time but didn't yet have the skills for, so it made sense for me to do something that would give me those skills and also make a career out of at the same time.
I took the traditional route of A-Levels then going to university, and did industrial placement during my course to figure out exactly where I would like to work after I graduated. There are however other options such as degree apprenticeships, which might have suited me more had I known about them, so look to see what is in your area!
What key attributes do you need for your job?
Willingness to learn
What do you like most about your job?
The challenge of learning something new and building something out of it is something I find stimulating. It can be frustrating when obstacles appear and things don't go as expected, but persevering through until you get the result you are looking for makes it even more rewarding.
What has been your greatest achievement in your role so far?
I was able to take a project I'd been given and adapt it into a project that an A-Level work experience student interested in STEM could develop. Over three weeks with my supervision, this student had learned the electronic theory necessary to understand the project, designed a circuit, selected and ordered components, then assembled and tested a working prototype of a liquid hydrogen thermometer that would actually be used at our facility.