Case study

Senior mechanical engineer — Stuart Cameron

Find out how a career in engineering can open up a range of exciting opportunities, with early responsibility and rewards...

How did you get your job?

I was promoted from a junior position to a full engineer while still studying and then was further promoted to a senior level after completing the BEng.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

Critical, without that area of study I would be unable to do my job properly and wouldn't be able to learn the necessary skills to be an engineer.

What are your main work activities?

My workload is varied, one day could be spent in the office working on the design of an engineering system and the next could be spent on an active construction site.

This could involve either inspecting on-going works or being involved in a project-specific meeting.

How has your role developed?

My role has developed significantly each year; I've progressed from an active engineer on a project, to a lead engineer, and finally a project leader.

The rate of responsibility greatly increases and opportunities grow each day providing you can demonstrate competence and a willingness to learn.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The freedom that I am not stuck behind a desk all day every day. Working in the field of engineering means that one day you can find yourself abroad in another country and the next in one of the most historically important buildings in London.

One of the key highlights in my career so far has been having the opportunity to work on the Palace of Westminster in the Houses of Parliament, which allowed me to not only access one of the most important buildings in London, but also to influence how that building would function for the next few decades.

I enjoy the range of opportunities that are available, and the fact that I get to influence and effect how systems will work and look within them. It's such a rewarding feeling being able to walk into a public building as a visitor and see the results of your work and design operating as intended.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

Time management is a challenge as the industry is fast paced. There is a lot of work to get through and it can be difficult to juggle every item that you need to attend to, however it does get easier to manage with experience.

Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

Be prepared to work hard and also be patient through harder times. However, opportunities will come and when they do, take them with both hands and enjoy every minute.

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