Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK
I left school in 1987 and went to work for Stenner of Tiverton, I did a five year engineering apprenticeship with this sawmill machinery manufacturer. The training consisted of broad based engineering skills in the first two years, covering machining, welding, fabrication and fitting. In the final year I choose to specialize in machining, learning more about milling and turning.
In late 1991 Stenner decided to close it's machine shop, and in the process we were made redundant. This can be seen as a bit of a blessing, if this hadn't happened maybe I'd still be there.
From Stenner I went to work at the University of Exeter, in the School of Chemistry. This turned out to be a good move, I spent fourteen happy years there. Along the way I was able to regularly update my skills, as well as learn some new ones. I started out in the Mechanical Workshop, my duties included the design and manufacture of bespoke laboratory equipment, servicing and repair of laboratory equipment, and servicing and repair of rotary vacuum pumps.
In 1998 an opportunity to further my skills appeared. The School of Chemistry was undergoing a major restructure, which included job loses. My job in the Mechanical Workshop no longer existed, but an opening in the Electronics Workshop became available. So it was back to college to retrain in the field of electronics, and after a three year part time course I took over the running of the Electronics Workshop. I now had all the skills to be able to design and build equipment completely, from paper to finished product, though in the later years my work consisted mainly of repairing existing kit.
In 2005 disaster struck, the plug was pulled on the School of Chemistry at Exeter. Luckily for me there were still opportunities within the University. I now work for the Department of Geography, in the School of Geography, Archeology and Earth Resources as a Workshop Technician. This post could almost have been made for me in as much as the skills I've gained over the years are all used. The job requires both mechanical and electronics knowledge, being used to design and manufacture laboratory equipment.
- To provide both mechanical and electronic engineering support to the department.
- Design and manufacture of bespoke laboratory and field equipment.
- Repair and maintenance of existing kit.
- Day to day maintenance and servicing of departmental vehicles
- Full engineering workshop including machining, welding and fabrication.
- Work completed in a variety of materials including wood, metal and plastics.
- Electronics work station.
- Basic garage facilities.