Andrew's Story - EASL

I graduated from the University of Sheffield with a first-class Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1996. On leaving university I joined Pilkington (now part of the NSG group). Pilkington is primarily a flat glass manufacturing company and I held various positions in over a twelve-year career with them including being Engineering Manager at their specialist glass plant in St. Asaph. After leaving Pilkington, I completely changed my career direction and joined EASL in 2008. Six years after joining I became a Senior Engineer.

Why EASL?

I have always had an interest in engineering structural integrity assessment (honest!) but there was seldom an opportunity for me to explore this in the roles I held in Pilkington which were largely centred on maintenance and reliability. Hence, I decide to jump ship and join a company that would enable me to start my journey towards becoming a Structural Integrity Engineer. At the time it felt like a big step – both to leave Pilkington and to change my career path but it has certainly paid off as I enjoy my job and find it very rewarding to help clients overcome their structural integrity challenges.

EASL offers a great variety of work, with varied clients, and you can genuinely own the client’s problem. There are many opportunities for knowledge transfer both within EASL and with our client base. In addition, it is a friendly environment offering great flexibility, including working from home, such that you have great freedom to manage your work, social and private life.

What’s your latest project?

At this exact moment, I am working on an assessment of gas pipework to help a client demonstrate to third parties that it has no structural integrity concerns in the event of an earthquake.

Biggest challenge

In the early days of my EASL career, I was the novice in a room full of experts whereas, towards the end of my Pilkington career, it was the other way around. So that was certainly a challenge to experience that again, being already 12 years into my career. But I overcame it via a combination of digging out some of my old university lecture notes, and books, hard work and of course the help of the many structural integrity experts at EASL.

Biggest achievement

I’d say overcoming my biggest challenge above was my biggest achievement. As noted, previously, although I was working as an engineer, I didn’t do structural integrity work at all. At EASL, a significant part of my role, not surprisingly, is structural integrity analysis. I don’t think many professional people change career paths to the same extent and the fact that I did so is very satisfying.

Enjoying life

My biggest passion is railways. I know a lot about them and I love sharing my knowledge with others. I also enjoy watching football and I am a long-time supporter of Sheffield Wednesday. I am an active person, and I love getting out and about and having the odd real ale.

 

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