I work as a mechanical design engineer at STFC Daresbury Laboratory. I design and build particle accelerators and many other one-off pieces of research equipment. I spend my free time playing guitar and bass for a band in Liverpool.
From a young age I’ve always liked building and/or tinkering with things – especially messing with the setup and components on my guitar. As an F1 fan, I was always more interested with the cars themselves, how they developed them and technology around them. I was fairly certain I wanted a career in Engineering, especially having the option to do it at GCSE level.
I’d known about Daresbury Laboratory and some of the high level scientific research that had happened there as it was only across from the town I lived in. When I got the opportunity to do work experience there I knew it was were I ultimately wanted to work. I applied for Apprenticeship and started there straight after I finished my GCSE’s. The rest, as they say, is history.
I work for the Mechanical, Metrology and Technical Engineering (MMTE) division of the Technology department. This means I get to work on nearly every technical project on site. At the moment, I work mainly on two projects:
CLARA (Compact Linear Accelerator for Research Applications): our in-house accelerator.
ZEPTO (Zero Power Tuneable Optics): a proof of principle tuneable permanent magnet designed in order to reduce power consumption on accelerators amongst other reasons.
I am involved with the manufacturing, assembly and any repairs or modifications required. Amongst these projects, I have worked on many, including on the accelerator complex at CERN and more recently at Fermilab in Illinois, USA. Part of my work also covers the use of Additive Manufacturing (3d printing) in order to design, prototype and build parts for all sorts of research equipment.
My Typical Day:
The great part about my job is that no two days are the same!
One of the perks of my job is that I get flexible working hours – so I tend to start around 8am – 9am, with the day ending at 4pm – 5pm. What happens in between depends on what I will be working on that day. This could be an installation or a repair on an accelerator, or building some beam diagnostic equipment or a new accelerator itself, prototyping a new system or removing an old one.
I like the variation of working across multiple projects as it keeps me interested in my work and requires that I keep my mind active in order to get the job done right.
Great Sankey High School
North West Training Council (NWTC)
University Centre St. Helens
Cronton Sixth Form College
GCSE’s at Great Sankey High School. (2016)
Started my Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship at STFC Daresbury Laboratory. (2016)
Level 3 BTEC in Maintenance and Operations Engineering at North West Training Council. (2018)
HNC Mechanical Engineering at University Centre St. Helens. (2020)
Finished my Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship at STFC Daresbury Laboratory. (2020)
HND Mechanical Engineering at Cronton Sixth Form College. (2021 – )
Mechanical Engineering Apprentice at STFC Daresbury Laboratory (2016 – 2020)
Collaboration Associate at CERN for Beam Instrumentation Group (2019)
Mechanical Engineering Technician at STFC Daresbury Laboratory (2020 – 2022)
Mechanical Design Engineer at STFC Daresbury Laboratory
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Makes science happen
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Probably no more than anyone else
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Tell us a joke.
How do you make a duck sing? You put it in the microwave until its Bill Withers