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1. What’s your professional background and how did you come to work at Diamond?
I graduated from university with a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked in various academic fields before undertaking a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between a local company and Newcastle University. My work was varied and encompassed a wide range of mechatronic engineering disciplines while working as a mechanical and systems engineer designing production machinery. With my knowledge of systems integration and mechatronics I joined Diamond as a design engineer at the start of 2013.
2. What do you do here and how does your experience help?
I am now a Mechanical Project Engineer so I am more deeply involved in the analysis of our systems and optimising their performance. I also liaise more closely with the scientists (our clients) to develop solutions to their technical problems. Most of our systems utilise mechanical and electrical assemblies with a local control system talking to the site wide network. While my area of expertise is predominantly in the mechanical domain, a working knowledge of the various capabilities of these systems greatly assists development of a product.
3. What’s your favourite thing about working at Diamond?
Working at Diamond offers me numerous opportunities to develop professionally as well as granting a varied and interesting workload. I am predominantly involved with beamlines; each has unique challenges and therefore the requirements change with each project. This sets Diamond apart from other companies as most of our projects are once-off developments so no two days are ever alike.
4. What advice would you give to someone wanting to get involved in your field?
Never underestimate the value of experience. The age-old phrase of ‘don’t reinvent the wheel’ is a great mantra to apply as we want to spend our time engineering the solutions that don’t already exist. If still in education then arranging summer placements or even just shadowing people for a week or so offers valuable experience in the field. Literally getting your hands dirty offers insight into the workings of machinery and is invaluable experience that is difficult to teach at university. A positive attitude and the ability to be critical of your own work is vitally important to ensure the best designs are developed.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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