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1. What’s your professional background and how did you first become interested in this field?
My background spans along many different roles because before going to university I spent many years working trying to find what really makes a meaningful life for myself. From Petrol Station employee, Construction worker, Waiter, Commercial Agent, Crane operator, Entrepreneur with a bar in the beach (just to name a few) to getting a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering specialising in Design of Machinery and working as a Mechanical Design Engineer I have had the opportunity to discover that as we spend most of our life working it is worthy to pursue our dreams and not be satisfied with just a job but to look for what really you are passionate about instead.
I have always been fascinated by the world that we live in. I remember as a child I used to disassemble all my toys and home appliances trying to understand how they worked and why they did so in a very particular way. It was so much fun that I think I enjoyed doing that more than playing with them.
2. Can you walk us through a typical day?
On a typical day I discuss with my manager the project we need to accomplish, the challenges we need to overcome and the possible solutions that we have come up with. Once we are happy with the best idea it is time to model it in 3D and see if it meets our expectations. If so, we then run finite element analysis (FEA), a tool often used to determine the behaviour of materials under certain loads and forces, and double check that all the theory we have applied to our design works as predicted. Otherwise, we go back to the drawing board and rethink a better solution. But the best part is that not all the work is done behind a desk, we need to regularly visit the beamlines where we are currently working on in order to take measurements, discuss issues with engineers and scientists as well as going to meetings where we can learn how other designers have solved their challenges and catch up with the new events at Diamond.
3. What do you enjoy about your job?
What I enjoy the most are the people that I work with. We are an excellent team where everyone is happy to share their knowledge and years of experience with each other without hesitation. This sharing environment is something very important but very difficult to find in the majority of companies out there. However, here at Diamond we have a very talented, experienced and well trained team where we all learn from each other. As we are a big company, no matter what the challenge is, there is always someone who knows what we don't and has the experience that we need to accomplish the challenge we are facing, and is willing to invest their time and knowledge with us.
4. What advice would you give to someone wanting to get involved in your field?
The mechanical design field is an amazing career path that allows you to explore how things work at all levels and design solutions for any challenge you can imagine. My advice is that if you are passionate about how things work and feel that you want to contribute to a better world then the best thing you can do is to study mechanical design engineering. I can state with confidence that you will not regret it.
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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