I embarked on a year in industry at Labman after completing my 3rd year at Loughborough University, where I’m currently studying towards an MEng in Product Design Engineering. My role at Labman has been as a project leader and mechanical engineer. By completing this year, I have gained a diploma in industrial studies from Loughborough that will count towards my accreditation with the IMechE to become a chartered engineer.
Upon arriving at Labman I was given my first project to work on, which set the tone for the kind of unique things I could expect to be doing during my year here. After completing multiple stages of prototyping, getting involved with teleconferences and liaising with clients, I was moved onto my first job as a project leader.
I was entrusted with the responsibility of being the sole project leader of a high value automated system. I took this project from its inception, through design, build and testing stages, and right up until its delivery. The bespoke system, developed for the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in Sedgefield, analyses turbid samples of liquids and the stability of the particles suspended in within them over time.
Utilising the understanding of mechanical principles I’d gained throughout the placement and my time at university, I was able to design and build a system that was inherently accurate from the outset. The stumbling block that can be encountered with systems like this is a lack of perpendicularity between different parts of the system, creating undesirable refraction that leads to inaccuracies. With input from experienced engineers at Labman I could overcome this at the design stage of the project, which meant that no time had to be wasted implementing correction factors and testing was carried out uninterrupted.
Labman gave me the freedom to design the robot in whichever way I desired, on the conditions that it worked and was within the budget. Coming from a background in product design, and with a keen eye for detail, I was able to create an aesthetically modern and ergonomically friendly system.
The project has been of great benefit to both myself and Labman – the system was delivered on time and within budget and has led to further orders from CPI. I had the opportunity to really apply my scientific, mechanical and managerial skills throughout the project.
The incredible amount of responsibility I’ve been given has led to me experiencing and learning more than I could’ve ever expected from a year in industry. Having talked to friends and fellow students from Loughborough, it seems that the bigger a company is, the less of a diverse experience you’ll receive. You could end up spending a summer, or a year, working for such a company and end up barely scratching the surface of the industry. At Labman, I’ve had the opportunity to immerse myself into numerous areas of the business and engage with every member of staff in one way or another. I’ve worked in the workshop machining parts for prototypes, given presentations to clients, and had frequent discussions with senior management and the company’s director regarding the project.
Through my year here I’ve met and worked with so many great like-minded individuals that always eager to teach you something new, or give a helping hand. A workplace like this is hard to come by, and I would definitely suggest that anyone pursuing a career in electrical, software or mechanical engineering should look into working at Labman.