Name: Dan Muckle
Job Title: Graduate Engineer
Number of years in current position: 1.5
Qualifications: MEng (Hons) Aeronautical Engineering
Briefly describe the organisation you work for.
Rolls-Royce pioneers cutting-edge technologies that deliver clean, safe and competitive solutions to meet our planet’s vital power needs in 3 key business areas: Civil Aerospace, Power Systems, and Defence.
Explain what you do on an average day at work.
Being on the graduate programme means my day-to-day tasks change significantly with each 4-month attachment I complete. My first attachment involved a lot of build and test support which involved getting hands-on with hardware. Contrastingly, other roles have been focussed on future programmes and so have naturally had more emphasis on design and analysis tools.
What do you like most about your job?
Having the opportunity to develop world-leading technology and see the difference that the products make! On top of this, Rolls-Royce is a global company so I regularly get to interact with team members in the US, India, and several other areas. Working in a diverse team, everyone brings different strengths to the table and it makes for a really great working environment.
What stimulated your interest in maths, and when?
I think my natural affinity to maths started at a GCSE level but I can’t pinpoint exactly what stimulated it! I think I appreciated the logical approach to mathematical problems-there are fewer ‘grey areas’ than other subjects which I seemed to get on better with.
What influenced your career choice?
I knew maths and physics were my strengths so that naturally led to engineering. I’ve always had an interest in machines; bikes, cars, aircraft and so on and I knew I wanted to work at the cutting edge where I could really make a difference. Rolls-Royce was the perfect fit!
Which skills do you consider to be essential for your job?
Having an analytical mind-set. We’re constantly using data to inform our decisions and so being able to process and understand the information underpins a lot of roles in engineering. Technical agility is another good one, especially whilst on the graduate programme. You pick up a lot of new tools and analytical processes and being able to learn and then use those to your advantage will definitely pay dividends.
Any advice you may have for other individuals considering your career path?
If it’s something you’re interested in then go for it. Don’t let a lack of knowledge of the subject area hold you back; good engineering companies recognise that the products they produce are complex and so have excellent training programmes to bring their employees up to speed. More important is having a good technical foundation to be able to process the information that you’re given.
Your future career plans?
Nothing specific yet-there’s a vast number of potential roles that my career could lead me to and so I don’t want to limit myself! Right now my career goal is to continually learn and develop so that I can add even more value to my colleagues and to the company. I guess I aspire to be a chief engineer where I can oversee the leadership of broader teams and activities.