High-performance engineering: A grad’s tale

Andrew Goodhead recently qualified from Imperial College with a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and has joined KWSP as a graduate engineer.

In his final year he undertook projects involving the use of additive manufacturing in orthopaedic implants and the development of pool aids for British Paralympic swimmers.

The Student Engineer dropped him a line to ask about making the grade at KWSP.

Andrew Goodhead
Andrew Goodhead

What was it about KWSP that led you to apply for your position?
KWSP operates in the high-performance engineering sector across a wide range of industries. It was the prospect of being able to work on a wide variety of challenging projects that interested me.

What preparations did you make prior to applying to join KWSP and in what ways do you think they helped you?
I conducted research into KWSP to gain more detail about the people involved, who they work with and what they do. I also reviewed my relevant experience and polished up my CV to match these requirements.

Placements can be really important in making a CV stand out. Did you undertake a placement prior to joining KWSP? If so, what did you do, where did you do it, and what key skills has it given you?
I took part in two independent research projects over two summers – both were located at Imperial College. In both projects, I worked with Paralympians to create bespoke equipment for their training and competitions. The first project was a backstroke starting aid, and the second was a swimming training aid. The projects gave me good experience in design engineering and working with exacting clients. I have since been told that the work I did on these projects was a factor in me being employed at KWSP.

What have you been working on since joining KWSP?
I have been working on Digital Manufacturing projects, specifically on projects that develop industrial machines for the digital deposition of functional fluids and for the manufacture of products with late-stage customisation. I have been working on several projects including a Horizon 2020 funded project to develop a machine that integrates a novel deposition method, which allows the printing of braille. Specifically, I am involved in the design of the mechanical package.

3D printing at KWSP
3D printing at KWSP

What extracurricular activities do you/have you done that have helped you to get your job at KWSP?
The extracurricular activities which really helped my application were the extra research projects I did (mentioned earlier). These showed a real interest and ability in engineering design.

What other advice do you have for engineering students who want to work for KWSP and are thinking about applying?
KWSP is a high-performance engineering solutions provider. Anyone working there needs to be an outstanding engineer and a creative problem solver. For a small company, KWSP is involved in a number of sectors from motorsport to high-performance sport and has expertise in a number of different technologies. You need to be someone that is curious, that understands and is open to the concept of horizontal technology – transferring technology from one sector to another.

How cool is it to be working in such close proximity to Mercedes AMG Petronas?
KWSP is located in Brackley in the heart of Motorsport Valley – it is a fantastic place to be an engineer. Motorsport Valley and the Silverstone Technology cluster is so much more than motorsport – there is a wide range of high-performance engineering businesses who may well work within the motorsport sector but who also transfer cutting edge technology from motorsport to other sectors.

Finally, where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Over the next few years, I hope to develop my skills by working on a wide range of projects and I will get this opportunity at KWSP. In the future, I would like to project-manage a major project and work towards achieving my chartered engineer status.

Thanks Andrew!