Meet...George, a Mechanical Technician making PPE for the front line

George is a Mechanical Technician who spearheaded a campaign to create PPE for frontline workers at his workplace, Reaction Engines. We spoke to him to learn about all the things he makes happen as a technician

I’m a mechanical technician…

… which means my role is to assist or lead the building and assembling of tests and equipment. My work is normally very hands-on. I also spend a lot of my time planning and preparing for my work, something that requires a lot of problem-solving.


Technicians are the doers in any engineering industry…

…they are the final cog in the system that makes the working product or test. They bring together all the research, theory and design to produce and maintain something physical.


Me and the team are key in ……

… transforming theory and design into real products. Without technicians like myself my company wouldn’t be able to achieve the huge steps it is making - the work that we do contributes to this success. Personally, I am often the first port of call for 3D printing within Reaction Engines and I run the suite of plastic 3D printers.

 

I chose this job because…

...from a young age, I’ve always been interested in engineering, design and machinery; I’ve also always enjoyed working with my hands. So this job was a great combination of all those things. Reaction Engines also seemed like such a rapidly advancing company and I really wanted to be a part of it.

 

For me the best bit about my job…

… is the challenges and problems that I face and have to solve - this means I am usually learning something new every day.

 

The skills and attributes needed for my technician role are…

...Computer, engineering and mathematical skills I use most days. At the moment I’m having to do a lot more work from home, as in my role it’s pretty hard to social distance. I’m still using these skills but I have to apply them in different ways.

 

My daily routine and ‘new normal’ are…

…as I am currently working from home, I try to keep to a daily routine as much as I can; waking up at around 8(ish) getting ready and having breakfast, then a meeting at 9:15 followed by work till around 4-5pm with regular breaks between. This isn’t always easy and it’s harder without the working atmosphere you get from being onsite, but having a routine helps me to stay on track.

A few weeks back one of my colleagues caught wind of an initiative that were aiding our frontline workers by 3D printing face shield head bends and restraints. With Reaction Engines’ suite of 3D printers, this seemed like something that we could help with. We quickly set up everything needed for production and now every two days myself and a few others volunteer our time to print, post-process and ship these parts.

 

If you’re a young person thinking about a technical career, I’d say…

...working in this industry can be challenging and require a lot of perseverance, but it’s always very satisfying and rewarding when you can find a solution to a problem or you get to see the physical results of all your efforts.
 

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