Kieran Bullivant

Kieran Bullivant

Engineering Manufacturing Technician

Kieran’s job title is Engineering Technician at The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC Coventry)

What I do

I make specialist metal parts for cars and aerospace, for research and development at one of the government funded Catapult centres. These are centres that support innovative businesses and get access to cutting edge equipment and technical experts so they can bring high-tech ideas to life.

I am not just manufacturing parts, I make and test new processes too. At the MTC, we are working on projects to go along with the government’s net zero target, so we are very much at the cutting edge. I make metal parts for all different companies for use in cars and aerospace, using all sorts of metals. I am one of the technicians that make the parts required and carry out the processes that need undertaking.

I work with metal powders using processes called hot isostatic pressing and cold isostatic pressing. The best way to describe it is to think of sandcastles. It’s a bit like putting sand in a mould and pressing it down to make a shape.

We work for a lot of companies, including big names like Rolls Royce and the aerospace industry. I am pretty hands-on with different machinery – so physically, I’ll be doing it myself or using machinery. There are a lot of ovens, furnaces, and vacuum systems that I operate.

Engineer in helmet and protective clothing working in lab

Hear more about Kieran's role by watching the video below...

How I became a technician

A typical day in my
working life

The advice I would give to a younger person

Part of my apprenticeship programme is recognised as a fast track to chartership. When I was younger, everyone wanted to go to university. I didn’t want to, but just because I was academic, my teacher assumed I would. When I saw that I could get chartered and have letters after my name via another route, I knew that was right for me. There’s not just one way.

It’s also important that you are excited about your career and are interested in it.

A little more about
my everyday role

What I love most about my job

I enjoy the variety of working in research and development (R&D). Every single week is different. When I first started, I worked on cylindrical cans that are quite simple and now we are getting into really complex pieces – some are huge, five-tonne parts that are taller than I am, down to really tiny ones that you can barely see! It really keeps me engaged and I am now the one that people come to for advice and that is great. We also work with PhD students to prove their theories and hypotheses.

The best bits about working in a team

I actually work in a few teams. In the workshop there is a team of technicians, and we all work together. Then there is the whole workshop team and the engineering team, that are the brains behind the operations. I work with all of them. I find working in a team really helpful because you can bounce ideas off each other and you get supported along the way. No one can do everything and even if they can, they shouldn’t! When you have minute details and processes you have to adhere to, it is much better working together. There are technicians here that can do some jobs much better and faster than I can, so I rely on them for that job, whereas my skills are in filling the powder. We all have our strengths.

The most exciting thing I’ve achieved so far in my job

One of the projects we have been looking at recently is recycling. If the work that I do is actually useful and becomes a successful process, that means I can have a big impact on lowering carbon emissions – that’s really exciting.

The next steps in my career journey

I want to stay on the Technician path. I want to learn more skills and go as far as I can.

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