Design and Technical Services Manager
Barney didn’t know where he would end up when he started his career as a Mechanical Technician. All he knew was that he was really good at solving problems and liked making things – something he’s known since playing with Lego as a child.
He was always eager to learn, and now he’s worked his way up to the top of the ladder - being in charge of a team that makes all the complicated equipment needed for the cutting-edge engineering research at the University of Cambridge.
Barney’s learnt nearly everything he knows about engineering (which is a lot!) while working on the job as a technician. “I didn’t like learning in a college, so I never learnt that much there. But since then, I’ve made my way here by being willing. That’s the key. If you find something you’re genuinely interested in, you’ll be able to learn how to do it, no matter what subjects you studied at school.”
As Design and Technical Services Manager, he now works on a whole range of projects with post-graduate students, academics and technicians.
One of his favourite projects has been working on research for Rolls-Royce, making aluminium aero engine blades for their experiments. “What's really annoying is that there are no flat edges on them. So, you can't just put them in a vice. I designed a new system that means we can manufacture them in a single operation.”
It's hoped that using the blades will help Rolls-Royce to make more efficient engines, cutting fuel costs and carbon dioxide emissions. “Before I came to Cambridge, no-one was doing this. I was on the project for over two years and I am quite proud to have been a part of it.”
Barney's career pathway
- 1999 Left school after his GCSEs
- 2000 Studied at college for a diploma in Motor Vehicle Engineering
- 2005 Became a Mechanical Technician at Cambridge Vacuum Engineering
- 2008 Moved to the University of Cambridge Engineering Department as a Senior Mechanical Technician
- 2010 Promoted to Chief Mechanical Technician
- 2016 Promoted to Design and Technical Services Manager