Mechanical Technician, Vibration
Joe has always been interested in space. Little did he know as a child that he would find a role which would let him work right at the frontier of space research.
As a Mechanical Technician in the vibration department at RAL Space, Joe analyses and tests instruments that have been designed to carry out research in space. By testing them with vibrations, Joe makes sure that the equipment will survive the demanding journey to its extraterrestrial destination.
“I think it’s really exciting that the things I’ve handled and helped to test actually land on other planets.”
But his journey to his job, like many space missions, wasn’t straightforward.
He started off studying engineering at college and after a stint as a Bike Mechanic, where he learnt valuable technical skills, he found a job with a company that makes MRI scanners for hospitals.
His personal space odyssey began when he started working for a company that makes batteries for satellites and spacecraft. They were using the test facility at the Science and Technology Facility Council’s RAL Space, a leading space technology researcher. “Then I heard about an opening there”.
Now Joe contributes to ground-breaking research which helps to deepen man’s understanding of the universe. For a recent mission, Joe had to test a piece of equipment that was going to land on Mars to take images of the Sun – was it robust enough to survive the intense shaking experienced when being rocketed into space? Thanks to the work of Joe and his team, yes!
“To be part of the team that helped to deliver the ExoMars project was a great feeling. Although it was pretty nerve-wracking until we had heard that it had arrived safely – then we could celebrate!”
Joe's career pathway
- 2001 Completed a BTEC National Diploma in Engineering at college
- 2002 Spent one year at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol studying for a Mechanical Engineering degree. Left UWE to start working as a Bike Mechanic
- 2008 Worked in various technician roles for a company making large MRI body scanners
- 2014 Spent one year working as a Test Technician for a company making batteries for satellites and space equipment (ABSL Space Products)
- 2015 Became a Mechanical/Vibration Technician at RAL Space