Graduate Materials Engineer

During my degree in material science and engineering, I did a summer placement with BAE Systems. I saw first-hand the incredible and unique engineering that went into naval ships and submarines. I’d wake up every day and see these massive aircraft carriers and warships from my room and be blown away by the size of them! At first, I was undecided on what to pursue after university, but that decision was an easy one to make after my summer placement.

I work as a materials engineer which allows me to work on the different types of submarine. My favourite part of the job is the lab-based work I get involved in, particularly corrosion testing. But I also do a lot of practical work on the submarines, such as materials testing verification which involves taking samples from the submarines and viewing them microscopically which is really high-tech stuff. You never get tired of going on the submarines, each time is just as surreal and exciting as the last. I’ve seen everything from the command-control centre to the crew’s sleeping quarters. I’ll never forget the first time I got to see the nuclear propulsion system of a submarine!

I joined BAE Systems as part of an intake of 40 like-minded people, which really helped with the transition from university. There were regular social events organised, so you get to know your peers quickly and form lasting friendships. I work in Barrow-in-Furness – it’s amazing to be so close to the great lakes of the Lake District, where I go walking and paddle-boarding with the friends I’ve made at BAE Systems. We also play badminton once a week so there’s always something to do and people to socialise with.

When I first joined BAE Systems, I started down in Portsmouth working on naval ships which was a great introduction and starting point for me. But after a while, I wanted a new challenge. All I had to do was have a career chat with my manager, and now here I am in Barrow-in-Furness working on submarines! It’s really easy to move around the company and BAE Systems are so supportive of the transition. Opportunities are aplenty here, I’m particularly excited about a trip to the United States we have planned for next year.

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