Chris Allen

Graduate Engineer

"...this adds variation to every day as nearly every case can be something completely different."

Current Job Title: Graduate Engineer

Date Started: August 2012

Degree: MEng/BEng Mechatronics and Robotics, 1st, University of Leeds

How did I find out about and apply for HMK?

Like many other top quality engineering firms, the vacancy at HMK was advertised on Gradcracker. However, unlike many other companies the initial application process was much easier; instead of spending hours filling in long forms with almost essay like questions, I simply sent my CV and covering letter in by email. I had a short telephone interview before being invited in for an initial interview at the office including a small test. Following on from that, I made a second visit to do a presentation about myself to senior members of management. Luckily that was followed by an offer for the job!

Is the work related to my degree?

Yes, of course there are many new things to learn too, but the knowledge gained at university has helped me very quickly slip into working here. The main difference is that all projects are obviously now for real customers rather than just towards a grade at the end. This introduces a few different challenges that are not always relevant in a university project.

What have I done since joining?

On my second day I was straight into a 3 day training course on new electrical design software. I then took on the integration of this into the company, creating many ‘ready made’ circuits so that the design time could be considerably reduced. Following on from this an order was received for electrical schematic design of a 12 lift system to be built at a show theatre in China. The high safety level required due to some of the lifts being fully submerged in water added extra complexity to this job. Mixed in with this has been tech support for customers using our products. This adds variation to every day as nearly every case can be something completely different.

I was also given sufficient time to learn about and ‘play’ with common hardware. This included controlling a motor via PC software, writing PLC code and eventually joining it all together by programming a touch screen HMI to control the motor from. During this period I was able to learn at my own pace with many helpful colleagues always willing to answer any questions.

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