Chris Kirkby

Research Engineer

"I have been involved in a varied range of research projects, pulling together different disciplines and areas of expertise."

What has been the highlight or most impressive aspect of your career at Tata Steel so far?

My biggest responsibility over the last three years has been as the lead engineer in the design of a new test facility for measuring the physical performance of building elements. The work was part of a European project looking into the air-tightness, thermal and acoustic properties of steel buildings. I was responsible for the design, fabrication and commissioning of the new facility.

Why did you choose to work for Tata Steel?

Since graduating in 2007, I’ve always wanted to work within a Research & Development organisation. TATA seemed committed to its technology and developing new products. For me this line of work has always been the most interesting and motivating.

What does your current role involve?

My main role is as project leader in the field of construction and industrial development. I have been involved in a varied range of research projects, pulling different disciplines and areas of expertise. The main responsibilities I hold include project management, preparing work proposals, preparing work schedules and project plans, writing research reports, and managing technical staff.

What training have you received since joining Tata Steel?

  • Management training courses including: Personal Skills for Graduates (which helped develop my basic management skills) and Business and Financial Awareness.
  • Job specific technical training including: Introduction to Pro/E, a computer aided design software package; Metallurgy for non-metallurgists, a basic introduction to steel processing and material properties.

Please describe development opportunities you have had since joining Tata Steel?

I am currently an associate member of the IMechE working towards full corporate status through the monitored professional development scheme (e-MPDS). As part of the requirements for CEng with the institute I am undertaking further learning at Sheffield Hallam University, which Tata Steel are sponsoring.

What are your future career aspirations?

Short term: Gain corporate status with the IMechE, project leader for major European project within RD&T.

Long term: Product development manager or Department manager.

Did you attend pre-induction? Was this useful before you started your first day?

The pre-induction gives you the opportunity to network with graduates entering your business unit and others across the company. It is useful in gaining some idea of what to expect on your first day and calm some pre-career jitters all us have.

Do you have any hints/tips/advice you would give to someone applying to Tata Steel?

At the application stage include examples from both your professional and personal life, and keep it interesting. Give examples, which describe your personality and qualities.

At the interview stage it is very important to be yourself, I know everyone says that but the interviewers are really only interested in finding out about you. Make sure you have researched the company and the business you are applying for. Ask direct relevant questions.

Please tell us something about yourself:

Many of my out of work interests revolve around sports. I enjoy walking, particularly in Scotland where to date I have climbed 47 Munro’s (mountains over 3,000 feet). Other hobbies of mine are photography, gardening and DIY.

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