"The ability to gain hands-on experience with the equipment I designed drew me to JFD."
Lynn MacFarlane: graduate engineer
I gained a MEng in Mechanical Engineering and have previously worked summer placements with BAE Systems and Technip.
What did you do at university and what attracted you to JFD?
I studied a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at Glasglow University, spending 1 year at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. I was attracted to JFD because of the wide range of fields they work in. The department I joined is very small and operates in both oil and gas and defence. This meant that I would be immersed very quickly in my role and develop as an engineer. The opportunity to travel and work in high placed shipyards also drew me to the job as it meant I could learn on the job. I feel the job balances both office based work, where I play a part in the design and implementation of approval, and site based work, where I can be hands-on with the kit.
What is a typical day like for you?
I don't have 'typical days'. In the last 6 months there have been no two days the same. This is due to the nature of my department and that we are beginning the commissioning of the Deep Explorer for Technip. Some of my days consist of answering a large variety of queries which helps me understand the theoretical application behind the kit. Other days I can be asked to go overseas to witness testing, manage testing or to provide engineering support during commissioning. I can take on any job, large or small, which means I am always busy and there are no boring days where I clock watch.
How have you fitted in with your team and how do you find the level of support in your role?
My team are very supportive. It is very difficult to come straight from university with background knowledge in dive system engineering, and there is a very steep learning curve to begin with. My team set me difficult and large jobs to take me outside my comfort zone but I always have continuous support when I need it. I am given a lot of responsibility which helps me excel in my engineering development and accelerates my knowledge of the system. The most exciting part of my job has been travelling and working onsite. I get the opportunity to learn on the job and to work with a wide variety of people.
What has been the most exciting project you've worked on so far?
The most exciting, yet difficult, project I have worked on is the organisation, set-up, witnessing and re-test of 2 x 24 and 2 x 18 man hyperbaric lifeboats to IMCA D02/06 standards. For this project I spent nearly 6 weeks in 2 different sites in Norway testing the 4 boats and was part of the discussion process between parties to rectify failed tests.
Would you recommend working for JFD?
I have loved my job with JFD as it keeps me on my toes. It also accelerates my development and my engineering competencies. There have been long hours and tight delivery deadlines but I wouldn't change it for anything. JFD is still expanding in a very difficult economic climate and encourages development in their staff so I would highly recommend them as a company.
How do you see your career developing in the next 5 years?
I see myself developing from the graduate scheme and becoming a mechanical/dive system engineer and key member of the team. I will have more than enough competencies to apply for Chartership - which I intend to do. I see myself being responsible for more projects than I am at the moment and working towards becoming a senior engineer.