A Day in the Life of Research and Development Graduate Engineer at CMP

First year Graduate, Ben Reynolds tells us about his working day as a Graduate Design Engineer at CMP.

08:20 The first thing I do every morning is check my emails to see whether I need to plan any important activities into my day. I am in daily contact with our offices in China and India so I may have important emails that need addressing before their offices are closed.

08:30 I am currently working alongside two Senior Design Engineers on a project. My role within the project is to design and develop new concepts, which are then tested and prototyped. Testing can take up to six hours to complete. I set the tests away as soon as possible to ensure they will finish within my working hours enabling me to evaluate the results. I usually spend a lot of my morning in the research and development lab.

10:30 I am currently working on a separate test looking at the performance of a gland seal subject to heat conditioning. Every day at 10:30 I check up on the samples in a thermal conditioning chamber by analysing them visually and recording the data. I also take photographic evidence of the samples. The results will eventually be written up into a test report and presented to my manager so we can discuss all the contributing factors.

11:00 I need to draw up the concepts using 3D modelling software so I can analyse the product before making a judgement if they merit prototyping. I learnt to use the 3D modelling software on my course at university so it’s good to put theory into practice. I also run finite element analysis (FEA) on the 3D models. This is so I can present both concept and simulation results to my project team. They will then analyse my findings and either approve or decline my concept.

12:00 Lunch, its payday today so everyone in the office orders in pizzas!

12:30 I have been trusted within CMP to help implement the new business management system across all departments. I am part of a group of three from different departments that make up the document management team. As the system is new and we have no experience using it, our team plan into each day a slot where we can test the system and decide on crucial factors we need to implement. As implementing the system will contribute to the efficiency of the company, we must ensure we carefully evaluate each decision as they will affect how well the system will work. We therefore set up regular meetings with department Project Managers to discuss their needs and how best to implement them.

14:45 The six hour tests are due to finish so I head back to the lab and record my findings. I record as much data as possible when completing the tests so we are able to analyse the contributing factors against one another. Once all the data has been gathered, I write a test report displaying the results. I then show the results to the two Senior Engineers I am working alongside to analyse whether the testing has been successful or if we need to redevelop the product further.

16:15 I begin to create a plan for tomorrow’s activities. Depending upon results found during today’s testing, I will be able to determine what testing will need to take place tomorrow.

16:30 – 17:30 Home time. My contracted finish time is 16:30 but sometimes I stay a little later if one of the tests I have started hasn’t finished by 16:30. I like to get all of the results myself as it keeps all of the testing fair and consistent.