Ian – Principal Engineer

Role: Principal Engineer

Joining date: July 2012

Life before KWSP

Before KWSP I was a Mechanical Engineer at Molins ITCM, a bespoke Pharma and FMCG machine manufacturer, working on machines that made all sorts, from Tampons to Tea Bags, from cigarettes to asthma drug packaging.  Before that the IMI graduate scheme, mostly project engineering bar furniture, and draught beer equipment (not as fun as it sounds).

What made you join?

Kieron (the MD) asked my then next door neighbour, Stuart (now head of Advanced Manufacturing) if he knew anyone who knew about making machines for medical devices.  Stuart introduced us, and the opportunity to work for a dynamic growing company (I was the first hire, but the 3rd to start) appeared really exciting.  I was looking for a new challenge, and with KWSP I was jumping in with both feet.

What’s your average day like?

Every day is a school day, the work we do at KWSP is challenging and needs us to learn quickly.  The activities that fill each day are very different, and I want to fill my day with getting all KWSP’s engineers to provide the best solutions to the challenges our customers set.  Whether this is during design or delivery, I feel that the best feeling at work is the satisfaction of watching something that you have done working successfully and meeting the customer’s needs.

Life outside of KWSP

Outside of work, life is mostly about my children and family.  If I had the time and money I would like to be cycling, walking and enjoying pubs and restaurants, but this is has been swapped for enjoying time with (and spending money on) loved ones.

Highlights of your career so far 

I think that there isn’t a highlight but there is a project that cemented what I wanted to do.  Soon after graduating as part of my time at IMI I worked for Watson Smith who make “I to P’s”, which control pneumatic pressure to a signal.  I was tasked with finishing a testing machine to test their new product (VP50).  I had to learn to program, learn about Data Acquisition, how to address SQL databases, and how to make a machine with electrical inputs to produce physical outputs.  This 6 month project has given me my direction in professional life, and without it I don’t know that I would be doing.

One word that would describe working at KWSP…

A challenge (mostly in a good way).