A JCB graduate engineer is celebrating two top award wins and embarking on a promising new career path with the world-renowned digger maker.
Sam Titterton, 28, from Uttoxeter, was awarded the prestigious Lanchester and Bugatti Student Prizes by Coventry University when he graduated with a BEng in Mechanical Engineering.
His journey from the welding production line at JCB to securing a place on the company’s graduate engineer development programme has been tough but rewarding.
Sam left school at 18 after studying a BTEC in Manufacturing and went to work as a welder fabricator in Uttoxeter, before joining JCB as a welder on the Loadall production line in 2013.
He said: “I’d always had a keen eye for engineering but I wasn’t aware of the benefits of education at school and never seriously thought about studying further. I wanted to get straight into working as an engineer, but when I started in Loadall I kept asking ‘why’ a lot. I saw opportunities here and wanted to make more of myself and make a difference.”
“I was never unhappy doing my job, but I knew studying was the only way to further my career, so after nine months I took the plunge and went to university. I was 23-years-old and it was tough financially, but I kept coming back to JCB in my holidays on the production line, which helped.”
“I received the awards from Coventry University at my graduation ceremony last month and am really honoured to have won them. I love my job now, my managers and mentors are brilliant and while I still ask ‘why’ I am now in a position to answer some of those questions. I understand so much more and am looking forward to making a difference in the future.”
The Bugatti Prize was awarded for Sam's outstanding dissertation project in designing and manufacturing a racking system, which the University now uses in its workshops. The Lanchester Prize was to recognise Enterprise, Initiative, Creativity and Invention in a project to redevelop the Lanchester wheelbarrow and make it relevant to 21st Century use.
Now Sam is keen to share his experiences with the next generation of engineers. He added: “I am an ambassador for the company and talk to STEM students at local schools to encourage them to further their education. While I don’t regret my choices, I could have got here a lot quicker if I’d carried on studying straight after school so I really want to share that message.”
Sam’s next career step is to work towards Chartered Engineer status and use his manufacturing experience to further his career in this sector of the business.