On this final day of #NationalCareersWeek, the multi-disciplined engineering firm adi Group has turned its attention to an inspiring career story within the sector.

Here, we hear from Michael Heathcote, project manager in adi’s Project Management division, who shares his journey into the world of engineering, his work manufacturing sugar free sweets and advice for young people wishing to enter the sector.

Tell us a little about your role, the projects you are supporting and the type of work you undertake on a daily basis.
My role as a project manager can start from as early as the customers initial idea. I then develop this into a package of work, with pricing. On receiving the order from the customer, I manage the process, working closely with different skilled engineers to ensure the customer receives the finished project carried out safely, to a high quality, on time, and on budget. On a daily basis, I will be visiting new and existing customers, engineering work colleagues, and also specialist equipment suppliers so I can achieve the above goal. Some of the best projects I am have been involved in are the manufacture of sugar free sweets, and saving energy and resources for the making of soft drinks.

What attracted you to a career in the engineering sector?
At school I did A levels in maths, physics and biology. I always wanted a career in engineering as I enjoyed fixing and understanding how things worked, and how it was made and designed. A career as an engineer would therefore allow me to do what I enjoyed.

How did you initially get started in engineering? Did you do an apprenticeship?
After studying mechanical engineering, my first job after leaving university was within the drawing office of a local engineering company as a CAD draughtsman. They made stainless steel tanks, pressure vessels, and mixing vessels for the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

What do you most like about working for adi Group/adi Projects?
I joined adi Group two years ago as a project manager for adi Projects. From being a CAD draughtsman in my first job, I progressed to be a design engineer for the same company. Following change of employer over my 30-year career to date, I became a project engineer and then a project manager, still working within the same industry.

I most like working for adi Projects as it gives me the opportunity to work with like-minded engineers who enjoy their career in engineering.

What is the best project you’ve ever worked on?
My personal favourite was while working for my first employer just after I became a design engineer. I was responsible for the design of a trial contra rotating mixing vessel, that could be used by customers in the development of new products. It was very rewarding having designed it, seeing it being made, and finally being used by the customer.

With everything you’ve learnt, what would you tell the ‘younger you’ about a career in engineering?
It is a very rewarding, varied career and you are always learning new skills, and you never get bored!

Any other comments on the engineering sector / engineering careers you’d like to share?
You can be an engineer in many different sectors, for example electrical, mechanical, or civil, and many different roles within your chosen sector. If you don’t enjoy a particular role in your chosen sector there are many others you can move into.

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