Daniel works as Team Leader at Arqiva’s Feltham Multiplexing Centre, which he actually helped build as a project engineer before being promoted to his current role. With a Broadcast Technology BSc under his belt, student work placements within Arqiva led to a full-time position, and more recently his first step into management. The company also provides services to satellite broadcasters and other media companies.
“IEng really puts a stamp on you - that you are a true engineer and not someone who just wants to call themselves one. I also think it helps your career. It certainly did mine, as it helped me get the job I have now.”
Daniel’s career began with the completion of a BSc (Hons) in broadcast technology from Ravensbourne College. Covering a myriad of engineering and technology subjects that focused on the sector - such as electronics, digital electronics, optics, systems engineering and project management - he came out well versed in the technologies he would be dealing with in the workplace.
It was gaining work experience with Arqiva during Daniel's summer holidays that led to a more permanent position after graduation. Arqiva is the communications infrastructure and media services company which transmits terrestrial television and radio UK-wide. The company also provides services to satellite broadcasters and other media companies.
“I had taken work experience in Arqiva projects department and then they employed me every summer after that,” he explains. “Then, at the end of my degree they offered me a full-time job. In this role I built compression systems for Freeview, Sky and Freesat systems.”
One of the things Daniel’s most proud of achieving at this time was helping to rebuild Channel 4’s compression system.
“This was when they moved across London, we came in and rebuilt it which was a real challenge,” he explains. “It was a whole new world for both Arqiva and Channel 4, but that made it really enjoyable”, he explains.
“It was a year long project, although I only came in after six months, at the project delivery stage. My role was building the systems configuration, performing factory and site acceptance tests, supporting the launch and providing training for the operations departments that were to run the systems,” he says.
As a project engineer for Arqiva, Daniel was part of the team that built the Feltham Coding and Multiplexing Centre, which he was recently promoted to manage. As team leader he now oversees the compression and multiplexing systems for the three commercial multiplexes on Freeview. This involves managing a team of 18 people who maintain the platform to very high availability rates and launch additional services on Freeview.
First and foremost Daniel considers himself a hands-on engineer, but this is something he’s had to “rather begrudgingly” take a step back from in order to focus on the management side. However he’s finding that he really enjoys the new “people” focus of his current role.
“I really enjoy the people side of it to be honest. I love that you’re helping to develop other people’s careers as well your own. I really love mentoring and managing their training etc,” he says.
Daniel applied for IEng professional registration on the behest of his boss at the time, who was an IET Fellow. He felt it was important for the company to have as many of its engineers registered as possible as it would help when pitching for work, as Daniel explains.
“When they send out pitches they can say they have x number of IEngs, x number of Chartered Engineers (CEng), and it shows some real professionalism for the projects.”
So, thanks to this support, Daniel gained IEng and was guided through the process by internal mentors and sponsors.
Daniel also appreciates the benefits of professional registration, and is now working towards getting his team registered. He also aims to take the next step up and eventually apply for CEng status.
“I think IEng is important, it’s pretty easy to get a degree now and this isn’t easy. IEng really puts a stamp on you - that you are a true engineer and not someone who just wants to call themselves one,” he explains. “I also think it helps your career. It certainly helped mine as I think it definitely helped me get the job I have now,” he explains.
Daniel became a member of the IET as a student and felt that he used the most resources during that time.
Although he feels his works keeps him too busy to become very involved, he does like to dip in and out of events that take his fancy. For him, the enjoyment is attending events on topics completely unrelated to work that he enjoys - for example he recently attended a Formula One lecture and Q&A.
“I go to events totally unrelated to work, things that look interesting,” he explains. “When you spend so much time at work, during an evening you want to do something different! I go to the events that bring out my inner nerd, not ones related to my industry!”