"The IET was very helpful with coming forward and providing a mentor for me when I was applying for Chartered Engineer status. Its mentoring service was very good and I’d recommend it to anyone in a similar situation."
Matthew currently works for Amey as a design engineer. He began his career working as an apprentice then continuing his career within the railway sector, he saved enough money to fund himself through university. It was tough going back to education after over five years in full time employment, but he’s glad he did it. His qualifications and work post-degree allowed him to become a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and he loves the variety that comes with his current work at the multidisciplinary design consultancy.
Matthew left school at 16 with his GCSEs under his belt and joined a local design firm in Scarborough called Dale Power Systems. The company manufactured diesel and gas generators, turbines, and power and control systems, so it was here he first got his hands dirty.
“I spent a year at Dale’s, basically wiring engines and learning about engineering,” Matthew says. “I was then transferred to its sister company Erskine, where I spent five years doing my electrical craft higher apprenticeship.”
During his time there Matthew was able to work in different departments from assembly on the production line through to testing the equipment. He then went on to take a job with Corus Rail Consultancy where he focused on further design engineering work for the railway sector. He worked on projects around heating, lighting, railway power supplies and signalling power.
After a year there he decided the time was right to go to university and so headed to Leeds Metropolitan for three years.
“It was a bit of a shock to the system because I’d been in employment for over five years. I had saved quite a lot of money and I think that's a good way to do it – do an apprenticeship beforehand, get a bit of cash and some practical skills before you go to university. I don't think you necessarily have to do A levels to get on a university course, you can do it through an engineering route, an apprenticeship,” he explains.
Since his degree Matthew has continued to work as a design engineer in the same field, working for Mott McDonald and then moving on to his current position at Amey.
One of the things Matthew is most proud of achieving is becoming CEng registered, and he was the first in Amey’s York office to become so. Because of this his relationship with the IET grew closer, as he turned to the organisation for mentoring support.
“There’s been a mixture of challenges throughout my career but getting Chartered was a great experience for me. It was a challenge to meet all the different criteria, but the IET helped me out. The first didn't have any Chartered electrical engineers in the York office and so, because I couldn't find a mentor locally, I approached the IET”s mentoring service. The IET was very helpful with coming forward and providing a mentor for me, and its service was very good - I’d recommend it to anyone in a similar situation, as I used it very successfully.”
During this time Matthew joined the IET’s North Yorkshire Local Network (LN) committee, and on the back of his success with the mentoring experience was appointed mentor co-ordinator. He now regularly organises registration events in the region and is now becoming more involved in running other lecture and networking events for the LN.
Matthew’s also keen to highlight the other benefits of being an IET member. For him, he’s found that the resources available on the IET’s website have been a great help, and would recommend that other members take advantage of what’s available.
“The IET’s website has got a lot of information on it, links to training courses, seminars, all the events going on in the Local Networks, it's a great resource,” he says. “There’s also Career Manager, which is an online system to record your path to registration,” he continues, “it allows you to log your evidence and is another great tool.”