Rebecca Threlfall, electronic systems analysis engineer

Originally wanting to go into mechanical engineering, Rebecca’s focus changed to the power sector after undertaking summer placements with Alstom Grid. She’s now gaining a wide breadth of experience at Frazer-Nash, working for its newly created Electronic Systems Analysis group. She loves life as a professional engineer and is already working towards gaining Chartered Engineer professional registration.

Rebecca Threlfall graduating Rebecca left school with a sight to become a mechanical engineer, although she read for a four-year masters in engineering science, which was general for the first two years. When she started university, she was lucky enough to be awarded an IET Jubilee scholarship [new window], and she attributes her conversion to electronic engineering to becoming an IET scholar.

“At the awards ceremony I made contacts with Alstom Grid (then Areva T&D) where I ended up spending my first two fantastic summer placements. This was an indicator that current and voltage are where it’s at,” she says.

Sponsorship scheme opportunities

Rebecca then joined Frazer-Nash Consultancy’s [new window] student sponsorship scheme and spent a summer in Bristol mainly working with software.

“As I have a background in a broad range of engineering disciplines, I was always interested in the idea of working for a multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, as it gives me the opportunity to use my whole skill set,” she explains. Frazer-Nash was a particular company I had had my eye on even before taking my A levels. Luckily for me, since then it has developed into one of the UK’s biggest and most successful independent engineering consultancies, and they wanted me to work for them. Win, win!”

Turning into a full-time role

Since starting full-time at Frazer-Nash, Rebecca has joined the Electronic Systems Analysis group. This is a new group, and part of the rapidly growing electrical sciences area of the business.

“I have been very busy with a big obsolescence management project, which has involved learning about a large control and instrumentation system, and relies upon the application of discrete analogue and digital circuit analysis.

“However, as the group is in its early stages, this also gives us scope to break into other areas of interest, which is incredibly exciting. I count myself very fortunate to have these opportunities as a recent graduate engineer,” she says.

The best bit about being a professional engineer

“The best bit about being a professional engineer is being able to apply the technically difficult concepts learnt at university to help solve tangible problems; it is incredibly satisfying to see that your work is technically and economically useful.

“I also enjoy travelling the country, working on a variety of very different projects, sometimes being thrown into challenging situations at a moment’s notice, meeting new people and seeing how other companies work.”

Future plans

In the near future Rebecca hopes to take on more projects involving complex mathematical modelling in MatLab and Simulink.

“These projects are rife in Frazer-Nash; there are a number of experts in this field, and I hope that I can work more closely with them soon. Other than that, I am steadily building up project experience, and hope that before too long I will be ready to apply for Chartership with the IET, to set me up for a long and happy career in the power industry!”