Paul has been in part-time education since starting his British Rail apprenticeship back in 1988. This took him on a journey through City & Guilds, national certificates, and bachelor and master’s degrees, culminating in a PhD in 2012.
He’s managed to balance his academic studies with developing a professional career (he achieved Chartered Engineer (CEng) status back in 2001) but it was only when he completed his PhD and was prompted to apply for Fellowship status that he realised “what the ultimate pinnacle was”.
“The sense of peer recognition when attaining Fellowship with the IET was insurmountable,” he says.
This pride left Paul with a desire to try and help others realise similar opportunities and although he doubted what he could offer, he has already supported several engineers on their path to registration.
“I do still have doubts over how relevant my views are but the most recent experiences have been very positive. It is not a case of changing the career direction of the mentees; I have found it to be simply a case of allowing them to see what value they are creating and the context in which this exists,” he explains.
“If you want to give something back and act as an ambassador for the IET then mentoring is for you. You get the chance to meet people from different areas of expertise and can learn as much from them as them from you. For example, I had no idea what cross-discipline engineering aspects were at play in motorcycle development and testing. Even an area that I thought I knew more about, power and protection systems, still provided an insight that I found fascinating.”
Interested in inspiring others?
If reading Paul's story has inspired you to help others, then find out more about volunteering as an IET Mentor.