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Navdeep Mehay

“Coming from a humble place in North India, I was only exposed to mainstream career paths, so it was easy to filter out the options,” he says. “Even though I was interested in maths, I wanted to apply maths rather than ‘do’ maths, like banking. So, with my interest in solving puzzles, I knew that I needed an existing challenge to work towards; that’s why I chose engineering.”

With an academic background in Control and Instrumentation (C&I) and experience as a C&I Engineer Navdeep moved to the UK, where his journey to CEng status would begin

“Arriving in the UK, I was lucky enough to have been offered a couple of roles,” he says. “With coal-fired power stations on the decline, I decided to switch industries. Jaguar Land Rover was booming with innovative new cars, like the F-Type and Evoque, which were of course intriguing.

“I worked for six years at their non-manufacturing testing facilities, where I had the opportunity to work closely with experts from testing software, hydraulics, and the automotive network and conformance teams during quality and UCAS audits.

“My CEng journey started here, as one of our technical specialists, whom I admired for his technical knowledge, achieved Professional Registration as CEng. It completely piqued my interest; I liked the idea of having my experience throughout my career formally recognised by the UK Engineering Council.”

It had also kickstarted what would be another exciting path for Navdeep: becoming an IET member

“With my interest in engineering and technology beyond my core role, I joined the IET as a member and began attending their evening lectures, which definitely helped contribute towards my CPD hours,” he says. “However, for the formal Professional Registration application process, due to the workload and my fast-paced working environment, I realised that I always needed encouragement to progress my application and stay focused on the journey to becoming professionally registered.

“So, I met with the IET’s Professional Registration Advisors and worked with a mentor to guide me and keep me motivated throughout the entire process. The Registration Engagement team provided the exceptional support I needed to gather all of my experience into a solid application, as well as help with the process reviews and ultimate interview.”

Navdeep is more than just an IET member

He’s spent the last four years building on his specialisms, expanding his global network of likeminded engineering and technology professionals, and getting involved in learning opportunities that enhanced his all-important Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

“In addition to all the learning and development opportunities, like IET lectures, E&T Magazine and webinars, having Career Manager to record my CPD activities has been very useful to reflect the time I’ve spent on various development activities and projects.

“CPD has benefitted my career on many fronts; from gaining knowledge on new technology to gaining confidence with communicating with work colleagues and external parties, I’ve also had the opportunity to expand my network and put these communication skills into practice in larger, global settings.

“Career Manager definitely helped me with my CEng interview, as I had all the evidence of my competencies, and aptitude to learn, ready to go.”

“Becoming an IET member has opened up the world of engineering and technology and has provided me with opportunities to connect with a much larger network of fellow engineers. Having these experiences earlier in my career certainly would’ve helped me in my various job roles!”

From his first job as an engineering lecturer to being a member of the BSI Young Professional Advisory Panel to becoming a STEM ambassador

All of Navdeep’s professional and technical experience he had achieved in his career contributed to his CEng application.

“It’s never too late or early to start your Professional Registration journey,” he says. “The entire process, from gathering all your experiences to achieving chartered status, highlights all the hard work you have been doing and gives you the opportunity to fill in gaps within your competencies if any.

“Without support from the IET’s Registration Engagement Manager (REM), I think it could have taken me another year instead of two months to submit my application. Due to my extensive workload and various other reasons, my application was taking longer than I had expected.

“However, the REM provided me with the motivation that was needed to complete the process. Our catch-ups were very informal; this suited me because it allowed for flexibility, I could work on other projects and still stay motivated.

“I’d definitely recommend others looking to become professionally registered to ask for the guidance and immense motivational support of the REM. There is a vast amount of support available within the IET and Engineering Council – get involved and ask questions!

“Personally, achieving CEng status has certainly boosted my confidence and opened up my career to exciting opportunities to explore.”

Now a Machine Control and Protection Group Leader (and Chartered Engineer) at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) Culham Centre for Fusion Energy

Navdeep is bringing his years of technical knowledge and strategic leadership skills to the UK’s new tokamak fusion experiment, MAST Upgrade.

“When I heard of the progress being made on fusion energy worldwide, particularly the UK’s own experiment, MAST Upgrade, which is taking us closer to delivering sustainable clean fusion energy, I joined the project to use my engineering skills and experience and challenge myself,” he says.

“It’s now been a year into this mission, and I’m proud to be a part of the operations team, especially when I see the work we’ve achieved together, despite all the challenges of COVID-19.”

“My group is responsible for the controls and the instrumentation on the MAST Upgrade machine, the PLCs and associated software, SCADA that run these and the hardwired protection of the machine. My role is to provide leadership to achieve our group objectives, by managing resources and budget and contribute to the UKAEA mission and goals.

“My employer encourages staff to gain Professional Registration and supports our Professional Development in many ways, such as organising talks from the IET and providing financial support for Professional Registration bodies. In return, the UKAEA achieves credibility with their workforce of professionally registered employees, which is particularly useful when we liaise with suppliers and the rest of the fusion community worldwide.

Being successful is being able to give back and help society

"I feel proud to work for a company where I get the feeling that today’s work will help earth achieve and benefit from an emission-free power source in the future.”