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John Woodman

From the military to industry: how IEng helped showcase my skills

As a trials engineer at HENSOLDT UK, John’s role has taken him around the world, from the Caribbean to Brazil and Singapore, yet the prospect of global travel wasn’t new; his career began in the Armed Forces.

A REME apprenticeship

Joining the Army’s Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) apprenticeship scheme to train as an electronics technician at 16, John spent the following 12 years in various postings across the UK and overseas, working on everything from ground-based air defense to the Challenger 2 main battle tank.

A professional engineering development pathway

Receiving both experiential and academic learning through the REME apprenticeship, John achieved an NVQ 3 in electrical and electronics engineering/maintenance and a HNC before heading to the Open University to complete a BSc in electronics system engineering.

After leaving the Army in 2019 to start his first job “in the real world”, John began his application for Incorporated Engineer (IEng).

Translating his military career into “civilian speak”

“I started my application then as I had this list of great qualifications and achievements, but to anyone outside of the Army or Ministry of Defense it meant very little,” he says. “I knew I had to convert these into ‘civilian speak’, something that industry would be able to look at and understand the value of.”

Upon joining the REME apprenticeship, John also became a member of the IET. Through the IET’s close relationship with the Corps, we’ve put in place a Special Registration Agreement for REME personnel to follow an approved professional engineering development pathway towards IEng and Chartered Engineer (CEng) status. Therefore, he’d been recording his achievements and gathering evidence towards Professional Registration from the start of his career.

“My Corps was very career and academically focused. We always kept our military CV up to date, which meant that when it came around to gathering evidence in preparation for my IEng application, the information was already there,” he says.

John Woodman IEng, Trials Engineer at HENSOLDT UK.

John Woodman IEng, Trials Engineer at HENSOLDT UK.

Support with his IEng application

To present this information in the right way, John took advantage of several IET resources including the online Professional Development tool Career Manager and an IET Professional Registration Advisor (PRA).

Over two months, John and the PRA shaped his experience and accolades into an industry-standard IEng application. A further two months later, John received the news; his application had been successful.

“Professionally it’s done me a lot of favours,” John says. “Just having IEng on your business card lets clients know you operate at a certain level and means more people are interested in your technical opinion and exchanging ideas. It’s definitely opened a lot of doors.”

New career goals

Now an Incorporated Engineer, John is continuing down his own CPD path.

“I’m doing a lot of CPD through undertaking several courses by the IET. I’ll definitely keep pushing myself, I still have several more career goals to work towards.”

John Woodman IEng MIET