Charles Grant

Charles Grant

What is the name of the company you work for and what do they do?

Rolls-Royce Plc is a world-class engineering company specialising in power and propulsion systems. The company operates within five different sectors; Civil Aerospace, Defence Aerospace, Power Systems, Marine and Nuclear. They are one of the world’s leading producers of aero engines for large civil aircraft and corporate jets, as well as the second largest provider of defence aero engines globally.

What is your role within the company?

I work within the Component Design Sciences team within the company, mainly using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software for the purpose of designing and testing components in civil aerospace engines. Utilising the Siemens NX CAD package, my role involves creating the building blocks for end users to quickly construct simplified gas turbine engine models.

Can you please give me an insight into a typical day?

A typical work day for me involves working closely with the automation design engineers to complete tasks such as designing early stage engine models, and testing software for future use in the company.

Rolls-Royce operates a flexible working hour system which allows me to choose when I work, provided I attend core hours each day and work the hours I am contracted for. When I arrive at work I tend to read through and reply to any emails I may have. I then check through my calendar for meetings and prioritise my tasks accordingly.

What do you enjoy the most and do you get involved in any interesting projects?

The position gives me exposure to a large part of the gas turbine engine architecture as well as a good understanding of the gas turbine design and construction processes. As a physicist I am naturally intrigued by the world around me, and for this reason I enjoy gaining this understanding of how things work within the civil aviation world.

I have also enjoyed working alongside industry experts to develop my technical computer design knowledge, gaining new experiences along the way.

The projects I’ve been involved with so far have seen me through the entire process of preliminary design for civil aircraft engines, and even taught me a completely new coding language - C#.

Why did you want to undertake a year in industry?

Having completed two years of my degree, I was keen to apply the knowledge I had acquired in the professional workplace in order to gain a greater experience of the working world of Engineering. I was also excited to showcase my skills with the intention of securing a place on the graduate development programme following the completion of my University studies.

What do you think you have got out of this experience so far? 

I have begun to develop essential skills which will provide me with an excellent basis with which to progress into a career in the industry. This is backed up by the expanding of my network across multiple departments both in Derby and at other Rolls-Royce departments within the UK.

I am gaining an understanding the inner workings of a large commercial company and how it operates efficiently. This will be invaluable when progressing into a career in the industry as it is essential to have an understanding of the company as a whole when completing tasks.

Do you have any tips and advice for current students thinking of undertaking a year in industry?

Start looking as early as possible. Shortlist several job roles and work through all the applications (completing one application per day is a good target to stick to). Make sure to use all the support made available to you by the university. Having your CV checked over for the fifth time may seem pointless at the time but there’s always room for improvement and it can make all the difference!