I have worked as a Sales Assistant in a shoe shop, a football coach and a Cathodic Protection Technician before Graduating and becoming a Graduate EC&I Engineer, then an Assistant EC&I Engineer and now as the full EC&I Engineer.
Electrical, Control and Instrumentation Engineer
Living and working in the English Lake District as an Electrical, Control and Instrumentation Engineer
My name is Paul; I am 27 years old and I live and work within the Lake District following a move from Country Durham 4 years ago.
My work background is..
I have always enjoyed understanding ‘How things work’ and was the typical boy in the street often taking things to bits and then struggling to get them back together again. Much to my parents delight!!
Following studying for my GCSE’s at secondary school I attended a local sixth form centre to study AS levels as my first step towards higher education and during that first year I spent time on industrial placement, as a form of work experience. I completed this placement work at a Gas Processing Plant where they take ‘wet’ gas from the North Sea gas fields and effectively dry it out for you and I to use in our homes for heating and cooking.
This is where I decided to pursue engineering as I found the process extremely complicated and intriguing, I needed to understand how it all worked.
From that initial spark (excuse the pun), I studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at college before attending University in Newcastle for a further three years.
Since college, University, a few jobs and a bunch of hard work, I am enjoying working as an Electrical Control and Instrumentation Engineer (often abbreviated to EC&I Engineer) at Fellside Combined Heat and Power Station in West Cumbria for a company called px Limited.
That is a lot of words to really say that anything on the site that has electricity running through it, into it or from it is my team’s responsibility.
My Home life..
As you now know, I live and work in the Cumbria but what you don’t know is that I share a home with my other half Laura. We both enjoy mountain biking, walking the fells and can often be found in one of the Lake District cafés devouring a cake. We have two family dogs, Ebony a black Labrador and Ella a cream Labradoodle who both love a swim in the Lakes.
I enjoy playing and watching most sports with football, rugby and motorsport being my personal favourite. I also like my fast cars!
My Typical Day
My day changes from day to day, just how I like it!
My typical day can be anything from fixing a gas turbine control system to working on 132KV equipment (that’s 132 thousand Volts or 550 times more voltage than the electrical supply to your TV at home).
We often have very complex issues and I really enjoy the hands on side to my work, problem solving can be a lot of fun! I find it’s the best way to learn about systems and different equipment.
I often attend meetings on anything from Health and Safety through to developing exciting new projects.
I am fortunate enough to have a great team of engineers alongside me at site with support available from the company headquarters if needed. I also have a brilliant team of EC&I Technicians that help with the day to day problem solving and maintenance of the power station (they complete a lot more hands on work than I do).
What I'd do with the money
I would like to donate the money to Engineering UK to help bring more people into industry
From a snippet on the Engineering Uk website… ‘’Engineering contributes £456bn (27%) of UK GDP and, with 1.82m engineers needed between 2012-2022, there is an annual shortfall of 55,000 skilled workers and not enough new recruits coming through the system. In fact, to meet demand we need to double the number of engineering apprentices and graduates entering the industry.’’
I believe developing people in engineering, particularly in the UK, is desperately underfunded. Alike to a lot of engineers I want to spread the word that a career in engineering is not just fun but can provide the lifestyle we all aim to achieve. What better way to spread the word than to donate to an organisation that is already doing just that.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Ambitious, easy-going, honest
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I like all sorts of music, The Courteeners is currently the CD in my car
What's your favourite food?
Following a holiday to Thailand last year, their food is amazing.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Between college and University I travelled Australia. While I was there I swam with sharks at the Great Barrier Reef
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Only for small things
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
I ran a team that commissioned a 60MW Steam Turbine following a major overhaul
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?
Probably something to do with cars, ideally in Formula 1.
Tell us a joke.
Q: Why was 6 afraid of 7? A: Because 7, 8, 9.