Luke Bushnell
28 Jan 2019



Assembly Integration and Test Technician


​​​​​​​​Luke Bushnell, at work in the Precision Development Facility. ​Credit: Gatsby - Technicians make it happen


How did you get into your job?

I started at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory on the STFC apprenticeship scheme when I was 16 and worked my way through different departments and built up my profile to become a mechanical engineer. I then worked full time in the Precision D​evelopment Facility of RAL Space as a CNC machinist for 4 years before applying for a job in the Assembly Integration and Verification (AIV) group. ​

​​What is your role?

My main role within the AIV group is to build instruments within the clean room environment, working in a full boiler suit from head to toe in an extremely clean workshop assembling instruments and pieces of equipment that we’ll eventually bolt onto satellites.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Knowing that instruments and pieces of equipment that I put together with my own hands are actually flying above us with the purpose of helping humanity is amazing​.​​

Why is it important you do what you do?

It’s extremely important I do what I do because it helps the Earth and mankind. Specifically one job I’m working on at the moment is the Sea Land Surface Temperature Radiometer project which is an instrument primarily used for weather detection and monitoring forest fires. 

What advice would you give to people looking for a job in your industry?

The best piece of advice I can give is never turn down any opportunity. Every opportunity whether it be at school or visiting different places around the world or even seeing different companies- it’s always an opportunity for you to find an area that you might enjoy or a way of actually entering that industry. 

Is there anything you wish you could tell your younger self now?

Probably not to worry so much about education and that it’s not always everything. Hard work and determination tends to prevail if you haven’t always got the grades.

Find out more about apprenticeships at STFC.

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1994 - The year I wanted to be a farmer

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2006 - ​​The year I went on a Moroccon expedition, where I contemplated a career in travelling

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2013- The year I finished my HNC in mechanical engineering

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2017- The year I was a CNC Machinist in the Precision Development Facility of RAL Space

2017 - The year I got to meet Jo Johnson, Universities and Science Minister​ from 2016 to 2018, in my role as MAIT Technician in the SET Division