How did you get into your job?
I studied Aerospace Engineering and completed my Masters Degree at the University of Southampton. After graduation I joined a graduate programme at Airbus Defence and Space, then seven years later I transferred to RAL Space, where I've been for the last 3 years.
What is your role?
I'm a Systems Engineer. I like to describe it as being the hub of a bicycle wheel. You've got all of your people working on detailed disciplines- Mechanical Engineer, Thermal Engineer, etc. These are people doing very specific work and specific tasks. The Systems Engineer brings all these people together and helps to trade off different things and to build a connection between the different roles.
What's the best thing about your job?
It sounds like such a cliche but every day is different. I like the fact that I'm solving problems and working with a great team of people. The thing I like the most is that at the end of the project you have something physical that you've been involved in designing, definitioning or testing. It's incredible that it's physically there, going to go into space to do something great.
Why is it important you do what you do?
For me I think the space industry touches on so many different aspects. There's the functional part of helping us to communicate more efficiently. Then there's the science part, trying to answer some of those big questions that you got excited about at a young age. I think it's great that it's something that inspires people, but also helps people function as well.
What advice would you give to people looking for a job in your industry?
If you want to work in the space industry you can, no matter what your background. You don't have to come from a specifically privileged background to work here. I think if you want to do it, you can either do the right subjects when you're at school if that's the stage you're at or think about possibly coming in through an apprenticeship if you don't think university and the traditional route is right for you. There are so many different areas of space that people can get involved in- if you're passionate about it there will be a place for you.
Is there anything you wish you could tell your younger self now?
To believe in yourself and believe that you can do it if you really want to do it- there's no reason you can't.
1991- The year I wanted to be a Fashion Designer
1999- The year I completed a Careers Project studying the role of an Aeronautical Engineer
2004- The year I worked in an orphanage in India and started a Degree in Aerospace Engineering
2008- The year I graduated from university and started to work in the Space Industry
2016- The year I joined RAL Space