Gary Slavin

Gary Slavin

What have you been doing since finishing your studies? What are you doing in terms of your career?

Since finishing my studies I have joined a graduate development scheme which has led me to live and work in Derby, Sunderland and Sweden, and which has given me the opportunity to travel to Germany and Norway through work on a number of occasions. I have also professionally boarded within the engineering growth structure my company has in place, and I have most recently submitted my CEng application, which I expect to obtain in 2015.

What company are you working for, what is your role and what does it involve?

I work for Rolls-Royce Plc at their new manufacturing site in Washington, Tyne & Wear. I am Process Owner for our Robotic Shot Peening process. This involves owning the method of manufacture for robotic shot peening of parts which go through the process. I am responsible for developing new methods of manufacture, governance of the process and compliance of the process to external auditor requirements. I also deliver training to personnel who work on robotic shot peening.

What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career/will help with your future career?

My experiences whilst at Leeds developed me as a person in that I became independent, living away from home for the first time. I also learnt a lot about myself. I found the first year of my course challenging, and I really had to work hard in order to succeed, teaching me the importance of perseverance. Finally, my particular course taught me the vital skills to becoming a good engineer.

Looking back, why did you choose to study your particular course and why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I had an interest in aircraft from a young age, fuelled by my family’s history of Engineering through the generations. I had studied an Aeronautical Engineering course at college before going to University, and I realised on this course that I didn’t want to just learn how to fix aircraft, but I wanted to understand the design of aircraft and systems more. The course offered by Leeds sounded very interesting to me because of this. I chose the University of Leeds because it offered a good course, the teaching staff had a great reputation, and Leeds as a place to live offered so much!

What was the best aspect of the course and University and why?

Throughout my studies, I could not fault the teaching staff or support provided to me as a student. Whenever I needed support or advice, I could approach staff and was given the best help they could provide. In addition, being at Leeds allowed me to make friends with people from many different backgrounds and I’ll stay in touch with these people throughout the rest of my life.

What other activities outside of your studies were you involved in?

Besides studying, I took full advantage of the nightlife Leeds has to offer! I also took part in night orienteering, and used the sports facilities for playing badminton and going to the gym. Leeds has a lot more than this to offer though.

What would you say to students thinking about studying the same course at Leeds or thinking about the same career?

If you want to study an Engineering degree supported by great teaching staff and in a city which can offer so much to students, then Leeds should top the list of places you consider. The course will be hard work, with a lot of contact hours compared to other courses, but you’ll get out what you put in, and this advice carries forward into your future career.