Scott Falkiner

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

After completing my studies in July 2013, I started an Engineering Graduate Scheme with British Airways.

Did you do a BEng or MEng? Please can you explain why you chose that particular option

I knew from the careers advice given during my first year that I wanted to pursue a career within the civilian aviation industry, and for that reason I chose the MEng route. The modules went into more specific detail regarding the philosophy of flight and engines – the background knowledge of which has proven invaluable whilst working for a large-scale and global airline.

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

I now work for British Airways as a Graduate Technical Engineer. The Graduate Scheme prepares you to become an approved Technical Engineer by placing you within various different areas of British Airways Engineering, ranging from heavy maintenance – where the aircraft are stripped to bare metal – to Continued Airworthiness – where we ensure our aircraft are fully legal and comply with the latest EASA regulations. One of my personal projects involves working towards the approval of Personal Electronic Devices (E.G. mobile phones) throughout normal flight.

From working at Terminal 5 with live aircraft full of passengers, to introducing the very latest aircraft into our fleet (B787, A380, A350), the Graduate Scheme is a fantastic opportunity where you’re given real roles and responsibility from day one.

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

The links with engineering companies through the Industrial Advisory board helped to set those initial expectations for what to expect for life after University. The wide range of companies within the IAB helped me to make a decision about what route I wanted to go down within engineering – from conceptual design to heavy maintenance.

Looking back, why did you choose to study your particular course and why did you choose the University of Leeds?

I knew I wanted to study engineering from a young age, but I chose Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering specifically to distinguish myself and set me up for a path into Civil Aviation.

I chose Leeds for its fantastic campus. It is its own entity within the heart of Leeds. Its local transport links to the rest of Yorkshire ensured you were never far from interesting and exciting opportunities.

What was the best aspect of the course/the University and why? Any highlights?

One of the highlights of studying at Leeds was the support from the lecturers. It made for an extremely friendly and welcoming environment and they were always approachable if you were having issues with solving problems.

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

Outside of studies I experienced the local towns and cities. The fantastic karting track in Leeds, and the indoor snow slope at nearby Castleford were a good way to relax with friends and a great distraction from my studies.

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

Make sure you know what route within engineering you want to go down. New build and design is a very different role from service operations and maintenance – so be clear what it is about engineering you enjoy. Working for an airline is an extremely fast paced environment, and it’s a very reactive environment, no matter how much planning you do. You also need to be able to appreciate other parts of the airline as well as engineering, in order to make the best technical decisions.