Julian Levy, a Foundation Centre student, reflects on his work placement with a British engineering and manufacturing company. This is what Julian had to say about the experience.
In June 2014 I completed a work placement with Ebac Ltd which is a British engineering and manufacturing company specialising in water coolers and dehumidifiers. I worked closely with a team of engineers who educated me on the processes involved in designing and manufacturing a product from start to finish and the complexities involved in such a task.
Having initially been shown around the production line and taught exactly how plastic mould injections work I was given a design brief and my first task was to come up with concept designs to adapt a plastic mould currently being used in one of their water coolers. Once one of my designs had been approved by the senior engineer with whom I worked closely with, using my knowledge of CAD software I then modelled the design to spec on their in-house CAD program. The design was then sent out to the tool makers for quotes on adapting the plastic moulding.
Throughout the week I also attended meetings about the production of one of their new products and how the development of the product was coming along. The meeting covered how certain targets were being met, for example if the project was within budgets, whether the process was running on schedule and if there were any predicted setbacks. Furthermore I worked with the research and development team who showed me the testing phases and processes used during the stages of prototyping.
The experience gained from this work placement has been invaluable to my development as an engineer and gave me a great insight into the industry and the required skills to be a successful engineer. I would like to thank Ebac Ltd and The Durham University Foundation Centre for this fantastic opportunity, and would strongly recommend taking up a work placement through the Foundation Centre to all future foundation year students.