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Building a future in engineering with DIO

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Engineering, RAF Lakenheath, Working at DIO

Pictured is a US F35 taking off. it is grey with a clear window at front where the pilot can be seen. It has one wheel at the front and two at the back. The aircraft is on a runway and there is grass next to it.
RAF Lakenheath will be the first permanent international site for US Air Force F35s in Europe. [Crown Copyright/MOD2017]
This week is Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, which aims to inspire individuals to take up a career in engineering. At DIO, engineering provides the opportunity to work on vital projects and infrastructure that ensure the Armed Forces can live, work, train and deploy overseas.

Endless opportunities

I started off my career with an apprenticeship in marine engineering, I studied for three years and was lucky enough to travel the world for a further two years! When you find yourself somewhere like the Indian Ocean, 1,000 miles from the nearest port, with limited resources you must be able to think on your feet and be able to break down tasks into smaller parts to see how they fit together. This is an important skill needed as an engineer.

On leaving the shipping industry, I developed a career in building services and project management in the public and private sector. My last post before embarking on a career with the civil service was with HSBC Bank as an Engineering Manager. I was responsible for the electrical infrastructure of its HQ, which covered 1million ft² over 48 levels and supported 7,500 staff, in Canary Wharf.

After this, I joined what was then Defence Estates, as a Built Estate Advisor with the Army Training Estate , providing assurance, audit and technical advice. I then became a Senior Facilities Manager. Based at RAF Honinigton. I was responsible for supporting prime contracts in the Eastern region, covering Royal Air Force and British Army sites. I used my engineering skills to improve the built estate and deliver projects to support military personnel returning from active duty.

I’ve also worked as a Programme Manager for the United States Visiting Forces Team where I was responsible for delivering complex secure communication facilities and infrastructure.

I now work on the United States Infrastructure Programme (UIP), as Assistant Head, where I’m responsible for the F35 domestic sub programme at RAF Lakenheath, which includes a replacement hospital and the provision of new dormitories. Engineers are hard at work planning and designing these facilities to support the F35 programme and improve the condition of the buildings and infrastructure that US Airmen need. My role involves providing expert advice, knowledge and support to colleagues to find solutions to problems and help them in delivering critical infrastructure programmes. Every day is different, challenging, exciting and rewarding.

Benefits of working at DIO

A career in engineering provides you with the opportunity to work on so many unique projects and gain a range of knowledge and skills in different areas. I’ve had the opportunity to work in electrical, mechanical, naval architecture, marine and building engineering. From working on munitions facilities to aircraft shelters, no two days are ever the same.

A construction worker dressed in orange high-vis and a protective helmet stands on the runway at RAF Marham, with a large vehicle behind.
Engineers help to build and design runways needed for aircraft to operate [Crown Copyright/MOD2019]
So, what does an engineer at DIO do? This can vary from visiting a First World War hangar which needs specialist knowledge and management to keep it in service, to ensuring an assault course is safe to use, to designing infrastructure supporting maritime ports, to designing runways.

Join us

I hope my blog inspires tomorrow’s engineers to join DIO. There are a range of pathways available as a building surveyor, airfield pavement engineer, mechanical and fuel engineer, electrical engineer, waste and water engineer and railway engineer. If you’re interested in an engineering career at DIO, look out for opportunities on Civil Service Jobs and our LinkedIn page.

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