Re-building Helicopters, Building Careers | We Chat To Leonardo Aviation Repair and Design Engineer, Nicola Cole

W1siziisijiwmtgvmduvmdivmtyvmtevmzivntqxl2zpbguixsxbinailcj0ahvtyiisiju0mhgzmdajil1d
author profile picture

by Rebekah Valero-Lee on

 

“If I’d listened to my teachers at school, I might never have ended up in an engineering career,” says Nicola Cole, aviation repair and design engineer at Leonardo. “But being told at 14 that I wasn’t bright enough for a science-based career made me more determined to succeed in one and, 34 years after I started as an apprentice in the electrical design department of an aviation specialist, I still love my job and I’m still glad I made the choices I did.”

Nicola first decided that she wanted to be an engineer when she started spending her weekends tinkering with cars at the age of 12. O Levels in Physics and Chemistry put her on the path to an apprenticeship and, 18 months later, she made her first move as a contractor and has never looked back.

“Contracting has given me the flexibility to work on projects that interest me and work in different locations,” Nicola continues. “I worked in Canada for a while and currently I am working for the Leonardo Helicopter Division in Yeovil, where we’re repairing a military helicopter that suffered a heavy landing in the desert and rolled on its side.

“My job is all about finding solutions that will work, combining my experience and knowledge with the expertise in the team to bring the aircraft back into service. On this project, we’ve taken a helicopter that arrived in the workshop in five pieces and re-built it using parts from other aircraft, effectively creating a hybrid that will fly just as effectively as the original.”

Nicola was contracted at Leonardo specifically for the current helicopter repair project she’s involved with but can already see an opportunity to work on similar future projects with the company.

As is often the case, she is the only woman in both the office and the workshop, but being the only female member of the team doesn’t faze her. Indeed, she has seen big changes in terms of the number of female engineers rising through the ranks during the course of her career.

Nicola continues: “When I first started in the industry, women often weren’t taken seriously because there was an assumption that you would eventually leave the company to start a family. That just isn’t the case anymore and the job is so interesting and rewarding that women return to work and handle the challenges of juggling work and family because they enjoy their job and want to continue their career.

“There’s still more to be done to encourage increased diversity in the sector. Much of it is to do with misconceptions about what the job actually involves. A lot of young women considering a career like mine assume it will be very physically demanding whereas, in fact, it’s much more about problem solving and using your technical knowledge because all the lifting in the workshop is done by advanced machinery.”

While Nicola believes there needs to be more diversity in recruitment of engineers to the aviation sector, there has been no shortage of variety in her own career. In addition to providing her with opportunities to travel and work overseas, Nicola’s career has included contracts working on initial design of transmissions, mechanical systems, electrical systems, structures and many more areas of aircraft as well as repair and refurbishment, both rotary and fixed wing.

Over her 30+ year career, she has seen considerable change in the way that projects are delivered, with the hand-drawn hard copy engineering drawings she used in her early career making way for CADAM design technology, then 3D programs.

She explains: “New technology and systems are making the role much easier. It’s now virtually just one screen that shows me all the information needed to design parts in situ knowing the surrounding structure.”

More than three decades after Nicola first started her career, she still loves the challenge of her hands-on engineering role.

She adds: “I broke the mould of my girls’ grammar school by choosing a career path that wasn’t considered very ‘ladylike’ at the time. Thank goodness those stereotypes are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Hopefully, today’s increasingly diverse and inclusive outlook will enable more women to spend their days clambering on a helicopter and bringing five broken pieces back from the brink as a single serviceable aircraft like I do, because it’s such a challenging and fulfilling job.”


Morson are the UK’s No.1 Aerospace Recruiter and have some of the best opportunities in the industry. To find your opportunity in aviation, search our latest jobs 


Cx Jobs

Handyman

Morson International require an experienced Handyman for an office block in Cardiff. Starting immediately, covering a month of leave as a Handyman within a call centre environment. On offer: Immediate start Weekly payments to - LTD, Umbrella or PAYE 4 weeks contracts with the potential to extend Parking on site Duties include, but not limited to: Opening & closing building Fixing door handles Moving furniture Rubbish If you have experience as a Handyman on commercial buildings or schools, please apply online today or call Quade on 07714 541 325.

Senior Technical Rail Officer

Job Title: Senior Technical Rail Officer Job Type: Fixed Term Industry Sector: Transport and Rail Salary: £40,413.00 Per Annum - £50,029.00 Per Annum Benefits: 27 days holiday per annum, Local Government Pension Scheme, Flexible working Location: Leeds Recruiting for a Senior Technical Rail Officer to: Act as the primary specialist in a role providing critical rail service technical support to the Management Team, Board and Partners in relation to analysing, selecting, contracting and implementing the passenger-service solution in its interim and final outputs, and in ensuring it is aligned to other rail enhancement programmes across the North of England. You will be expected to provide impactful strategic and policy input by building strong relationships, internally and externally and be able to influence, shape, challenge and contribute to the development, delivery and input into rail enhancement programmes in the north of England. With good operational and commercial understanding, you will realise the impacts on possession plans and revenue for changes to train plans and will be able to identify, report on and manage risks or issues arising from a train service prospective. As a confident communicator at senior level you will have the ability to influence a wide range of stakeholders, partners and senior colleagues and the confidence to represent the in a range of forums at regional level. Candidates must possess a relevant degree or other post graduate qualification, or the relevant experience gained through experience, in addition to a professional qualifications. Experience * Relevant degree or other specialist post-graduate qualification or the equivalent level reached through experience. * Professional qualification, chartered status or equivalent experience. * Significant experience and detailed knowledge of rolling stock, train planning and timetabling matters relating to service provisions including train length, frequency, capacity, passenger needs and expectations. * Significant experience and detailed knowledge of operational issues such as traincrew training, resourcing and train stabling and depot requirements, sufficient to support business case development for both short term disruption planning and intermediate and end states of a similar programmes * Commercial understanding regarding possession plans and revenue impacts for changes to train plans. * Experience within programmes of identifying, reporting and managing relevant risks or issues developing from a train service perspective. * Significant experience of co-ordinating a range of cross cutting, complex initiatives into a cohesive output. * Significant experience of planning and organising own work and the work of others (internal or external) over the medium term. * A confident communicator at a senior level who is able to influence a wide range of stakeholders, partners and senior colleagues. * Considerable experience of managing complex budgets and undertaking accurate monthly project and programme reporting. * Reputation, ability and confidence to represent in public, professional and stakeholder forums at a regional level. * Requires significant experience of leading the development of business cases and inputting into the development of transport strategies for a defined area. * Acts as the lead professional and will be seen as primary specialist (subject matter expert). * Requires sufficient strategic and technical understanding to act as the primary source of expertise.

Maintenance Team Member

Recruiting for a Maintenance Team Member to work for a leading client in the Rail Rolling Stock Industry based at their Depot in Oxley, Wolverhampton. Must have experience working within the Rolling stock industry. The client requires someone with dual skills to work night shifts only on a 4 on 4 off basis of 4 x 10 hour shifts. Responsibilities FLT Driving. D.P.P duties. Sanding. Fuelling and system top up. General depot duties e.g.: Line of Routes. Chlorinating water points. Primary fault finding/reporting. Basic maintenance competency e.g.: side skirt cleans, brake pads, block changes etc. Gritting of walkways in severe weather conditions and/or exceptional circumstances. DMU service exams. Depot cleaning/general housekeeping (This will have no impact on Cleaners headcount). Driving company vehicles if certified. Taking of fuel meter readings off rail vehicles. CMS logbook to be updated accordingly. Crane driving and lifting equipment where training has been provided & competent. Mentoring others as and when required. Nominated person as required. Additional training for future similar roles/types of equipment. Corrective maintenance and Preventative maintenance Secondary fault finding. Depot or fleet specific requirements where required: To be Authorised person where required Wheel Lathe Operator Workshop repairs Educational Requirements Good verbal and written communication skills Time served apprenticeship or equivalent with associated technical qualifications (ONC/HNC/City & Guilds) or recognised equivalent (Electrical) Must have Electrical Qualifications

332343 Project Engineer Signalling

Recruiting for a Signalling Project Engineer to join the team based in York. You will be working across a range of Signalling projects on the North and East Route. Looking for someone who has previous DPE experience and preferably from a Network Rail background. 12-month contract duration. Inside scope of IR35 paying £400-£500 per day. What you will do: * Implement systems and procedures to maintain a cost effective, high quality, safe and environmentally responsible approach to design, construction, commissioning and other technical activities on relevant projects, compliant with all relevant legislation. Liaise with regulators and others as appropriate. * Engineer Projects to the standards and specification, allocated design and construction contracts include reference to and are compliant with appropriate Railway Group and Company standards, formal specifications and procedures. * Manage all engineering activities so that they result in schemes that are affordable and meet programme requirements in a safe and environmentally responsible manner for time, cost and quality. * Maintain the use of relevant techniques and procedures of quantified and qualitative risk assessment and HAZOP analysis to allocated projects and manage the environmental aspects of allocated projects in accordance with the environmental policy. * Monitor design and specialist consultants and contractors. * Provide project management advice in respect of all construction activities, including testing and commissioning and site supervision. Manage the design and/or construction elements of relevant projects meet the requirements of current legislation, including construction design management (CDM) regulations. * Internal and contractor's design/construction/specialists personnel are competent. * Undertake reviews of design and/or construction activities. Arrange audits of contractors monitoring safety, environment and quality of design, construction, testing and commissioning and management systems is adequate. * Carry out the duties of designated project engineer (DPE) for specific projects. Your experience will include: Essential * Successful relevant experience in signalling engineering, ideally with involvement in construction and design projects across multi discipline areas. * Technical qualifications to HNC/HND or equivalent GNVQ level. * Knowledge of quality assurance. * An understanding of the arrangements required for the independent assessment of work. * CDM, risk assessment, engineering management competency. An IRSE managers licence would be desirable - Need to have IST course - SSI appreciation course. Desirable * Membership of a relevant professional body with chartered status and/or educated to degree level. * Knowledge of structuring safety cases in support of projects. * An appreciation of environmental issues in engineering works. * Six Sigma Yellow Belt.

W1siziisijiwmjavmduvmtevmdgvmjmvntcvmjcyl2f1c3rpbi1kaxn0zwwtdmfft3bwodzrzletdw5zcgxhc2guanbnil0swyjwiiwidgh1bwiilci1odv4ndq4iyjdxq

Advertisement