Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Department of Materials

Richard Simkins

Richard Simkins  

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Since graduating I have completed the Rolls-Royce Engineering training scheme, worked as a manufacturing engineer on single crystal castings, as a designer for turbine components, as a service engineer in an engine overhaul facility in Singapore and am currently a sub-system integrator in Turbines Engineering for new engines.

Rolls-Royce provide power solutions for a wide range of applications and in my division we design, develop, manufacture and maintain gas turbines for civil aerospace i.e. engines for passenger carrying aircraft. High levels of efficiency, reduction in emissions and enhanced customer reliability require a design that uses materials at temperatures and stresses that are extremely challenging. To achieve this requires complete understanding of material behaviour even after many hours and flight cycles in extremes of environment and successful application of this materials knowledge is one of the key ongoing developments in this engaging engineering problem.

During my time at Loughborough my course and final year project were, amongst many aspects of materials, engineering and technical design, particularly useful in understanding the foundation elements of nickel based superalloys – perhaps one of the biggest developments in gas turbine design. I really enjoyed the campus life, being actively involved in sports and halls of residence activities and made many lifelong friends.

In addition to my course studies, I was lucky enough to carry out a year in industry at 3Com, a computer networking company, where I was looking at how basic components of a network product like a switch or router can be made more reliable, comparing systems for unit cost and researching heat management technology. This was a good opportunity to combine some materials understanding with basic engineering knowledge and apply it to commercial applications, and at the same time, learning what I liked about working in engineering. I strongly attribute this year in industry to my final year academic successes and my subsequently getting the job I wanted after graduation.

 

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