Meet Tom

My name is Thomas Shaw, and I am a Graduate Stress Engineer at AFD. I studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Salford. My job as a stress engineer entails structurally substantiating designs and repairs from a wide range of sectors using FEM and traditional hand calculations.

Since Studying, I knew I wanted to work in the structural analysis sector. Since AFD provides excellent guidance and support for graduate engineers I felt I would fit in with the team.

The work at AFD is fast paced and varied meaning I could accelerate my knowledge and experience. During my projects I have had the opportunity to visit customers and work closely with them on leading edge technology.

Learning to apply what I have learned to real situations that continuously change.

I used to compete in bouldering competitions.

Meet James

I joined Airframe Designs as a MEng Materials Engineering graduate from Loughborough University in September 2018, originally from London. I held a specialist role as Fatigue & Damage Tolerance Lead Engineer before progressing to Senior Stress Engineer. In this role I support graduate Engineers, deliver training, and assist with managing projects and winning new work.

I have a passion for aviation and the structural aspect of engineering became a strength throughout my studies, which was ideal to meet AFD’s core capabilities. I also wanted to gain experience in Finite Element Analysis, which I now use extensively.

The work is varied, I am able to make significant contributions to projects and interface directly with a range of clients. Highlights include site visits for various structural tests and gaining Incorporated Engineer status with the Royal Aeronautical Society. Every day is a school day!

I love the fresh seaside air and local scenery such as the Lake District.

Much of the theory provided in academia isn’t required in industry – the skill lies in simplifying real-world scenarios and communicating these concisely. In industry, deliverables and timescales can shift, which adds a pressure I wasn’t used to in university.

I hold a black belt in Taekwondo.

Your hard work will be recognised and never be afraid to ask for help – good communication is essential.

Meet Abdul

I am Abdul. I am a Stress Engineer and my job entails analyzing structures to make sure they are strong enough to take the loads, and are safe and fit for purpose. I have been working for AFD for 10 months now. I studied Aeronautical Engineering at The University of Salford and graduated with a First-Class Honors degree.

I visited the Airframe Designs website before applying and I noticed that AFD engages with different customers and works on multiple air vehicles such as Civil Aircraft, Military Aircraft, Helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Systems. Working on a diversified pool of projects was something I aspired to do.

In AFD, no two days are the same. It’s full of excitement, knowledge, learning and encouragement. What I like the most about AFD is that management is always close to you, and you are always welcome to challenge how things are done or suggest new ways of doing things. This boosts confidence and makes you feel that you are making a difference. AFD cares about development and professional recognition and always encourages and supports engineers to register with professional bodies such as the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Living in Lancashire is not like living anywhere else. It combines the calmness of the countryside with the business of the city. The thing I like the most about living in Lancashire is the seaside. I live in Lytham St Annes, and I enjoy the Beach of St Annes every time I come back from work.

There are many challenges one could face during such transition, but for me there were two main challenges, finding the job and finding accommodation. Job hunting was never an easy task and is always time-consuming and nerve wracking, especially when offered your first professional interview in your life. I dedicated time each day for job hunting and created a log of the jobs I applied for, and the stages I went through for each job. AFD staff were amazing in providing a stress-free interview stage and a smooth onboarding process. In terms of accommodation, I always made sure that I booked a viewing of all suitable properties early ahead of my first day. I managed to find a suitable flat and moved in 8 days prior to my first working day.

I speak two languages, Arabic and English, with Arabic being my mother tongue. I can also write using both my left and right hand!

I would advise them to apply as early as they can and prepare ahead of the interview. Attitudes and soft skills are important, so it is good to ensure that these are clearly stated in your CV.