In January this year, CCL Design IDT was delighted to welcome our new Process Engineering Intern, Jay Christie-Clarke, to our Glasgow design and production site.
Jay, who is now halfway through his six-month internship, tells us about his experience so far.
I am in my penultimate year at the University of Edinburgh, working towards a Meng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering. A key part of my degree is to undertake an industrial placement.
What first interested you in engineering?
I love maths and physics and initially intended to go down an astrophysics route. My sixth form college organised for a team from Cambridge University to visit us, to discuss our options. Due to a room mix-up, I ended up with the mechanical engineering team. The combination of maths, physics and the practical aspects of engineering was appealing and there started my journey to become a Mechanical Engineer.
What made you choose the University of Edinburgh?
With no family or friends working in engineering I knew I needed a course that started with a broad, generalised curriculum to allow me the time to decide what direction I wanted to move into.
There were a few universities to choose from but in the end, Edinburgh won out. The course’s first year focuses on general engineering principles before advancing into structural mechanics, dynamics, and thermofluids in the final years of my five-year degree. Although I hadn’t previously visited the city, Edinburgh University is one of the world's top universities and I knew its reputation as an entrepreneurial hub with students from across the globe.
One of the things I love most about our STEM campus is that there are always building under construction!
I’ve been in Edinburgh now for 4 years and I love how compact the city is. There are amazing walks, world-class events and festivals and an incredible student scene. Even during the lockdown, I’ve been able to really enjoy the city. One of my favourite spots is Arthur's Seat, the highest point in Edinburgh, offering the best views across the whole city. And of course, we have also have a beach!
What attracted you to CCL Design IDT’s internship?
After nearly four years of academia and theory, the internship at CCL Design, or McGavigan as it was then, promised lots of practical, hands-on experience and a focus on teamwork and collaboration. I also thought it would be fun to work in the automotive sector.
What key projects are you working on
CCL Design’s IDT Division is a leading automotive interior supplier so I knew whatever I worked on would be interesting. My internship started with an induction of the site, including the production floor which was fantastic to experience. Some of the production floor’s staff and management have worked there for decades, helping to steer the enormous changes of automation and digital transformation that the sector continues to go through.
One of the key projects I’ve worked on with my CCL colleagues is designing a manufacturing cell. I’ve contributed to the design of the roller station, digitised physical parts, researched components online and designed and made my parts. True to the original internship brief, I have worked closely with both the design and engineering teams throughout.
I thought my understanding of CAD design would directly translate to being able to manufacture my designs but I’ve learned that real-world, hands-on experience is crucial in learning what is and isn’t possible and practical. Learning from more experienced colleagues is vital.
CCL Design provides a culture of continuous learning and support and teamwork, meaning I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here, even if the commute from Edinburgh has proved a bit of a painful shock!
I am only halfway through my internship and am looking forward to what the next three months bring. I hope to keep in touch with everyone I’ve met here and given CCL Design’s current growth, I may even return once I’ve completed my degree.
What would you say to students currently considering a career in STEM?
This is an incredibly exciting time to get involved in STEM subjects. The world is going through a period of fundamental change, with science, technology and engineering at the centre of the 4th industrial revolution, working across disciplines to solve real-world problems.