Q&A from Thomas Manklow, RF Graduate Engineer at Filtronic

Why you were attracted to RF

I studied a general engineering course at Durham University, specialising into electronics part way through.  The two topics I found most interesting were Communications and Microwave engineering both in regard to the theory and operation but also the practical applications in how critical they are in modern society.  It is a field which is constantly changing and evolving, providing new challenges to overcome.

What do you love most about your job

Having had a largely theoretical based degree, I have really enjoyed a lot of the practical work and getting to grips with the equipment used in testing the products.  For most of my first year I have been heavily involved in build and testing to meet both internal and external delivery requirements, an experience I have both enjoyed and found rewarding.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years

Over the next few years, I want to continue to learn and develop as an engineer, particularly in the initial design of a product.  I hope to be able to provide my own input into a design and develop my own area of expertise within the team, something I have recently starting to undertake performing thermal analysis on products in development.

Would you recommend your path to other aspiring graduates

There will be those who knew exactly what they wanted to have as a career throughout school and university – I definitely wasn’t one of them! I knew that I wanted to study engineering because I enjoyed physics and maths, but with little exposure to the many different fields it encompasses I opted for a general degree, and it was through following what I enjoy which has led me to the field I am in today.  I would recommend my career path to others because by going to a university I have acquired a good understanding of a wide range engineering topics, and through my career I am able to continue to learn and hone my skills in the areas around RF.

What are the benefits of working in the North East?

Spending four years in Durham and loving the area was certainly one of the reasons for coming back to the North East after my degree.  It’s full of great countryside for walking or cycling around, historical towns and the lower cost of rent compared to some of my friends in other areas is a big bonus!

Graduate Engineer

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