Life as a Graduate – By Jack McCalmont

Life as a Graduate – By Jack McCalmont

Jack McCalmont Design Engineer

Hi, my name is Jack McCalmont and through this article I’ll describe my experiences within TES

I have just completed my Master’s degree in Mechatronic Engineering in May 2017 at Ulster University and will be attending my graduation ceremony in July of 2017. I decided to study Mechatronics because of having both an interest in mechanical & electronic engineering but also computing & IT too.

Outside of work and studying, I have played rugby since 2004 which helps keep me fit and active. I am also an avid gamer and computer enthusiast. Travelling is also a hobby of mine, and I recently have travelled to multiple locations across the globe including Boston, Frankfurt and Edinburgh, with a few more short trips being planned for the future.

Within my degree I had to undertake a placement year. I completed this placement year within TES and immediately had the chance to work in multiple departments and gain insight and skills from each.

I started my placement year by mainly working on Motor Control Center (MCC) panels. My main duties with these particular types of panels was to create a bill of materials (BOM) for the design team to incorporate into their electrical schematics, and also or the workshop team to use as a build sheet for starters (such as Automatic Star Delta (ASD) starters).

Through my placement I have also worked with switchgear panels, water and wastewater jobs. To progress my knowledge on components and schematics the latter portion of my placement one day a week I would work in the workshop on wiring panels from schematics. This I found to be very beneficial as I would be working from BOM’s that I had created and it gave me more hands-on experience. I also had an opportunity to try my hand at design, using the Electrical CAD programs available to draw schematics from scratch.

On completion of my placement year I was kindly asked to continue working part time (during my studies) and full time (over holiday periods). The following summer I started back within TES and for these few months I gained brilliant experience as a project manager where I had a few types of panels, including MCC & Switchgear, under my care. Many of which I could complete the electrical schematics myself. Through the rest of my final year at university I was unfortunately unable to work part-time due to the course work load that was present.

Immediately after handing in my dissertation, I started back at TES as a full-time graduate. I opted to join the design team due to finding the drawing of schematics the most interesting and it was also an area in which I excelled previously and had a real skill for.

Electrical Design Team

EPLAN Design Software which is used by members of the TES Design Team.

 

For the first couple of weeks I was tasked with setting up the new electrical CAD package “EPLAN” that the company will be switching over to in the coming weeks (July/August 2017). Once I had indicated that I would love to start back as a full-time graduate, TES sent two design team members including myself on a week-long training course for this software (EPLAN) in April 2017.

While setting up this software I have worked on most aspects within TES, I have worked on MCC and switchgear panels as well as mechanical drawings for Water and Wastewater Treatment sites. The best part personally for me so far is completing the first full schematic drawings on EPLAN.

 

 

A challenging aspect of working in the TES design team, is that due to high demand and company growth, the work load can sometimes seem daunting, with different departments needing a lot of design work done at short notice. The most challenging and time-consuming project I must complete is setting up macros within EPLAN to hopefully speed up schematic creation for the entire design team. It’s a challenge I am relishing as there is a lot of responsibility and a great deal of appreciation from the team around me.

From the beginning of my placement year, to the unique training course in April 2017, right up to the more recent experience I have gained since starting full-time – I have developed so many valuable skills in various departments, and worked alongside some very talented individuals, it’s been an excellent start to my professional career.

Since I have been in TES for a few years now, I have been to a few of the staff BBQ’s, Christmas Dinners and other enjoyable events throughout the year. I also partook in the charity truck pull where a few of the local businesses entered teams to compete in pulling a truck over a set distance in the Kilcronagh business park at our HQ in Co.Tyrone. I found this a great team building exercise amongst all our staff, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable day for everyone whilst raising money for a worthwhile local charity.

Since starting at TES as a placement student, the company seems to have expanded its reach and its product output has grown. An additional floor was installed within the work shop to keep up with production, as well as an expansion to the staff car park to allow parking for all new employees. I’ve been informed that several other TES locations are expanding across the UK too, and I’m well aware of some of the amazing projects we have won in parts of Africa and the Middle East. I feel like TES is growing rapidly especially since the design team is almost three times the size it was since I started.

In terms of personal growth and development, I see myself developing further within drawing schematics. After working on a few smaller sized jobs, I see myself moving onto much larger jobs. I am confident within my role and if I have any queries, there are many that I can turn to for assistance and guidance. Hopefully someday I will move into a managerial role and help new starts like myself develop and thrive in their ability, but for now I am thoroughly enjoying my role drawing schematics and becoming a lead talent in the design team.