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Mechanical and Thermal Engineer and Project Manager

Name: Christine Brockley-Blatt

Job title: Mechanical and Thermal Engineer and Project Manager

What education and qualifications do you have?

9 GCSEs, 2 A/S levels, 3 A Levels, BEng(hons) Mechanical Engineering, OU diploma in Physics, CEng (Chartered Engineer) and Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Give an outline of your career so far

After leaving School, I took a year out to work as a Student Apprentice with Dowty Aerospace, who sponsored me through university. During holidays, I worked for them in various departments and workshops in their landing gear and carbon composite propeller factories. Upon leaving university with a 2:1 in engineering, I got a job with Ricardo Consulting Engineers, where I worked as a design analyst and thermal engineer. I worked on diesel engines for a popular car company, a mechanical digger and large marine diesels. After obtaining my Chartered Status and being made redundant, I reevaluated where my career was going and decided that I wanted to work in the Space industry, so made the move to MSSL. I am currently the MSSL project engineer on the SPIRE infra-red instrument for HERSCHEL and the project manager on the ESA 50mK ADR project, a cryogenic cooler for use with X-ray detectors in Space.

Why did you choose this career path?

I wanted to design cars when I was a teenager. Through doing technical drawing and CDT at school, I decided I like the more technical design side of engineering, rather than the artistry of body styling. I read about being a chartered engineer when I was doing my A levels, so I worked towards getting that qualification for the first 8 years of my career. I have taken the opportunities where they have come up and so I have been lucky to work for companies that are leaders in their field, with interesting and varied projects.

What does your current work involve?

Mechanical and thermal calculations, project management, writing technical reports and quality documentation.

Hobbies and interests outside work

Model making, miniature painting, karate, yoga, dungeons and dragons gaming and doing part-time research into ADR technology.

Chris integrating components with the SPIRE instrument in the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory's Clean room

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