“The work is interesting and varied, the work environment is welcoming, open, honest and in a very picturesque setting!”

air worthiness and employee STEM ambassador, May stood outside DE&S in a black jumperWhy did you choose to pursue a career in DE&S?

I wished to move to England and, as a Ground Test engineer with Bombardier Aerospace at the time, I found that being experienced in organising and managing bird strike testing for aircraft is, for some reason, quite a niche role – who knew?!

From the research I carried out, Defence Equipment and Support seemed a good fit for me; it is a respected organisation, has opportunities for professional development – through formal qualifications and a wide variety of on-the-job training opportunities – and offers good promotional prospects.

What does your role entail?

When I first joined, I worked within the DE&S Airworthiness Team (DAT) which meant liaising with DE&S and the Military Aviation Authority to assist Delivery Teams through certification. Last year, I moved to the UK Military Flying Training System where I became responsible for managing the integrity of the Juno and Jupiter helicopters.

What are the opportunities to develop and progress within your function?

There are plenty of opportunities to attend training courses organised and/or promoted by the Engineering Function, in addition to more informal development through day-to-day experience. In my case, the latter is very much ongoing!

Interested in engineering?

Engineering at DE&S

What do you most enjoy about your job?

I am enjoying working within a Delivery Team, though this has been more ‘remote’ than could ever have been expected due to the pandemic, which has presented unique challenges in getting to know the air systems.

What’s the greatest achievement to date?

In my role within the DAT, it was assisting the Military Aviation Authority with transforming the military certification standards. I am still working on my greatest achievement in my new role!

Are you a member of any networks at DE&S? If so, why did you decide to join and what benefits do they bring to you?

I am a STEM ambassador (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and am registered with Primary Engineer, an organisation focused on encouraging more young people to consider careers in STEM-related professions. As a result, I am on the DE&S communications list for the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) network, which is a network of more than 10,000 civil servants with a background or interest in science and engineering. I am also usually one of the DE&S STEM ambassadors helping at the Big Bang fair and am looking forward to participating again once the in-person events return.

I have been a STEM ambassador since I graduated to promote the engineering profession, awareness of the different types of engineering specialisms, and the numerous routes to achieving an engineering qualification – particularly to female students since women engineers can be scarce!

I am a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).and regularly sponsor and mentor DE&S employees looking to apply for Incorporated or Chartered status. I also regularly interview on behalf of the Institution.

What are the social benefits of working for DE&S?

I have found DE&S to be inclusive and welcoming, and the option of flexi-time is helpful in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Despite moving teams within a pandemic, I have met my colleagues at team breakfasts and other social events, albeit in groups of six!

Would you recommend DE&S to others as a great place to work?

I would recommend working at DE&S. The work is interesting and varied, and the work environment is welcoming, open, honest and in a very picturesque setting! My colleagues are professional, helpful, friendly, and focussed on what is best for the business.

Interested in joining our team?