MEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering – Sheffield University
Adam joined the graduate programme in September 2005, after completing a summer internship while at university.
“Aerospace has always been a passion of mine. It’s a trait that I seem to have inherited from my family. My grandfather was a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Rolls-Royce loomed large in my world when I was growing up, and that influence only grew at university. I completed a summer internship with the company after my third year; they also ended up sponsoring my final-year dissertation through the University Technology Centre.
“The internship in many ways decided it for me. Unlike my peers on other internships, I was given real responsibility. I wasn’t making the tea. I was making a genuine contribution from the word go. I was based with Rolls-Royce’s Control Systems team, working on a research and technology engine. We had to deliver instrumentation and hardware in preparation for a test in Madrid. It was hard work, but I loved every minute of it.
“Since joining the Leadership Development programme, I’ve had the chance to contribute to lots of high-profile projects. I was part of the team that upgraded the Adour engine — used in aircraft like the US Navy Hawk — from a hydro-mechanical control unit to a FADEC system. I also helped to produce system documentation for the RTM322, an engine used in the Apache helicopter. More recently, on one of my longer substantive roles, I delivered Whole Engine support for the Trent 900 when it launched with Singapore Airlines. That was a fascinating role because you never quite knew what each day would bring.
“Needless to say, I’ve had some amazing experiences along the way. I’ll never forget the time when I first saw one of our engines in action at a military air base in Hampshire. That was for the Apache. I’ll also never forget my first international placement. I spent six blissful months in Montreal. Not only was the work stimulating, but I got to spend the weekends skiing and driving my 4x4 across some beautiful country.
“The Leadership Development programme is nothing if not rigorous. I only officially completed the programme last April, and I’m now managing a team of 25 people within our Performance function. The organisation has invested an awful lot of time and money in me; it’s now paying real dividends.”