My work experience at BEL Engineering: Hannah, a budding aerospace engineer

This summer, we invited a group of students to complete work experience at our site in Newcastle upon Tyne. The students were given the chance to learn about engineering and the sectors we operate in.

Meet Hannah, a student at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Newcastle, interested in the aerospace industry.

Tell us about yourself…

My name is Hannah and I’m currently studying my A levels in Mathematics, Physics and Psychology, and I’m hoping to study Aerospace Engineering at university. I’m interested in developing a career in engineering so I was happy to secure a work experience placement at BEL Engineering.

What did you get up to?


On my first day, I met with Katy, Commercial Director, who introduced me to the company and the British Engines Group, discussing the companies within the group and what they do. Donnie, Project Planner, took me around the shop floor and explained how the workspace is divided into cells which deal with small, medium and large components, as well as the grinding cell, where the surface of a component is smoothed and polished. I later met with Ryan, Shift Manager, who went into more depth of what each cell does.


On Tuesday I worked with Holly and Martin, CNC Operators who work on a CNC turning machine that produces components in the small cell. Holly talked me through what she was doing, her role and how she has progressed within the company since starting as an apprentice. Martin explained about how the programming worked on the machine and how the letters and numbers correspond to its movement. For example, a ‘X’ or ‘Z’ corresponds to an action in the ‘X’ or ‘Z’ axis and an instruction beginning with ‘G’ corresponds to the movement of the tool, either towards or away from the component.


On Wednesday I worked in the Inspection Department where I learnt how to manually set a probe on the CMM machine. In the afternoon, I worked in the manual inspection area where Simon, Inspector, showed me how to measure items using a digital and analogue micrometre. I also helped to measure components on the CMM machine, which magnifies a component using light and mirrors to measure the dimensions of objects.


On Thursday morning I was in the maintenance area with Harry, Maintenance Electrician, where I oversaw the team prepare for a new training area for the apprentices. In the afternoon I worked in the manufacturing office, where Nick, Manufacturing Engineer, explained how he uses the Siemens NX software to programme instructions for machines on the shop floor.


On my last day I spent the morning with Kevin, Procurement & Business Improvement Manager who showed the process of an order from quotation to despatch using the company’s ERP management system, IFS. Michael, Technical Support Engineer later showed me how the company manages productivity and efficiency using data collected from machines. In the afternoon I spent time Tom, Stores and Logistics Supervisor, in the ‘goods in’ area where he talked about the importance of keeping track of items for traceability. Mark, Logistics Lead, showed me the dispatch area and talked me through the process of cleaning a component and packaging it securely before dispatch.

What did you enjoy most?

I found the computer software which creates a 3D model of a component particularly interesting and enjoyed being able to measure components using the specialist equipment to see if their dimensions fit the correct boundaries.

Katy O’Farrell, Commercial Director, said: It’s great that we can offer valuable work experience opportunities to aspiring engineers. Hearing that the knowledge Hannah gained throughout her placement had helped her confirm her desire for a career in engineering is fantastic.

Visit our careers page for all vacancies across the British Engines Group.

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