Rob Hollands

Meet Rob Hollands
What made you interested in attending taster weeks?

At school I had a passion for both physics and maths, and was a keen programmer whist studying computer science. A teacher of mine at the time had noticed my interest in physics and recommended I apply for the Engineering Taster Week at BAE Systems in Rochester. I was trying to decide between studying for a degree in either theoretical physics, or engineering; I thought getting to see first-hand how these disciplines could be applied in a working environment would help me decide.
What do you remember about the taster week?

The week was action packed and incredibly enjoyable. I remember being split up into groups and tasked with designing and showcasing our very own a cockpit system for a fast-jet. I was given a small glimpse into the complexity of systems engineering and design trade-offs. There were a number of talks and presentations given by experts at BAE Systems, which really opened my eyes to the opportunities a career in engineering can offer.
What did you take away from the week and what did you do with what you learned?
Following on from the taster week, I knew that engineering was something I wanted to become an expert in. My experience during the week at BAE Systems inspired me to peruse a degree in engineering. The teamwork, presentation and time management skills are things I draw upon to this day and they certainly helped me during my studies.
What do you do now?

I currently work as a mechanical engineer on one of the company’s leading head-up display programmes, where I work as part of the team designing and testing thermal management schemes. Given the nature of where our technology needs to operate, products have to meet a variety of requirements and tolerances, ranging from extreme temperatures to vibration resilience — this makes the job challenging and exciting.
Have you got any advice for others considering applying for the taster weeks?

Even if you have the slightest interest in engineering, maths or science, I encourage you to apply. There are many disciplines of engineering, all of which are fairly represented in the taster week. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the industry, new skills and something to add to your CV and/or university application! Before applying for the taster week, I’d advise putting aside time to research the company and different engineering disciplines on offer. That way you can come prepared with any questions you might have about BAE Systems and the engineering roles within the organisation.