Spotlight on: Adrian Bridger, Training Manager

Ex-military training instructor, Adrian Bridger joined 2Excel Engineering in March as our new Training Manager. Adrian’s ambition in his new role is to pass on his years of knowledge and experience within the industry to others. He is currently leading on our apprenticeship scheme and ensuring that our workforce and the company are supported with essential training requirements.

We spoke to Adrian to find out more about his experience within the aviation and engineering worlds.

“I joined the RAF as a mechanic, later training as an aircraft technician based out of RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.  

Looking back on my military career, I moved around a lot; I was posted out to Germany to RAF Laarbruch to work on the Buccaneer fleet and spent time at RAF Cosford, RAF Kinloss in Scotland supporting the Nimrods, and finally RAF Coningsby working on the Tornados. I saw a lot of the world during that time and was particularly interested in the diverse cultures there are to see and immerse yourself in. 

I left the RAF in 1992 after 13 years of service, aged 30. I went to Saudi Arabia with British Aerospace to train Saudi air Force personnel on Tornados and to look after their aircraft. In the early ‘00’s, I was working in Perth, Scotland, as a Part-66 Basic Instructor and later progressed to Examination Manager –carrying out examination on behalf of the CAA. 

I later met my partner, who at the time lived in Worthing. In December 2006, I moved South and accepted a role with Thomson Airways (now TUI), based out of Luton. I joined as a Type Instructor on the Boeing 737, focussing on Avionics and carried out Human Factors, Fuel Tank Safety and EWIS courses. I left the company is 2013 to progress a career with British Airways, joining the company as an instructor on the Dreamliner for three months, before moving into the Part 147 as the Examinations and Compliance Manager. I was with the company until I joined 2Excel. 

When the Training Manager role came up at 2Excel, I was very interested as it’s the type of role I’ve aspired to have and have worked up to over many years, and I had worked with apprentices in previous roles. 

After four decades spent in aerospace engineering, I have a lot of experience to pass on to others, in particular, helping direct and guide apprentices and their future plans. I believe that we, as people, need to continually train and learn and this is my passion in the workplace.  

I started with 2Excel in March this year and quickly came to realise that we’ve got a good bunch of people at Lasham and the apprentices make the company dynamic. Currently, we have a full programme running: we have four apprentices already finished and are employed in Improver roles with the company, the Year 3’s will finish in January after being extended due to Covid and the Year 2’s are due to finish September 2022. There was no intake in 2020 due to Covid, but we have already offered places to six candidates who have accepted for the September 2021 intake. 

Although our scheme is open to a small group of apprentices, compared to other engineering companies, what make us attractive and unique is the range of hands-on experiences on offer, including our extensive backshop capabilities such as NDT. A student will typically be placed with a mentor for around a month at a time, and will rotate around the site to gain a wider understanding of the business and will spend time with different departments. 

My primary focus is to support the apprentices by taking an active role in developing their skills. It’s important to have an ‘open door’ policy, be visible and build rapport with the students. I enjoy seeing how our students develop over time and throughout the process, some achieving NVQ level, but the sky really is the limit.  

The short-to-long term vision for the Training department is to attain an Apprenticeship Accreditation to allow us to deliver the complete package for the apprentices instead of sending them to college. We are also looking to attain Part-147 accreditation from the UKCAA so we can teach approved type training to both our staff and externals to have a revenue stream coming in. I will also be working with Compliance to bring mandatory courses such as HF, FTS and EWIS back in-house at some point in the future. There is a lot of opportunity at Lasham and I look forward to seeing what we can bring to fruition.” 

2Excel Engineering’s Fire Crew Training

2EXCEL ENGINEERING’S FIRE CREW TRAINING

Well done to the first 8-out-of-24 of our employees who took part in a Fire Crew Training exercise at Southampton Airport. The training lasted a full day and consisted of a brief classroom session, hose drills and moving as a team.

The team spent the morning doing simulated exercises using Echo Four’s aircraft fire simulator. The exercises included attending an aircraft with suspected hot brakes, which then escalated into a landing gear fire. The afternoon comprised of tackling a simulated engine fire from a vehicle monitor. This culminated in a full deployment, where starting from an on vehicle position, the monitor initially knocked back an engine fire, before two teams egressed to move in and deal with a gear fire using branch lines.

At 2Excel Engineering, we’re committed to safety, staff training and upskilling our workforce. The course results in a certification and we look forward to sending the remaining two groups to complete this training. You can find out more about our expertise here.

Thank you Echo Four and Southampton Airport for hosting us.

*Images taken during the Fire Crew Training exercise.

Spotlight on: Leanne McComb, Production Planner

Leanne McComb, 2Excel Engineering Production Planner

“I joined the RAF when I turned 17 years old and worked on ground radar equipment as an electronics technician for the four years which followed.  I was drawn to the RAF as a career choice as I liked the idea of leaving Newcastle to do something different.  I was studying A levels and found it quite boring.  I discovered I could in fact learn a new career whilst getting paid and also develop skills you can’t achieve anywhere else.  I would say my qualifications are the least important thing that I took from my time in the RAF and the life skills developed have served a far greater purpose.

  

“I left the service in 2005 after having my first child. As the end of my maternity leave approached, I started to look for a move back into aviation. That next opportunity was with JetCare joining the engine gas path analysis team.  Gas Path Analysis is a tool used for engine performance monitoring and targets the detection of engine core deterioration.  We were able to identify potential engine performance issues by comparing trend data against in-house engine models.  This was then reported back to the customer which enabled them to act which could reduce maintenance costs and stay operational

 

“My next move was into helicopters. I started with Cobham helicopter services in July 2017 in the tech records department.  I enjoyed the insight into the tech records role this job offered me.  The company worked closely with the RAF at Shawbury and looked after the training helicopters they used.  Working with a small focused team provided opportunities to see most parts of the business. 

 

“I was made aware of 2Excel through my current line manager who contacted me about a role he thought I would be interested in.  In October 2018 I made the move to 2Excel as the team’s Production Planner – a role which I was excited by, and I haven’t looked back. Teamwork and the people here is what I enjoy the most about coming into work each day. 

 

“My main role is to prepare and administer the ‘Work Packs’ for each Aircraft Input, depending on the job requirements at the time. This can be a very busy role as we offer flexibility with our customers, and sometimes, aircraft will come in with limited notice; but I enjoy the challenge.   

 

“Day-to-day, I provide support to the check manager to ensure the aircraft check progresses effectively – which ultimately means to budget and timescales.  

 

“Just recently, I joined the Check Management Unit. My role largely remains the same, but the work processes as more streamlined.  In February, I completed my first planned aircraft input on G-POWS which was delivered on time and on budget and gained some great feedback from our customer, Titan Airways.

 

“To be asked to feature in a company video was a great opportunity for me talk about the great work the company does and I’m always keen to talk about the different careers available in aviation.  

 

“When time permits, outside of work I enjoy playing netball and I currently play for RAF Odiham netball team in a local Basingstoke league.” 

Spotlight on: Benedict Smith, Management Board Support Officer

With more than 60 years of engineering excellence, 2Excel Engineering’s employees are critical to ensuring our business remains flexible, agile and widely respected. Our employees allow us to redeliver aircraft on time and within budget, cementing our position as an MRO partner of choice.  

Today, we are shining the spotlight on Benedict Smith, 2Excel Engineering’s Management Board Support Officer. 

Q         What qualifications do you have? 

I have a degree in Audio Music Technology (Audio Engineering) from Anglia Ruskin University.  I am a Safety Investigator and approved Auditor.  

Q         How did you get into your industry? Why did you choose this career path? 

After university, I worked for a precision engineering company in the oil and gas industry. I then set up my own manufacturing company in the audio sector before moving to a start an aviation services company where I took the rolas Quality Manager. I worked with them for two years, developing a Part 145 compliant quality management and safety system from scratch.  

Q         What are your biggest accomplishments and challenges during your career, to date? 

My biggest accomplishment has been setting up my own company and selling my share after a year and a half of growth. I learnt so much about the business world through the process of setting up and growing a self-funded company. It helped me to learn communication and management skills that I have been able to apply in my jobs since. 

Q         How did you hear about 2Excel? And what encouraged you to apply for a job with the company? 

I knew of 2Excel as I have been flying gliders at Lasham for several years. Additionally, the company I worked for previously was a supplier to 2Excel. I joined as a Project Coordinator working on re-writing the company’s technical procedure manual. This project has evolved several times due to regulation changes and company reconfiguration.   

Q         Tell us more about your day-to-day job(s), and what this entails. 

I work with managers to help communicate and write a variety of technical documents. Recently, I have been involved with various projects to help improve 3D modelling based planning tools that the company uses for aircraft parking and hangar use. This is something that we are looking at optimising as the demand for aircraft parking continues.   

Q         Please tell us more about a particular project you’re currently working supporting and how does it fit within the wider business?  

Over the last few weeks, I have been working with our in-house calibration technician to develop a series of procedures and processes to build on our extensive capabilities. We have been looking at which tools are used most frequently to ensure that we keep calibration work inhouse to minimise the unavailability of tooling.  

Q         Please list your hobbies and interests and any professional industry groups you are a member of. 

Outside of work, I enjoy flying and cycling. I am involved in running gliding competitions around the country and am part of the team working to organise the Women’s World Gliding Championships which is being held in the UK for the first time in 2022. One of the key aims of this event is to act as an inspiration to young people who are interested in a career in aviation as well as other STEM careers.  

Q         What advice would you give to the younger generation about a career in aerospace engineering? What makes your job interesting? 

I wish that I had learnt more about options relating to apprenticeships when I was at school. I believe it’s the best way to start a career in aviation due to the variety of areas that you get the chance to experience. My job is interesting due to the wide range of projects that I get to tackle, each day presents a new challenge. One day can be spent working with a department or team to develop a new procedure, the next day I can be out on the airfield helping our ground handling team to depart an aircraft after maintenance. 

2Excel Engineering’s New Customer

2EXCEL ENGINEERING’S NEW CUSTOMER

Lasham Airfield, UK, 3 March 2021  Following the end of the Brexit Transition PeriodHampshire-based Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) 2Excel Engineering has welcomed a new customer from Europe 

The service-oriented MRO for Boeing and Airbus narrowed-body aircraft has signed a maintenance agreement with Avion Express for its Lithuanian and Maltese registered aircraftBetween February and April 2021, three Avion Express A320 and A321 aircraft will undergo deep maintenance C-Checks and up to six-year structural tasks at 2Excel Engineering’s Lasham site.  

In spite of the uncertainties of Covid-19 and Brexit, this new European customer is a welcome addition to the MRO’s growing customer base which includes lessors, private owners and airline operators from across the UK, EuropeRussia, the United States, the Middle East and Africa. 

Matt Caswell, 2Excel Engineering’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Following receipt of 2Excel Engineering’s EASA Third Country Part 145 Approval on 1 January 2021we’re delighted to welcome our first post-Brexit European operator, Avion Express, to Lasham. This is positive news for everyone on site. 

After months of turmoil dealing with the effects of the pandemic on the aviation industry, I speak for everyone at 2Excel Engineering in saying that we are delighted to have secured this ‘normal’ deep engineering work for a European operator that is still flying. Our four large aircraft bays are all very busy. 

“Weve taken delivery of the first two in a line of three Airbus aircraft from Avion Express and we’re due to complete the first input early this month after its six-year structural inspection and C-check. 2Excel Engineering is well equipped for Avion Express and similar operators which require a wide variety of work completed reliably, swiftly and well so they can get back in the air quickly, sure in the knowledge that their aircraft will stay serviceable for the long term. Thanks to our highly skilled engineers, flexible facilities and capable back shops, were able to return aircraft back to our customers repeatedly, checks completedefects rectified, on time and within budget. That’s why our customers come back to us year after year. 

We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Avion Express for many years to come.” 

About 2Excel Engineering Ltd

Since taking over the MRO business based at Lasham Airfield in Hampshire five years ago, 2Excel Engineering has been transforming it to be relevant, respected and fit for the modern world. Delivering service-oriented maintenance to operators and owners, leasing companies and governments, the Company boasts four large aircraft bays and parking for up to 30 airliners, as well as two bays for lighter aircraft (up to King Air size), excellent non-destructive testing (NDT) capabilities and a full range of back shops with highly-skilled, experienced, specialist engineers. 

Spotlight on: George Turcu

Spotlight Profile on: George Turcu Profile, 2Excel Engineering’s Compliance Manager 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, George. I moved to the UK in 2014 from Romania. Prior to Covid, I was going home monthly to visit family and friends. I have a great social circle both in both countries.

How did your career start? I have been in aviation since I finished University. I wanted to develop my horizon and explore my full potential, so in 2014 I moved to Coventry to work for Atlantic Airlines.  In 2015, the company made the decision to move some of its offices to Sweden but that did not fit my future plans, so I started to look for another role in the UK. I was then drawn to the former ATC Lasham. 

I began at Lasham just before 2Excel acquired the MRO in late 2015, and I started at 2Excel Engineering in January 2016 managing documentation for the company during the administration period. I’ve been 2Excel’s Compliance Manager ever since and I have seen a lot of great change in five years. 

Have you always been interested in Aviation? Yes. I finished university in 2004, achieving a degree in aeronautical engineering and I was put in contact with a private business that operated helicopters, working there for around eight years. I have worked in aviation since 2006 so I have been in the industry for around 15 years. 

Tell us more about your role. My role consists of continuous monitoring of the organisation level of compliance with the Aviation regulation through audits, company staff approvals and competencies; as well as keeping the organisation up to date with regulation requirements. Helping implement these requirements is a crucial part of my role. These processes ensure that 2Excel Engineering continues to run smoothly.  

For example, last year we put in place a new system which allows us to issue company authorisation to our licenced engineers and increase flexibility, suiting our company needs. This made the system paper-free and easy to use whilst continuing to keep our staff properly authorised and also migrating the entire data base into the new system.  

Due to the fluidity of staff – because of Covid’s impact on the aviation industry – I had to ensure that the organisation maintained its compliance during these difficult times and as we return to a level of normality. Rather than face-to-face sample checks, now things are done by virtual meetings, live feeds, document checks and feedback questionnaires. Additionally, staggered visits at certain locations to avoid direct physical contact.  

Now into 2021, the challenge is brought by the necessity that both our Safety and Compliance must be compatible with both UK CAA and EASA.  

Up to December 2020, I had one audit plan covering EASA requirements, but now we need to split for both authorities, and this will keep me and my colleagues in Safety and Training departments very busy… 

What are the biggest challenges for the Compliance Department? Human factors will always be the driving factor in all our activity; therefore, we work hard with our internal teams to manage and evaluate processes in order to best fit the end user. Processes and procedures, simple or complex, have to take into account the human who uses them. 

Our procedures are developed together with the shop floor workers. They are not done in an office and then just imposed on the end users. They are written and dissected to the last comma with our colleagues who will use them in the end. 

What are your 2Excel achievements? I think the biggest success is that we have kept going and at the same time have adapted. And despite all the challenges with Brexit and the pandemic, we have continually raised our standards. 

The most visible successes are the aircraft leaving from Lasham knowing that we’ve all been a cog in the system and played a part in returning that aircraft to its customer after a job well done (and safe and compliant!). 

We have only moved forward. 

2Excel bades farewell to United Airlines ‘N2301U’

2Excel bades farewell to United Airlines ‘N2301U’.

 

On the 18th February, the team at 2Excel Engineering bade farewell to ex-easyJet Airbus A319 G-EZIM, now known by its new registration N2301U. The aircraft is now en-route to the United States flown by a United Airlines crew [pictured].

As the Airbus A319 and its crew departed Lasham Airfield, a 5,260-mile journey began. The aircraft is bound for Goodyear in the USA for storage. G-EZIM is the fourth Airbus A319 being delivered from Lasham for leasing company Aircastle for onward delivery to United Airlines. 

The aircraft had originally arrived at Lasham on 17th  of August having been withdrawn from service by easyJet. It was stored until mid-November when it entered the hangar for its end of lease Maintenance Check. Following completion of the check, G-EZIM successfully performed a demonstration flight on the 21st of January for owner, Aircastle, and new operator, United Airlines. In this instance, the flight was conducted over East Anglia and included an ILS approach and go around at Norwich Airport to check that the Autoland & ILS systems were fully operational.

Within days of completion of the flight, the aircraft was re-registered by the 2Excel Engineering team, which included application of new registration markings and changes to the identity of the aircraft’s air to ground communications data.

Our team wishes the United Airlines crew a safe onward journey. 

Thank you to all those involved.

 

 

*Map is for illustration purposes only. 
 

EASA APPROVAL AND A NEW CUSTOMER FOR LASHAM’S MRO

2021 BRINGS EASA APPROVAL AND A NEW CUSTOMER FOR LASHAM’S MRO 

The New Year has undoubtedly brought more challenges with it; the MRO industry and wider aviation sector continues to battle to retain and secure its customer basesnot to mention the complications associated with the UK’s departure from the European Union. However, perseverance, flexibility and remaining agile to the changing nature of the pandemic are traits embedded in 2Excel Engineering.  

The New Year also brought some good news: The approval of 2EE’s EASA certificate.  

2Excel Engineering has held aEASA MRO Approval since the business started on the 4th of January 2016Prior to ‘Brexit’, this approval allowed 2Excel to maintain aircraft from all over Europe – or any country that accepted EASA airworthiness standards.   

Compliance Manager, George Turcu, tells us more: The impending challenge presented by ‘Brexit meant that we could have been in a situation where our only approval would restrict us to G-Registered aircraft and we may have lost the legal rights to work on other aircraft from other parts of the world, and Europe especially. 

This EASA approval has reversed this worry and we have two certificates – meaning we are now back to where we were before Brexit, our engineering capabilities remain the sameIn terms of what we can provide to our existing and new customers, nothing has changed. The approval allows us to remain on the European and global market and provide the same quality services to everyone. News we are thankful for as, even though the UK market was fruitfulwe were receiving aircraft from all over Europe and the Middle East – important markets for us. 

Last year’s EASA Audit was conducted by the UK CAA, which acted on behalf of EASA. George continues: At some point soon, we will be audited by both authorities, UK CAA and EASA themselves and a large proportion of my job will be to ensure that our organisation is ready and prepared and both audits will go smoothly. Whilst we have demonstrated our potential to UK CAA, we need to maintain and even increase our high standards of compliance to satisfy both authorities in this new situation, which can only increase our reputation on the markets. 

The EASA Approval also means that there will be no customs difficulties. The services and commercial issues between Europe and UK remain similar following the agreement – in other words, business as usual. More so, earlier this month, 2Excel Engineering welcomed its first European based customer following the end of the Brexit transition. 

Map is for illustration purposes only.  
Our scope and geographical range of approvals means our customer base is varied. 

INTRODUCING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEER

INTRODUCING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEER: APPRENTICES’ Q&A  

In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week 2021apprentices George Feeney [aged 20] and Luke McMurtry [aged 19], tell us more about their experience so far and what their apprenticeship means to them 

How did you hear about the 2EE apprenticeship scheme?  

GeorgeI heard about the scheme through work experience that I undertook at 2Excel Engineering back in October of 2017. 

Luke: I was at Monarch Aircraft Engineering when the company went into administration and came across 2Excel when I was researching other MROs. I also have family that work at 2Excel. 

Why are you interested in aviation engineering? 

GeorgeMy interest comes from my Grandfather who worked at Lasham for just under 40 years. 

Luke: I love a challenge and having the responsibility of getting a hard task and figuring out all the possible ways to complete it. 

What was the most interesting task you have undertaken during your apprenticeship? 

GeorgeI would say completing Avionics Modifications on 2Excel Aviation’s Boeing 727 oil spill response aircraft. It was both challenging and fun to do. Working on B727’s at Lasham has massively helped my development as a mechanic and has also helped me appreciate the systems within older aircraft. 

Luke: Structure work interests me but one of the more interesting tasks I completed was removing the fan blades off a Boeing 757 and restructuring the acoustic drum surrounding the fan blades. I did a lot of research through the AMM, AIPC and SRM to figure out all the tolerances and found out some great facts about the balance and method of manufacture of the blades and engine components. 

Have you enjoyed your time at 2Excel Engineering? If so, why? 

George: Yes, I have developed many skills and have made good friends here and I look forward to coming into work each week. 

LukeYes, I have. I have only been at 2Excel for a year, but I have been put on a range of tasks. Some are complex and time-consuming and some a lot easier but there is always work to do. Building strong relationships with the technicians and mechanics have made my time here much more enjoyable. If you remain interested and communicate clear to all colleagues, then the trust between one another stays consistent. 

What have been your main highlights during your time at 2EE? 

George: My highlight would have to be the people that I have got the chance to work with as well as the opportunity to work on aircraft and complete jobs that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. 

LukeAt the start of my time here, our colleagues and mentors would allow us to experience the fire crew procedure where you prepare for the arrival of an aircraft. You get a safe but close-up encounter of the landing, whereas at other companies, you don’t always have this privilege. Ive also been trusted to do intricate tasks and that personal responsibility is a highlight for me. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? 

George: In five years’ time, I aim to progress my career specifically by working towards my B2 licence. 

Luke: I see myself with a full B1 technician licence and on a few aircraft types leading a team of mechanics and apprentices alongside other technicians. I’m a natural leader and have a passion for aviation which means I will excel and push myself. I love diving into the unknown and that happens daily within aviation. Having the technician responsibility is a very trustworthy role and dedication will help me be the best leader I can beIn the future, I hope to have a significant role within 2Excel and work my way up. 

Who is your biggest inspiration? Who do you look up to? 

George: My biggest inspiration is my grandfather, growing up with his stories of his time at Lasham truly inspired me and helped me make the decision to follow a career in aviation. 

Luke: I look up to my parents as no matter how hard times got, they always seemed to stay calm and content, never crumbling under pressure. Becoming a technician shows all those qualities and traits that I have adopted and adapted to suit my role within aviation. I have the upmost respect for my parents and will pass that on to my peers.

Spotlight On… Wendy Ingram, Customer Account Manager

Wendy Ingram – 2Excel’s Customer Account Manager

Customer Accounts Manager Wendy Ingram is part of 2Excel’s Commercial Team, a department dedicated to customer care. We delve into the life of an account manager and what the role involves. 

Wendy’s ambition to work in aviation was inspired from a young ageshe enjoyed STEM subjects at school, and spent her earlier years as an Air Cadet and Engineering Apprentice Here’s how Wendy made her journey to 2Excel Engineering  

Wendy, tell us how you got into the industry? 
At school I enjoyed science and technology subjects (STEM) and my main hobby was as an Air Cadet, and so it was a natural progression for me to become an aircraft engineer. My school held a WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) course when I was able to hear from a range of established female engineers. I decided to join my local Further Education College on a BTEC course for Electrical Engineering after leaving school and I was lucky enough to be offered an Apprenticeship with British Airways at Heathrow in its April 1990 cohort. 

Some of the most memorable highlights during my apprenticeship were being part of a team changing an engine on Concorde, enjoying a placement within the Flight Simulator department and meeting Neil Kinnock during his election campaign – I was the Chair of the Apprentice Association at the timeMy final placement was in the B747 casualty hangar on permanent nights (tech 6), which was interesting and provided varied work in getting the aircraft ready to fly the next day.  

After completing my apprenticeship, and an HNC in Aeronautical Engineering, I had a range of roles with British Airways Engineering and British Airways. I was part of the initial Business Process re-engineering team, before moving on to being part of the Engineering communications team. I then worked to create internal processes for an engineering customer airline before becoming a maintenance planner. My final role with British Airways was in their Operations Centre (Compass Centre) as a short haul operations planner. I left British Airways in 1997 to move to Cologne as my partner moved there for work. 

I worked as an English teacher for Berlitz in Germanymoving back to the UK at the end of 1999. At this point in life, I was a mother to three children, all under three years old and life was very busy. I worked in various customer service roles at evenings and weekends while they were little. While my children were in school, I worked as a teaching assistant in a high school, gaining a BA(Hons) in Learning and Teaching 

After leaving the education sector, I joined Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) as a Prototype Build Engineer (electrical) on their Degree level Apprenticeship. I gained a Foundation Degree (FdEng) in Automotive Engineering from Coventry University. I left JLR hoping to reboot my aviation career but it wasn’t so easy; I was unable to rejoin as an Engineer because, although I have the qualifications as a time-served apprentice my skills were out of date. I was unable to find a training course to allow me to get my recency back for my aviation engineering skills because I already have level three qualifications and was unable to get an engineering role without the experienceIf I had initially trained as a teacher or a nurse then it would have been easier to find a ‘return to teaching’ or a ‘return to nursing’ course, as these professions traditionally expect people to take time out to have a family. I hope that, with the numbers of females entering engineering careers, this changes in the future. 

I was lucky enough to find the customer role with Monarch Aircraft Engineering in Birmingham, joining them in July 2017. The role combined my ‘people skills’ and my engineering background. 

I then joined 2Excel in March 2019 when Monarch went into administration. I really enjoy my role but miss hands-on engineering. I don’t have many regrets but would love to go back and stay ‘on the tools’ for long enough to have gained my licences. 

My three boys are looking to follow me into aviation, one of whom is an apprentice working with me at 2Excel. I have one son looking to join the RAF and the other has a placement on the Rolls Royce Aerospace Engineering Degree Apprenticeship in Bristol. I’m very proud of them. 

How did you hear about 2Exel?  
I met Phil Whitehead, my line manager, at one of the careers fairs organised to help Monarch staff to find new positions, this was in 2019. After visiting the Lasham site and meeting its people, I was lucky enough to be offered the role of Customer Accounts Manager.  

Describe an ‘average’ day or week 
On a day-to-day basis, I will make sure that all the data on the aircraft check is up to date from a commercial point of view. We hold a daily production meeting and I issue the notes internally and externally, attaching the materials report and the updated project plan. 

I produce a weekly report to the customer to show any additional charges incurred, then give any additional information to the customer that they need to able to authorise the charges, issuing the invoices for the additional charges. 

More widely I deal with every commercial aspect of the checks, from agreeing the initial contract, agreeing costs for individual aircraft maintenance checks through to agreeing additional charges for work added to the check, which we will sometimes look to do for a fixed price, or will otherwise give an estimate of the time that it will take. I produce contact briefs so that everyone working on the check within 2Excel understands which items are included in the fixed price, if there are any materials included in the fixed price and if there is any defect rectification included.  

Customer satisfaction and care are my top priority; and I like to ensure my customers are happy and comfortable at Lasham. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? 
I enjoy the variety. I deal with most people and departments within the company and am the interface with the customer. I really enjoy building, and maintaining, good relationships with our customers. From-time-to-time, I may need to have frank conversations with them, so having a mutually respectable relationship is key. 

I really enjoy working in an aviation environment and particularly like working at Lasham, there is a great team spirit here. 

You’re featured within the company’s new corporate video. What does this mean to you? 
I hope that it promotes the company and the excellent services that we offer. I also hope that it shows the variety of careers on offer within aviation and could maybe inspire people to consider an aviation role (or engineering more generally) as a career, it would be good to inspire younger females to consider STEM careers while they are in school and so can make the choice to study STEM subjects in post-16 education.   

 

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