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 role as 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 in–house 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.