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Andrew Munday, Principal engineer, aerospace, Atkins


Principal engineer, aerospace

My Bio

Atkins people aren’t just good. In fact, we’re brilliant. We just don’t like to shout about it. Everywhere you look across our business, there are inspiring projects being managed and clever solutions being developed. We may not boast about it, but we’re proud of the achievements of our brilliant team of people.

Andrew is a perfect example. He’s worked with our client Airbus ever since our first project with them. During that time he’s helped achieve great things, and his innovative thinking has led to improvements in wing design and even an aerospace patent!

“After studying Aerospace Engineering at Bath University, I joined Atkins’ Bristol team in 1998 on the recommendation of my cousin. Back  then, Atkins had no aerospace work, but I chose them because I wanted a varied work diet and to be part of building something new. It proved to be the perfect place to get variety; I got to work on all kinds of projects in the nuclear, space, medical and rail industries and was even involved with the investigations into the Paddington rail crash. I couldn’t have asked for a better grounding in the engineering industry.

My first project with Airbus was a step into the unknown. We were at the very start of developing our relationship so making a good first impression was vital. I was still fairly new to the industry, so I was keen to prove my worth. Fortunately our professionalism, experience and ability to deliver meant it didn’t take long to establish a firm relationship with the client built on mutual trust and respect. Above all, we all cared about what we were doing and how it should be delivered.

The trust gained from those humble beginnings led to our first big opportunity when we were asked to help develop Airbus’ first ever composite wing. It was time to think outside the box, solve new challenges and create innovative solutions. And we did just that. It was hard work, but immensely satisfying; after all it’s not every day that your ideas get turned into a patent. It was an experience that did our reputation a power of good, and I’m proud that the designs and methods we came up with are still being incorporated into new aircraft designs.

From modest beginnings, the relationship between Atkins and Airbus has gone on to become an industry success story. Back in 2000 there were only a handful of us working on the first Airbus project. Today, we’ve built a great long-term relationship with Airbus across many departments and at all levels of business. That strong bond is the key to our mutual success as it enables us to discuss, challenge, review and plan together on all elements of design solutions and how they should be delivered.

When I first joined the small team in Bristol as a fresh graduate, I couldn’t have imagined where we would be now. Back in 1998 we were a team of only 20 or 30 people based in a rented office. We are now over 700 people based in an Atkins-designed building, with many of my colleagues from those early days now in senior positions across different parts of Atkins. We all have different stories to tell, but together we are still ‘Atkins’.

Today, I’m responsible for the technical approval of composite aircraft components. It’s a big responsibility, but I feel really proud that structures I have signed off are keeping aircraft in the air. I also have a larger operational role now, which means I’ve got a pretty hectic schedule what with juggling projects, managing teams and providing input into new bids. But I really enjoy getting to work with colleagues and teams across the world – from Europe to the US to Bangalore. Seeing the quality of work across the business and the collaboration between teams is a real eye-opener.

The talent in our aerospace team never ceases to amaze me. Our engineers are professional and client driven, and underpin everything with the desire to do things the right way. We’ve got some really bright people – hard workers and self-starters who are passionate about quality and who really care about the projects they deliver and the success of our clients. They’re always willing to go the extra mile, to push the boundaries and do extraordinary things to deliver innovative solutions. And not just to meet expectations, but exceed them.”

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