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A day in the life of... Tom Canneaux, mechanical engineer

For our 'Day in the Life' articles, we spoke to Tom Canneaux who is a mechanical design engineer in ADS&T (Aerospace, Defence, Security & Technology). 

My alarm goes off….

My alarm goes off at 5.30am and after I’ve woken up I drive from Bristol to Aldermaston. Luckily, I have developed a good working relationship with my client and they are happy for me to be flexible and work from the Bristol office too, so this isn’t every day!

I’m responsible for….

I’m responsible for delivering a key package of work which involves project management, design engineering, stress engineering, contractor management and more. I also host design reviews, produce design reports, research requirements, write technical specifications and attend factory acceptance tests. It’s a very broad role encompassing lots of engineering disciplines.

I got the job….

I got the job through my reputation as a reliable engineer with solid design skills having previously worked across Defence, Energy, Nuclear and Aerospace. A project manager I previously worked with, who was no longer in my direct department, recommended me.

My typical day…

My typical day involves any number of things; closing out design actions, checking in with the sub-contractors to ensure they are still on target, CAD modelling and drafting, reviewing and writing technical reports, commenting on proposals and team meetings to name just a few.

My most memorable career moment…

My most memorable career moment was working on designing a repair solution for a damaged power-plant boiler. This was concept design all the way through to install and commissioning. We started with a problem and had to deliver a feasible solution, determine the fabrication, plan the installation and ensure it could be decommissioned. It was a fast-paced project where innovation was key to satisfying the customer.

The worst part of my job is….

The worst part of my job is working away from home, but within Atkins it pays to put yourself out there.  Jumping on opportunities ensures you get a broad range.  My last secondment has almost ticked all my remaining boxes for IMechE chartership.

The best part of my job is…

The best part of my job is that I’ve been able to work across lots of different Atkins businesses. Each comes with its own challenges but it ensures you develop skills you otherwise might not have had the opportunity too. Through this I have improved my engineering knowledge and am much more comfortable tackling bigger and more complex challenges.

After work I…

After work I am either building my house, building my campervan or fixing my car - the engineering never stops! I do like to kitesurf though and am a keen bodyboarder. 

Hear Tom talk about his transferable skills and how working for Atkins has allowed him to work across a broad spectrum of clients and sectors, including nuclear, rail, wind and defence: