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  • Engineering Graduate

    As an Engineering Graduate, I have had the opportunity to discover all the various engineering disciplines fundamental to the Heathrow Airport operation! The rotational nature of the scheme means I would experience an entirely new department every 4-6 months. These placements ranged from looking after the building and facilities in Terminal 2, to redesigning parts of the Baggage Systems and even revamping our maintenance strategy for the lights on our runways. 

    The variety of work an engineering graduate can get involved with at Heathrow is one of the programme's highlights. For example, during my time in the baggage system, I discovered an inefficiency with a piece of equipment called a 'baggage toppler'. This inefficiency had the potential of delaying a bag's journey, which could result in the bag not making it onto its flight. By utilising my engineering understanding from university, I was able to redesign this solution to make it three times more effective and reduce the chances of a bag missing its flight.  

    During another placement, my project involved understanding how aircraft landings and takeoffs impact the condition of the lights on the runway. By analysing the data and doing dozens of walking inspections on the runways during night shifts, I was able to understand how we could implement solutions such as Sapphire Coated lenses and new cleaning machinery to improve and prolong the life of each individual light fitting. These are only two examples of the multiple projects I led during my time on the scheme.

    The best part about experiencing this variety is it allowed me to understand which elements of engineering and business I am most passionate about. This gave me the self-awareness to help me guide and shape the next steps in my career. Personally, my time looking after the runways was my favourite, so after completing the graduate programme not long ago, I applied for and secured the role of the Systems Specialist for the Aerodrome! Now my roles and responsibilities include looking after all the engineering Assets on our airfield, from the Runway lights to the Aircraft stands and everything in between.

    As an organisation, Heathrow understands the importance of behaviours, which is why the Graduate Programmes are designed to develop our soft skills and our technical understanding. This combination of development allows me actively work towards becoming a chartered engineer, which I hope to achieve over the coming few years. 

    As a graduate, I am surrounded by a cohort of driven and talented colleagues that I can relate to – this is extremely valuable when joining a large organisation such as Heathrow. The cohort meets officially every few months to review individual and collective progress and learn new techniques to leverage the graduate scheme further. I have many support avenues as a graduate, including a buddy, mentor, and senior sponsor. All of these add up to help me push the limits of my career potential.

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    Engineering Future Leader

    Asad Parkar

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    Engineering Future Leader

    Jack Harris

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