Graduate Firmware Engineer
When did you join Leonardo?
I originally joined the company for a 13-week summer placement in 2011 during university and was offered a job as a graduate Firmware engineer in 2013. I took up this role in September 2013 in order to get a better understanding of the company and how different departments work together. I then decided to undertake a role in hardware engineering from January 2015.
What drew me to Leonardo in the first place was the fact that they design, test and manufacture complete systems, rather than making smaller components like other companies do. This provides the opportunity to experience many different aspects of a product’s life and allows you to see how all the parts fit together. That's why I enjoy working at Leonardo.
What are your main tasks as a Graduate Firmware Engineer?
As a graduate firmware engineer, I am able to work with different parts of the company to help complete these cutting-edge, innovative, electronic products.
My main tasks are to provide support and help to other functions relating to any problems or queries with the hardware I work on. I also have to test the new pieces of hardware when they arrive into the company and help debug any problems that may arise in the hardware during testing to ensure they are fit for purpose. It is also necessary to write and provide documentation to support the development and testing of the hardware.
Tell us about your typical day
My typical day starts about 7am. when I'll check and reply to any emails I have received. I then plan out what I need to achieve for that day with a list of tasks that must be completed. I will then start working on that list. Depending on the day, I can be at my computer checking and writing documents, creating circuit diagrams / drawings for test boxes, in the lab helping test hardware or debugging problems. If I'm not too busy that day and get most of what I planned to have finished, I leave about 3.30pm.
Are you involved in related activities outside your specific job role (STEM etc)?
In the past year or so I've mentored school children through various extra curriculum activities, visited universities to talk about and present engineering careers, attended several careers fairs, and helped at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
What do you enjoy about working at Leonardo?
I enjoy working at Leonardo as the work is interesting and challenging. You will always find some new problem to try and solve. There is also the flexibility to experience the complete lifecycle of a project – from planning to development right through to integration. I think all these things, plus the fact the people who work here are great at helping you if you're stuck, makes for a great working environment.