Lead Firmware Engineer
When did you join Leonardo?
I joined the company in October 2010. Prior to joining the company, I worked for a vendor, supporting various Leonardo engineering teams. I was able to get some close-hand experience of engineering life within Leonardo. What attracted me was the opportunity to solve complex engineering challenges. I thought it was an excellent opportunity for me to grow as an engineer and broaden my experiences and skills.
What are your main tasks in your job role?
I'm responsible for delivering firmware for FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) devices used on various Electronics subsystems within Leonardo. An FPGA is a type of programmable IC which is used to perform specialist hardware and DSP functions within the system. My job involves developing the various algorithms which run on these devices.
Tell us about your typical day
There isn't really such a thing as a typical day. One day you could be working in a multi-disciplined team of software, mechanical, hardware, and systems engineers to design or refine an existing product. Some days might be spent at your desk running simulations and coding, while other days are spent in the lab doing integration or debugging. Sometimes you get to do all these things in one day!
Are you involved in related activities outside your specific job role?
In addition to my current role, I've been an industrial supervisor / mentor to several university interns within the company, most of whom have subsequently joined Leonardo as graduates. I’ve enjoyed mentoring these guys and helping them take their first steps into the engineering world of work.
What do you enjoy about working at Leonardo?
The systems I work on are designed to protect the aircraft and passengers from threats, whilst being exposed to some of the harshest environments on the planet.
I enjoy learning about all the different products, and learning how these complex mechanical and electrical sub-systems can be combined together to form a finished product. I enjoy solving the various engineering challenges that must be overcome along the way, and get a satisfaction from knowing my efforts have directly contributed to the final product. I get a buzz when you see the product performing in trials.
I also enjoy working within the ‘engineering community’ that exists within Leonardo. We have many multi-disciplined teams from mechanical, hardware and systems teams all working together to achieve a final product.