by Kyle Mulderrig (Age 15)
Day 1 – Settling In
My first impressions of Osprey were of a high standard. After meeting everyone, Karen gave me a guided tour of the Bristol and Bath Science Park. We also went through all the safety standards to be accounted for as well as the importance of security. I had about an hour before my lunch break to explore Osprey’s website to find out more information about what Osprey do, and I got to complete a mini quiz to test my knowledge!
After lunch I spent time with Pete and we discussed the role of an Engineer and why engineering skills are so critical to the UK MOD and our National Security. He talked me through some of Osprey’s current projects and the safety work on the A400M and Voyager aircraft.
Day 2 – Visiting Abbey Wood
This was a very enjoyable day, as I got to visit the Ministry Of Defence (MOD UK). It was a fun experience, not only because of all the interesting facts to take in, but simply because there is a lot to talk about and the people that work there love aircraft, naval ships and other vehicles. We walked around and I met the teams responsible for the A400M and Voyager aircraft.
After my visit to the MOD, Pete and I went back to the office and he set me a task to design my own UAS (Unmanned Air System). After designing my masterpiece, Pete and I discussed the possible safety issues & risks of my UAS. We identified all the possible issues/risks and wrote these down in a ‘bow tie’ diagram.
Day 3 – All things UAS!
On arrival, I prepared a couple of presentations to summarise the modern day uses and safety issues of UAS. Pete then set another task for me to do on the whiteboard, which consisted of how I would control a network of aircraft in a hostile environment (aircraft flying from friendly territory to hostile territory) and what roles they would perform. After about 30 mins of me scribbling my plan on a whiteboard, Ash and Pete examined it and we discussed the positive and negative things about my ideas.
Overall, they rated my plan as being very good, however it wasn’t perfect and they both gave me some really good advice and feedback on what else to consider. Pete and I then discussed the current safety issues of the A400M and Voyager aircraft. He showed me a diagram of how they would demonstrate that an aircraft is safe along with the evidence to support it. I then attempted to create one of the diagrams myself on my laptop.
Day 4 – Have I got what it takes to be an Air Traffic Controller?
It was just myself and Karen in the office today, and I helped her come up with some team building activities which she would possibly like to use for a future Away Day. The ideas I came up with were an Escape Room Challenge and a physical Boot Camp sort of thing. I also got to have a go at some Air Traffic Control tests on the NATS website to test my skills and capabilities to see if I am a worthy Air Traffic Controller. However, my skills probably aren’t quite good enough for that yet! I also helped find some good pictures of the A400M and Voyager aircraft for marketing purposes. Finding these images took a while because I wanted to find the best possible photos of the two aircraft.
Day 5 – Wrapping Up
On my last day we talked about recent changes in the UK and how the result of the EU Referendum might affect the aviation sector. We also talked about how my week had been and how much I had enjoyed it.
I’ve learned so much this week and managed to participate in a lot of problem solving activities which was great fun! I love problem solving as it engages your brain and helps you think differently, which is one of the reasons I came to Osprey. Not only that, but I have a real passion for aircraft and Osprey delivers a lot of work on the safety and airworthiness aspects of military aircraft which I found really appealing!
One of the best things about Osprey is how they really make you feel at ease and there are so many interesting things to talk about. Overall, I had a great time doing my placement and I would recommend it to other engineers out there who love problem solving!