Syeed standing in front of Johnson Matthey company sign

From degree to designing test equipment for ground-breaking research programmes

I’m Syeed Ansari, an Electrical Control Design Engineer. I studied MEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering and graduated in 2021. During my final year of university, I was highly involved in the STEP Lab (Sustainable Technology and Engineering Projects) activities while undertaking Major Team Project and Independent Study modules. I also undertook a paid summer experience as a Lab Demonstrator.

Post-graduation, I ventured into the automation sector, working as an Electrical Design Engineer at Webster Griffin. I was responsible for designing, programming, supervising, and delivering bespoke automation solutions. After spending 2 valuable years in the automation sector, I decided to explore new roles.

My background in working with test-beds at the STEP Lab, coupled with my experience as an Electrical Design Engineer, paved the way for my new role at Johnson Matthey (JM), a global leader in sustainable technologies. I currently work as an Electrical Control Design Engineer. At JM, I design bespoke test equipment and test rigs to enable ground-breaking research programmes. My work involves specification of new systems including the preparation of control system specifications, designing and drawing circuit diagrams, producing Process and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID) diagrams for rigs and equipment and preparing control/data acquisition system diagrams. I enjoy the challenges that come with designing bespoke rigs. 

I had a very positive experience working on STEP Lab projects. I was mainly involved in instrumentation, control and subsystem commissioning of test-beds. While working in the Lab, I gained valuable industrial skills including creation of P&ID, Electrical System Design in SolidWORKS Electrical, Control System Design in NI LabVIEW. I was also involved in safety critical Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) tests. Due to the student led nature of the projects, I was able to contribute effectively. I gained a vast amount of knowledge that better equipped me for the industry environment.

Knowledge gained through some practices such as summarising and reflecting on the everyday tasks on the Lab white board has proved to be beneficial which I regularly apply in the industry environment. Student-led projects in the Lab provided the flexibility of decision making and feel inclusive. The project-based environment also encouraged a pragmatic and indulging approach to a problem. STEP Lab projects expanded my knowledge not only in the electrical related field but also in other disciplines. The summer experience proved to be very advantageous as I was able to gain experience while getting paid.

Throughout my time at STEP Lab, I received constant support from the supervisor. I also gained essential hands-on experience, learnt to adapt through effective learning methods and had the opportunity to assist fellow project members while receiving their support in return. The abundance of resources available was advantageous, and the social activities added a delightful touch to the experience.

Overall, STEP Lab was a fun learning experience and will prove to be beneficial in every STEP of my life.

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