Gethin Davies

Case Study/ Profile questions

Name:  Gethin Davies

Course studied:  Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Doctorate in Materials

Graduation Year: 2008 and 2012

Why did you decide to study at Swansea University?

I decided to study in Swansea because I got to know a lot of the staff and the campus by going to open days and the Engineering Education Scheme and it just seemed like the right choice.  It was also only a few hours from home, so I was close enough to pop back for a cheeky roast too!

What did you enjoy most about your course at Swansea?

During my EngD I was working with a leading aerospace company, researching new repair methods for their composite structures.  Being able to derive new analysis methods, compare them against mechanical test results and then seeing the final repair embodied on a full scale test was really something I enjoyed working on.

What are you doing now career-wise? Include Job Title/ Name of Organisation/ Role & responsibilities/Key elements of your job

Currently I work as a Repair Stress Engineer for Airbus.  The job entails the managing of work packages that mainly include the analysis of repairs for damaged aircraft, ensuring that they are safe to use.  I also have to pre-empt certain damages, by studying damage patterns and then develop generic repairs so that they can be easily used in future. 

How has Swansea University and your course helped you with your chosen career path?

The undergrad course gave me a solid understanding of engineering – I still use some of my lecture notes now!  My post grad course though was really instrumental in helping me specialise in composite materials.  I also had extremely knowledgeable mentors who were always ready to help me and offer advice.  Without this training and advice, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

Tight deadlines – when an aircraft is damaged, you have to get a repair fully analysed and designed with embodiment instructions in a very short duration of time.

What are the most rewarding parts of your job?

The team I work for is a close knit group and being able to work with a great bunch of people really helps you through the more challenging aspects of the job

Please provide details of your career history and any professional accomplishments (published journals or books, awards, prizes or titles gained).

Summer Internships with United Aerospace

Research Engineer – Swansea Uni (2009 – 2012)

Conference Paper - SEICO 2012 – Analysis of Composite Scarf Joints

Engineering Doctorate Thesis – The Analysis of Bonded Repair Solutions for Primary Composite Aircraft Structures

Repair Stress Engineer – Airbus (2012 – present)

What was the best careers advice you were given?

Don’t panic and ask questions – the only stupid question is the one that wasn’t asked.

What advice do you have for current students and new graduates? (This can be general advice and/or linked specifically to your area of work)

Don’t get overly confident and never stop learning new things.  You may have graduated from uni with a first and have a great understanding of the subject you studied, but that education is only a foundation of what you need to know.  It’s when you’re in your first job, after university, that you really learn things.  Listen to the people around you and ask questions.  Your curiosity will eventually lead you to bigger and better things.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m currently applying for lead engineer roles and awaiting to hear back from the IMechE on my chartered engineer application.  After that, who knows!

What have you done that you are most proud of?

Handing in my final thesis for my doctorate was possibly one of the proudest moments of my life so far.  It was a lot of work and gave me some sleepless nights, but definitely worth it.

Tell us about your time living and studying in Swansea. What are your favourite memories of your university years at Swansea?

There are too many to list – most of which start with a few drinks in JC’s before one of us says “I have an idea…”, but most of the best memories are usually down the Gower with a BBQ and a load of friends after a day at the beach (which we may or may not have skipped a day of lectures for…)

Interests and Leisure Activities (Please provide details of your main interests and leisure activities)

Surfing, climbing, running, cooking and playing the Trombone

And finally, describe yourself in 3 words…

Eager to learn