Exploring career opportunities at Scitech

Sixth form student Adam joined us for two-days of work experience to gain an understanding of engineering and commercial management as he contemplates what career path to take. Here he shares his insights from his time with us.

My experience at Scitech was short but insightful. I experienced first-hand what it was like to contribute to a project as a member of the multiple teams at Scitech. I was constantly engaged with hands-on work by an amazing, warm, expert team of professionals in their fields. In an office in Godalming, the Scietch team is like a close-knit family.

I was placed with two teams during my two-day placement: the commercial team, and the engineering team. These teams are both groups of specialists working in their niches to provide the desired outcome for a client; whether it be a building to house a new chemical, or to create a new machine to handle a radioactive chemical. These teams offered me lots of activities so I could be engaged with current ongoing projects and see how their niches work together.

Day One: Commercial Team

Day one, I was with the commercial team. John introduced me to Scitech and gave me a rundown of some past, ongoing and future-planned projects. Then I moved to talk to the commercial team who showed me the budgeting and documenting of a project so it goes smoothly. I got the opportunity to construct a financial report to manage payments to the sub-contractors for a project with a pharmaceutical company with regards to lighting in one of their facilities. This tracked the costs of the tasks completed by their sub-contractors and therefore how much Scitech would need to pay them out for the task.

Following a financial report, I then filled out a payment certificate to confirm the payment that needed to be put through to the sub-contractor. As Scitech is also sometimes a contractor for other clients, if a project is finished late and misses a deadline, Scitech would be charged for the time they are late for project completion. To stop this from happening, if there was a delay in delivery of materials, so they could not finish constructing a certain building, a member of the commercial team would need to fill out a change order. I got some more hands-on experience doing this. In my situation I was given details about an extreme weather event that was going to affect the delivery of essential materials for the project; a change order was made to change the scheduled date of the construction of the building so that Scitech wouldn’t be charged extra money. 

Overall, with the commercial team I got a better understanding of the things they do to tie a project together and keep it running smoothly, while also getting the hang of new software including Microsoft Access and Excel.

Day two: Engineering Team

Day two, I was with the engineering team. I talked to electrical engineer Carlos Garcia who informed me of the essential role that he has in delivering the power to the buildings in a project; for any machine to work, there needs to be wiring put into place and placed carefully to ensure it does not interfere with other machinery. His niche is essential in a project, and he communicates with the other engineers with updated schematics in a 3D modelling software – BIM software

I also had the opportunity to talk to Lewis White. As a mechanical engineer, in his department he provides, or constructs, specialist equipment for clients looking for a machine that they can use to synthesize a new chemical compound. I was brought up to speed with a case study in St. Thomas’ hospital – radioactive isotopes are produced in a cyclotron, a particle accelerator that spins protons, which are attached to a pharmaceutical, which can be used in PET scans to pick up a potentially cancerous tumour. The molecule produced is fluorodeoxyglucose – cancer attaches to glucose, then the radioactive part can be picked up on a PET scan as a bright dot.

It was super interesting to have some insight on a real project that I can see for myself in action and the procedures they must go through and work together on.  It’s fascinating the specialised machines that the mechanical engineers need to deliver / produce themselves for one specific job to fit all criteria given by the client; the extent to which they’re specialised is frankly insane.

Overall, I was super happy with my time at Scitech, it completely exceeded my expectations! I’ve absolutely loved having the opportunity to come to Scitech and have a taster of what it’s like as one of the big team. Thank you!

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