Find out more about the life of a graduate mechanical engineer as we talk to Jaden Nicholson about everything from university and job interviews to robots and all things automation.
How did your career in the hydraulic industry begin?
I enjoyed studying Maths and Science at school and that seemed to naturally follow through to studying engineering at university. I was in the last term of my Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nottingham when I came across a Micro-Mesh job advert on the university’s career portal that caught my attention. I was interested in automation and from the job advert I felt that there’s be more scope to expand automation at the business. I sent in an application to Chris Stevenson and thankfully got invited for an interview! It was honestly a case of the right job appearing at the right time and to be able to complete my degree knowing there was a fantastic position waiting for me was a great feeling.
How long have you worked Micro-Mesh and what attracted you to the company?
I started working one day a week in February 2021 and then began full-time after I graduated in June. I was able to meet some of the Micro-Mesh team when I had my interview and it got me excited to potentially join them. The bosses are great, and it feels like they really take the time to listen to what I have to say, it boosts my confidence that I can come to them with ideas that are considered good enough to be implemented. I was hands on in the role right from the beginning, which isn’t always the case with graduate positions.
What does your role entail on a typical day?
My job is heavily based around automation, but there really isn’t such a thing as a typical day in my role. I’m involved with a lot of development of bespoke filtration designs for our customers and I have a lot of freedom to structure my day in a way that works best for me. Recently I’ve spent a lot of time with our SLS additive manufacturing machine, also known as a ‘3D Printer’.
What are your favourite parts of your role?
My favourite part of my job is how varied it is. I’ve been able to get involved in data analysis, programming robots and writing software. There’s a lot of scope for learning and progressing and my knowledge of business in industry has increased. Earlier in the year I was tasked with helping to automate a task that staff didn’t enjoy. I applied for a grant and got some good funding for the project which meant we could automate part of production using a cobot. I was given the opportunity to lead on the project, including building and programming the arm when it arrived, which wouldn’t be the case in all companies. It was great to be able to see the project through from start to finish.
How do you spend your time outside work?
When I’m not working, I like to keep active by going on walks with my family and playing 5-a-side football, as well as climbing and bouldering. I’ve also just bought my first home and it needs some renovating, which will keep me busy for a while. Finally, I’ve begun to enjoy reading books about business and business management methodology, such as ‘The Goal’ by Eliyahu M. Goldratt.