Alan is the Director of Metal Forming Innovation (MFI), a company in the engineering and manufacturing sector.
What does a typical day look like for you?
In a start-up company there’s no such thing as a typical day. Every day presents new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. I love the practical application of theory to solve problems, so most days feel like I’m playing a game rather than working.
What career journey have you been on to get where you are now?
I was lucky; I always knew I wanted to be an Engineer. After my GCSEs I went to FE college to study Engineering, then on to University to study Engineering, and finally I did a PhD in Metal Forming. From there, I obtained a Lecturing post in Ulster University, teaching and researching in aerospace metal forming. More recently, I’ve started my own company to support aerospace metal forming companies worldwide providing R&D services. There have been lots of ups and downs along the way, but my path has always continued along becoming the best Engineer that I can be.
What excites you about your industry?
As Engineers we design and build the modern world. The advent of low-cost technology platforms, readily accessible knowledge, and increased global trade present wonderful opportunities to develop new solutions. There’s so much we don’t know! Exploring on the edge of knowledge is always exciting since you’re never quite sure what you’ll discover. It’s exhilarating to work on problems that have no apparent solutions.
What advice would you give to your 13-year old self?
Experience will eventually teach you that adversity will become your strength so don’t be afraid to try and trust your intuition.