The Beginning of my Journey as a Marine Engineering Placement Student

Hello students! My name is Mowi and I’m currently on a placement year working at Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine as a Marine Engineering Placement Student. I started my internship in August 2022. A little about me; I am an Aerospace Engineering student on a BEng course. If you don’t know me, I am the Treasurer for MechSoc and a Part Time Officer for Support Zone.

At my placement, I get the opportunity to work on any marine related projects of my choice and the chance to rotate between different Engineering teams throughout the year:

  • Systems and Software Engineering team
  • Systems Test Engineering  Team
  • Design Engineering Team
  • Hardware Engineering Team

I am currently part of the Systems and Software Engineering Team.

Engineering software I’m learning on placement

I spent the first two weeks of my placement with inductions and various trainings and learning new software. I had a ‘learn as you go’ experience on Vision Master which is one of the navigational system that Sperry Marine provides. I was acquainted with Jira, Xray, and Confluence which are software that I use day to day. These are very beneficial tools that are used to make project plans and track project work.

In the Systems Team I used IBM Rational DOORS, this is a requirement management tool which most of my work is currently orientated on. I also had the chance to learn PTC Creo which is a form of CAD. It is very similar to SolidEdge which was taught to us in Year 1 so it didn’t take too long to get used to! For most of these software packages, I learned as I worked, and as a visual learner, I found this worked best for me.

My first big leap

Soon into my placement, I was tasked to an official systems assignment. I was required to capture and write system requirements for a new update on Vision Master and then this was reviewed by stakeholders so it can signed-off.

At first, the idea of doing something I didn’t know how to do; for it to be reviewed line-by-line by experts who have worked here for years was very daunting. I was surprised to take a deep dive so soon but I took it step-by-step; first learning how to document and then learning the software that I was writing about.

After a lot of questions and revision from engineering experts, I was wondering why I had worried in the first place! I was surrounded by people who were always willing to help no matter how simple I thought my questions were.

My Advice?

Do a placement! The vision I had for Engineering at university and the vision I now see in the workplace are very different. It has only been two months and I have learned so much in the technical sense and so much about the working environment. I feel like I see the Engineering world differently with a new mind-set that I find I enjoy. Don’t give up and keep applying 🙂