Martin Trinder

Lab work

03 Dec Martin Trinder

Why I love it:

“Within the first couple of weeks of starting second year, I got straight on with placement applications. At first, I was not entirely sure what field of Engineering I wanted to do my 12 month internship in, until I saw the GE Aviation job profile. GE Aviation Wales is an overhaul and repair shop for commercial jet engines which are used on a wide range of modern-day commercial airliners. Having read the job profile, I felt that this would be an excellent placement to apply for, especially as I  felt keen to work on jet engines. A couple of months after sending in the application, I had a telephone interview. Initially I was not sure what to expect from this, but the PCC gave plenty of guidance and useful tips that were sufficient for me to secure a formal interview. And so the research began! In the interview, they asked many questions which tested my knowledge about jet engines, for which the research had come in handy.”

What I learned:

“At GE Aviation Wales, I was involved in a wide variety of jobs/projects. As this was an engine overhaul and repair shop, we saw everything from the engines arriving on site wrapped in industrial cling film, to the disassembly, cleaning, repair, assembly and testing of every engine that comes through the business. Jobs included:

  • Performing engine strip reviews, which entailed examining the disassembled engine hardware in its dirty/used condition, in order to identify any defects that may be present and taking photos to illustrate the condition of the engine modules.
  • Using vector maths to solve balancing problems for the rotating systems of the jet engine, including the compressor and the turbine.
  • Using silicone gel to create moulds of defects, and then using a Shadow-graph machine to measure the size of the defect.
  • Using the Engine Manuals on a day-to-day basis to help the Engineering team with a wide variety of tasks.
  • Seeing engines being worked on test, boroscope (camera on a lead) inspection and final assembly.”

“I also had involvement in a couple of projects. The first one was a build project, which investigated how much time can be saved by using an alternative product to dry ice for building the core of the engine. GE Aviation HQ required us to use Liquid Nitrogen instead of dry ice, as it was much colder (a rather cool -180°C!) so will save assembly time and should produce better build quality. The second project was a test project. A new oil filter had been manufactured and was now to be fitted to certain engines on test in order to eliminate oil system flushes during engine testing. It was very interesting to gather the required information before introducing this new filter into the engine manual. The filter has been trial fitted on an engine, and is now ready to be used on the next engine on test, which will be great to see if the theory of the project is proven in practice.”

About my experience/Tips for students:

“I would certainly recommend applying for a placement role at GE Aviation Wales. I was never bored and I ALWAYS had something to do! It was a real pleasure to be part of one of the world’s most successful and largest companies, and to work in a really friendly and up-beat environment. The placement  gave me great experience for what I would like to do as a career, as I’m keen to work on jet engines again. I am also learning a lot about the Engineering world, and how university work is relevant to some of the day-to-day jobs we do.”