We Are Randox | How James Davidson became a Mechanical Design Engineer at Randox

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We Are Randox | How James Davidson became a Mechanical Design Engineer at Randox

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04 June 2020

How James Davidson became a Mechanical Design Engineer at Randox

 

We Are Randox | How James Davidson became a Mechanical Design Engineer at Randox

At the beginning of April we announced we are recruiting mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers to enhance our capacity for COVID-19 testing. The engineers will be involved in the fast-tracked development of specialist molecular analysers used to detect the presence of COVID-19.

For an idea of what it’s like to work in engineering at Randox, we spoke to Mechanical Design Engineer James Davidson.

James spoke to us about the route he took to his current role, the best and most challenging things about his job, and how he likes to spend his well-deserved time off.

Name: James Davidson

Job Title: Mechanical Design Engineer and Project Coordinator

Department: Engineering

 

James, can you give us a quick summary of what your job entails? 

My main responsibilities are designing new medical testing analysers, updating and developing our existing machines and conducting troubleshooting to make sure that they are performing correctly. I also train new and existing staff on Randox technologies.

What was your favourite subject at school?

I really enjoyed Maths at school, for the challenge of being able to solve a logical problem and get to the correct conclusion by the end of your working out.

What was the route you took into your job?

My A-levels didn’t go to plan at school and I found myself in a difficult situation where I didn’t have the grades to go to university as I had planned.

James Davidson

I subsequently went along to an information evening at the Northern Regional College in Ballymena where I found out about the Higher National Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering, which really appealed to me and suited my interests. I knew straight away that it’s what I wanted to do so I started the course a week after that and really enjoyed it. Completion of the HND opened the door to enroll in a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, where I graduated with a 2:1 in 2012. I secured a placement at Randox in 2010 as part of this degree course which ultimately led me to the role that I am currently in.

Give a brief outline of your career to date

The year-long placement I did at Randox taught me a lot. I enjoyed it so much that I came back to Randox after my degree and have been here since! Throughout my time in Randox I have worked on different projects that have each been at different design stages – from concept right through to market release. I was promoted to Project Coordinator in 2016 and placed in charge of a small team of mechanical engineers. In this role I plan new work for each member of the team, review designs and provide assistance if required. I love being part of the Engineering team at Randox. It’s a really creative environment and we all work collaboratively together – bouncing ideas off each other and supporting each other when needed.

Is this what you always wanted to do?

I have always had an interest in how things work so a career in engineering was a natural progression for me. The world is constantly changing with new innovations and solutions to better people’s lives and I’m happy to be involved in an area of engineering that is bettering such a key part of people’s lives – their health.

Are there alternative routes into the job?

There are several potential routes to becoming a mechanical design engineer. Whilst I didn’t take the traditional route to become a design engineer – completing A-levels and then going to university – this would be the most common option. Alternatively, you can do what I did and study an HND before then getting a degree. Experienced engineers with a Higher National Certificate/Diploma could also be considered for the role.

What are the main personal skills your job requires?

For a mechanical design engineer the main essential skills would be an ability to work as part of a team, the ability to problem solve, knowledge of manufacturing processes and a flair for design. The ability to work under pressure and a high attention to detail are useful skills to have as well.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It might sound cliché, but every day is different! Up until earlier this year I was part of a product development team who design machines for a range of clinical conditions. More recently I have been involved in the design and development of a specialist COVID-19 testing system that will dramatically increase our capacity to process samples.

What are the best and most challenging aspects of the job?

It is simultaneously gratifying and challenging to experience the full cycle of project development from start through to finish. It requires quite a lot of patience.

Why is what you do important?

By guaranteeing that diagnostic machines are performing correctly, I am essentially making sure that patients across the globe are getting the correct medical diagnosis and follow-up treatment. These machines are life-saving devices.

If you weren’t a Mechanical Design Engineer what would you like to do?

My dad and brother own a garage so I think I would be working as a mechanic with them. It would harness the same skills and interests as my current role! I have also considered the possibility of being a teacher.

Describe your ideal day off.

I enjoy water skiing so on my days off, if the weather is good, I like to go out on the water. It’s a great way to blow off some steam.

And finally, what’s the key to any successful job search?

My advice to anyone currently looking for a job would be to find something with a lot of variety. You don’t want to be doing the same thing over and over again and you need to keep things interesting. I’m proud to say that my job at Randox has held my interest for the best part of a decade!

We are delighted to have James with us at Randox as part of our incredibly talented engineering team.

 

For current vacancies at Randox please visit careers.randox.com

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

For further information please email recruitment@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413.

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our Randox Careers

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