Tim Myall is an engineering consultant at UK-based consultancy Frazer-Nash. He leads a team of engineers supporting landing gear on Airbus aircraft, and for business development within the wider aerospace industry
Why did you choose aeronautical engineering as a degree, and profession?
I have always loved maths, physics, solving problems and interacting with people. A career in engineering was the natural path. For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by flight, and as soon as I completed my A-levels I applied for aerospace engineering courses at university.
What was your first job? Where did your career go from there?
I completed a masters in aerospace engineering at Manchester University and as part of my course worked at Westland Helicopters for six months for the structural design team on the EH101 helicopter, investigating methods to improve the impact resistance of a key component without increasing its weight or manufacturing cost.
On graduating in 2004 I joined GKN. I spent 18 months in GKN's aerospace and automotive divisions in Germany and in Thailand before returning to the UK in an aerospace programme manager role, working on military aircraft cockpit transparencies and icing protection systems. I joined the engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash in 2008.
Tell us about Frazer-Nash and what you do there
There are over 300 full-time engineers and we're working across a diverse range of industries with a huge range of customers.
I'm based at our Bristol office, within the power and transport division, managing our civil aerospace systems activities, although much of my time is spent on site with clients - Airbus, based locally, is one of my key customers. I'm responsible for business development, project management and look after the technical delivery of all of our work in the sector.
In terms of technical delivery I look after our landing gear structures activities, in which we support Airbus to improve the performance of its in-service fleet. This is a fascinating role on a complex system. We deal with all aspects of the landing gears.
What do you enjoy most about the job?
I can be negotiating terms and conditions in the morning, followed by reviewing in-service component failures and recommending appropriate actions in the afternoon. I am lucky to be surrounded by exceptionally intelligent people, both at Frazer-Nash and with the clients. We are working on some complex tasks, but making a real difference.
Juggling the requirements of project management, customer liaison, technical delivery and business development keeps me busy for much of the week. But I have a range of hobbies that allow me to switch off and relax - including training for my second Ironman Triathlon, climbing, and I am working towards completing a surf instructor course.
Where do you see your career going?
I think I have struck a happy balance between business development and "hands-on" work so far, and I'm focused on continuing my professional development in both these areas. I am working towards achieving chartered engineer status with the Royal Aeronautical Society, and helping develop Frazer-Nash's business streams in civil aerospace.
Any advice for anybody considering a similar career?
I spent some time in industry before completing my studies. This was an opportunity to put my learning into practice and it gave me something extra to discuss at initial interviews for graduate schemes and training programmes. My advice is to do everything you can to secure relevant work placements in advance of applying for that dream job.
Myall: helps Airbus to improve performance of its in-service fleet