A Day in the Life: Harry Tregartha

Graduate Testing Engineer at Intertek's Transportation Technology Testing Facility in Milton Keynes

25 March 2020

I have been working at Intertek's Transportation Technologies testing facility in Milton Keynes, UK, for over five years. I initially joined the company during my university placement year whilst I was studying Automotive Engineering at Sheffield Hallam. I joined Intertek as a Graduate Testing Engineer after I finished my degree. My role at Intertek sees me predominantly working with fired petrol engines. My day-to-day role is very diverse, and I get to work on exciting projects with prestigious automotive manufacturers – which is one of the things that attracted me to working at Intertek.

I begin my day making sure the test cells are running and functioning properly, which is crucial to ensure we can produce accurate data for our clients' projects. This involves checking the test equipment, making sure it is calibrated correctly and diagnosing and fixing faults with the use of a wide variety of data analysis tools. Then I begin my day of testing!

I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work on projects that follow the full lifetime of the engine development which gives me insight into the full development process. First comes the proof of concept of new engine designs, then base mapping of the calibration and mechanical development of the physical engine components. The project finishes with durability sign off and certification of performance with the vehicle certification agency, which is great for understanding all the requirements of getting an engine to production.

The test cells at Intertek's Milton Keynes facility are kitted out with industry-leading equipment; it is great to get the exposure to these technologies and allows us to provide the best testing service for our customers. Our clients' testing requirements can be incredibly varied, with some requiring custom tests that we need to develop innovative, bespoke solutions for. For these types of projects, we assemble a team of engineers with the relevant expertise to design and build new test rigsIt is my responsibility to ensure that it meets the client's requirements, is safe to use, and can provide us with accurate data. I work closely with the fabrication team, who complete the welding and metal work required, to ensure each component of the rig is built to specification. It's really exciting working on a new piece of equipment and requires thinking outside of the box which helps stretch my capabilities and develop my experience.

For example, a customer recently came to us requiring measurement of multiple turbo pressures at rates much faster than our standard equipment was capable of. It was my job to design a rig to allow the equipment to be safely positioned and function correctly in conditions outside of its usual operating parameters. I had to ensure I understood how to set up the device to output the signal and analyse the resulting data.

During my time working at Intertek, I've gained an array of new skills and valuable industry experience from building and operating new equipment, calibrating test cells and testing cutting edge technology, many of which won't be seen in the public domain for several years. Working with a variety of different engineers, many with decades of experience, has allowed me to expand my knowledge and learn new techniques. With the fast-paced nature of the automotive industry, being able to adapt quickly, keep yourself up-to-date with the latest industry knowledge, and have the confidence to problem solve have all been critical to my development over the past few years.

Please visit https://www.intertek.com/careers/uk-jobs/ for details of the roles we are recruiting for or to apply.