I worked to solve problems that will have an impact on the business

Year in Industry student James Holden at JCB in from of some JCB equipment.
James Holden
Mechanical Engineering
Year in Industry placement at JCB
James spent his placement year with JCB, one of the world’s biggest construction equipment companies.

Why did you decide to do a year in industry?

I wanted some ‘real world’ engineering experience so that after graduation I can start my career with a solid foundation.

How did you find your year in industry opportunity?

I attended the Careers Fair at the University.  By talking to the JCB representatives on their stand I found out more about the company and its placements.

Tell us about project(s) which you have been most involved with whilst on year in industry?

One project I worked on involved analysing the power consumption and efficiencies of various electric traction motors. I also had to investigate why differences occurred and present my findings.

As a University STEM ambassador, I designed and manufactured an activity for the Big Bang fair in 2019. The activity involved assembling and disassembling a JCB tractor as fast as possible and it was completed by students several thousand times over!

What do you like about the company you have done your year in industry with?

JCB allowed me to get involved with as much as possible, and I worked to solve problems that will have an impact on the business. Also, you can see the manufacturing of their machines at the location, and you get the opportunity to drive the machines!.

What has been the most challenging aspect to undertake a year in industry?

Learning about a new area of engineering and about all the components in the machines. It also took me a while to become competent and efficient when using different types of software.

What has been your favourite part of completing a year in industry?

The work I have been doing during the placement, because I’ve been able to learn so much in such a short time. It’s shown me the elements I enjoy and highlighted areas I need to develop.

Which part of your degree has helped you with undertaking a year in industry the most?

University has taught me to work independently with minimal supervision. I also found the modules where I used CAD software beneficial - it was invaluable during my design placements.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I hope to start a career at JCB and continue to develop my skills. I also plan to become a chartered engineer once I’ve completed my Master’s degree.

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