Shaun Dixon - Batteries Team, WMG
Shaun tells us about his current role, how he began working at Warwick, his previous roles and his future plans.
What does the work involve?
I am a Test Facility Engineer at WMG working in the Forensic Analysis of Batteries team, my role involves working closely with researchers and aiding with operating specialist equipment to run tests, sample production and handling including hazardous chemicals. I am also working on collaborative projects with commercial partners and other universities. A secondary role I have is, managing and looking after the gas systems that supply the Energy Innovation Centre.
When did you join Warwick?
I joined Warwick in August 2017.
What qualifications and roles did you have before this?
My previous work experience was with Sandvik, they specialised in machine tools and equipment. I began working with them as a temporary worker and progressed my career path through an Apprenticeship to a full-time Laboratory Technician in a powder metallurgy laboratory.
The qualifications that I gained from my apprenticeship was a NVQ3 in Mechanical Engineering; I had achieved A-Levels in Forensic Science prior to this.
Other development and training I had received but is not limited to was COSHH Assessor, Knowledge Transfer and Management, Gas Handling and Safety training courses.
What training and development have you received at Warwick?
From an equipment standpoint, I have learnt how to operate and maintain specialist equipment such as gloveboxes, high speed and high shear mixers, coating machines, presses punches and die sets, coin cell cyclers, digital microscopes and gas chromatography mass spectrometry machines.
Training courses I have received at Warwick has included extensive Health and Safety training in: COSHH, Risk Assessments, IOSH Working Safely, Manual Handling, Fire Safety Awareness and Chemical Handling. I have also took part in online courses that raise awareness of equality, diversity and unconscious bias in the working environment.
What are your future plans?
My plans for the future include learning more about the battery industry from a materials point, this will help to improve my understanding and knowledge base for materials development and to eventually progress my career to the next step of becoming an engineer.
Anything you would of done differently or advice you would give to others?
The advice I would give to others who may be looking to join WMG would be to try and be involved in as many jobs as possible from the start as this is what I did. I shadowed people to learn the basics of what their roles are and the nature of their work and also how you fit into the picture. It helps kick-start learning about the different laboratories/workshops in the facility you are working in and is a great way to network and build relationships with your co-workers.