Miracle Nkwocha has been part of the EA Technology team since September 2016 working within the Power Forensics department. She applied through The Year in Industry, which is part of the Engineering Development Trust and now she describes her experience in our “Graduate Experience Blog”.
I remember sitting in my Failure of Solids lecture as I listened to Dr Ettore Barbieri a lecturer in Aerospace Engineering at Queen Mary University as he explained the theory of crack propagation in mixed mode. What particularly stood out for me was the Griffith theory of brittle fracture which states that “fracture occurs when the tensile stress at the crack tip is greater than the theoretical cohesive strength of the material.” It was from this lecture that my interest in failure investigation began, hence my choice to do my placement with the Power Forensics department at EA Technology.
Before my interview at EA Technology, I had prepared intensively alongside a mentor and my University friends. As I made my way to the reception I found myself panicking, heart beating, palm sweating and found it hard to control these symptoms of nerves. I had about 3 hours until my interview! Yes, three hours! I thought that I’d give myself enough time to go through everything before my interview, but three hours was not a good idea. Luckily, as I was waiting, Bernard Duffy, the Delivery Manager for the Power Skills Centre (PSC), approached me and we spoke about several courses that PSC offered. I can remember how much enthusiasm and passion he had. That conversation stuck with me and it helped me to calm my nerves down before the interview.
Once I got to the interview part, I remember the sense of warmth coming from the interviewers. I was asked several technical questions, and subject based questions, I remember thinking that they had such enthusiasm and passion for their engineering field. After the formal interview, I was taken into the testing lab with different characterisation equipment (Non-destructive and destructive testing). I found myself asking questions and wanting to know more. Ultimately though, what solidified my interest in working at EA Technology was how comfortable I felt – the continuous mission of EA Technology to build strong client relationships with Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and Private Network Operators (PNOs) as well as the leadership culture and values that made me excited about joining the company.
I believe my passion and enthusiasm for failure investigation work was clear to see and for that reason, I was given the opportunity to start my placement working within the Power Forensics department.
As part of the team, I have worked on projects for several DNOs, such as investigating the root cause of failure on electrical assets. These projects came with the responsibility of using several materials characterisation equipment including the scanning electron microscope, and a low powered optical microscope. Working with this equipment has given me a better understanding of how they work whilst improving my technical skills. As my department has Consultants specialising in different engineering disciplines not related to my degree, I have widened my knowledge through working with them and through independent research. I have contributed my time to other departments which includes the marketing and sales teams. This opportunity gave me an insight into how various departments work together to make the company successful.
Doing a placement has helped me realise what field of engineering I want to pursue. EA Technology has nurtured my passion and has provided me with impactful, hands-on experience and the opportunity to maximise my future career potential through working alongside talented Consultants committed to helping graduates like myself to learn and succeed. In addition, I feel the skills that I have gained give me an advantage as I go back to finish off my Master’s degree at Imperial College London later this year.