Matthew Fox (MEng Mechanical Engineering 2015) tells us what he’s been up to since graduating in July 2015 and how he secured a place on the Rolls-Royce graduate programme.

When I received my degree classification last June it confirmed to me that would be starting on the graduate scheme at Rolls-Royce in September. Before I go any further I would like to point out that this is the Rolls-Royce that make aerospace engines (amongst other products) and not the one that makes cars; so no I don’t get a company car! I am certain that the fact I had an engineering degree from the University of Birmingham on my CV was a big factor in me getting the job.

Graduation was a brilliant and really rewarding experience after four years of hard work; it was great to be able to share this time with many of my friends and family. I had an absolutely brilliant time at university, despite not knowing if I would when starting, and part of me was sad to leave that chapter of my life behind.

Between my graduation and starting at Rolls-Royce I embarked upon an epic adventure. I have always loved cars and wanted to go travelling with some of my friends after university; so why not combine the two? Myself and two friends from mechanical engineering, Henry and Duncan, decided to take part in the Mongol Rally and drove a rusty purple 1994 Ford Fiesta from England to Mongolia and then onto Siberia. We finished after 41 days following numerous breakdowns and set-backs, travelling through nearly 10,000 miles of mountains, deserts and the Mongolian steppe. Completing the rally with my friends was the best experience of my life and definitely cemented some of my knowledge I learnt at Birmingham!

Soon after returning from Siberia I started at Rolls-Royce in Derby. As part of the graduate scheme you complete four attachments, each of which are around four months long, I am now roughly half way through my second of these attachments. In the first I was working within the turbines team looking at stress; I found it very interesting to get to look at serviced parts and see how they deteriorate during use. As part of my current placement I am working on the brand new technology of composite fan blades. The manufacturing method of these blades is quite fascinating, but I’m sorry I can’t tell you more than that! I really feel that being on a structured graduate programme like this will help me to develop into a better engineer in the future.

Outside of work there is quite a good social scene, the Apprentice and Graduate Association at Rolls-Royce organise nights out and activities like go-karting etc. Whilst I was at Birmingham I was very involved in the School of Engineering Rugby Club; I played for my four years and was on the committee for the final two. It’s been great to be able to go back and see those boys a few times this year, especially for our annual alumni match which took place in February.

That leaves me with just one thing to say, good luck to all you EPS students currently working hard towards the end of the year, I can assure you it will be worth the hours of effort!

Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox Rally

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