Jake Airey

MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering, 2015; EngD Formulation Engineering, 2020
Failure Investigation Engineer, Rolls-Royce

Having just accepted a job with Rolls-Royce plc in Singapore as a Failure Investigation Engineer, safe to say I owe a lot to the University of Birmingham and especially the MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering I completed in 2015!

I initially completed an undergraduate MChem in Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, and towards the end of my studies, I was left unsure with what direction to take my career. In my third year at Sheffield, I managed to secure a summer internship with Centrica Energy in Barrow-in-Furness where I worked as a Field Chemist conducting chemical analysis on samples taken along the natural gas extraction and purification process to check the processes were performing adequately and to check for contamination. It was whilst working there that I realised I wanted to know more about the chemical engineering and process chemistry principles that underpin how processes like natural gas purification worked. It was this that prompted me to undertake the MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering. 

I really enjoyed the course, there was a broad range of interesting modules offered which I could tailor to what I wanted to learn and everyone at Birmingham was very welcoming and friendly.

Jake Airey

jake-airey-rolls-royceTowards the end of the MSc I found out about the Engineering Doctorate (EngD) program in which I could conduct industrial research whilst spending some time working with your sponsoring company, which seemed like the best of both worlds to me! It allowed me to continue to learn about a subject I enjoy, achieve a highly respected qualification from a very reputable university and also gain industrial experience with a world class company!

My EngD which I hope to finish in a couple of months involves researching how different formulations of aviation gas turbine lubricants affect their tribological performance; their lubricating ability and how different chemistries affect wear and friction. I have been embedded with the Fluids Team at Rolls-Royce in Derby for the last three and a half years and as well as my research, I also got to work on various fluids projects. The fluids team are responsible for understanding and managing the fluids used in a gas turbine engine and are also routinely involved in various failure investigation projects where fluids have played a role in a particular failure. So hopefully you can see that my career journey has developed over time but I have continued to follow what I’ve enjoyed and the MSc was a key enabler in providing me with the skills and opportunities to get me to where I have got to today.

We Are (Third Width)