Plant Industrial Architect, Airbus UK
Mehsaan Mohiuddin is constantly learning new skills in the fast-moving manufacturing industry, which offers a wide range of career opportunities and progression paths.
As a child, Mehsaan Mohiuddin was more interested in taking his toys apart to see how they worked, rather than playing with them. It was the first clue that he was on course for a career as a manufacturing engineer. “I was naturally curious to see how things fitted together,” he says. “Plus, in high school, I had an aptitude for maths and physics. If you combine that with my fascination for aircraft, I suppose it was obvious what route I would take.”
Learning a range of skills in manufacturing
At university, Mohiuddin studied aeronautical engineering and joined aerospace corporation Airbus as an intern in the A400M Wing Assembly Plant. “The A400M is the aircraft that Tom Cruise clings to in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” he laughs. “That year was a dream come true and sparked my interest in manufacturing.”
After graduating, Mohiuddin returned to Airbus via its Graduate Programme and undertook rotational placements in the engineering and business management departments within the company and customer airlines.
“That was fantastic because it allowed me to understand different parts of the aircraft product cycle, all the way from conception through to customer delivery,” says Mohiuddin, who now works as an Industrial Architect at the company’s Broughton site in North Wales.
Manufacturing needs people with the right technical
abilities, including hands-on assembly skills.
Technical abilities and soft skills needed in manufacturing
Manufacturing needs people with the right technical abilities, including hands-on assembly skills. Mohiuddin says he is currently studying a part-time MSc in aerospace manufacturing, sponsored by the company. He is constantly learning new things to expand his skills and development in manufacturing.
“You need to learn new skills as this is a fast-moving industry,” he says. “Within manufacturing, there are different support functions that I work with every day including logistics, safety and operational teams. So, soft skills — teamwork, collaboration, stakeholder management and communication skills — are as important as technical ones.”
It’s a fascinating time for the sector, with advances such as AI, robotics, additive layer manufacturing (3D printing), and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) — plus an increased focus on sustainability — revolutionising the manufacturing world. Now, the industry needs to entice more people to join it.
“There are different initiatives, from virtual work experience to outreach events in schools, that anyone with an interest in STEM can take advantage of,” says Mohiuddin. “There are plenty of career paths to explore, including managerial, technical and procurement. You just need to work out where your interest lies, so reach out, speak to people working in the sector and make the most of the opportunities on offer.”