Employee Profile: Laboratory Engineer, Jade Swan
Date: 05th February 2018 | Posted by: Airedale Team | Posted in: Blog
Airedale Air Conditioning, Leeds, UK, 06/02/2018
We asked one of Airedale's Leeds-based Laboratory Engineers, a few questions to learn more about her.
1. Please introduce yourself.
I’m Jade Swan, I have blue hair (for now), live in Headingley, Leeds but I’m originally from the East Midlands. I moved to Leeds for university and liked it too much to leave.
2. What is your role at Airedale, and what excites you about it?
I’m one of the Laboratory Engineers, meaning I test prototype units to design specification as well as install and run witness tests for customers.
I really enjoy working on a number of different units, mainly performance testing, and looking for solutions where there were any areas the units didn't do what was expected.
This involves installing the unit to be tested and running it in a similar environment to what it would be on site - with the addition of a lot of extra temperature and pressure sensors! We are then able to analyse and record how the unit is performing in real time.
3. Do you have a particular area of specialisation within your chosen field?
With regards to the types of air conditioning units, I specialise in the testing of Precision Air Conditioning (e.g. SmartCool, EcoTel) and Comfort cooling (the Artus).
This could involve, for example, performance testing (where we measure how much cooling the unit actually does), building test rigs, air velocity scanning and electrical testing.
4. Why did you choose a career in Engineering?
One of my favourite subjects at school was maths and my dad is an electrical engineer so I have been introduced to engineering from a very young age (building computers at home etc…).
I also participated in a placement within the Research and Development team for a research and testing company during my sixth form summer holiday. I decided then I definitely wanted to be an engineer - specifically in R&D.
5. What did you study at university/college and how has your previous experience lead you to your current role?
While at sixth form I studied A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Art. I went on to completing a bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Energy Engineering at the University of Leeds. This included a lot of study on thermodynamics and projects around the design of heat exchangers.
While I was studying I worked for Lloyds Bank in Telephone Banking, then progressed to their head office as a Complaint Manager. Dealing with complaints is not so relevant within this role. However, an understanding of how to give the best customer service experience is definitely important considering we conduct customer witness tests regularly in between the prototype testing.
6. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I really enjoy hiking/camping/climbing, anything outdoors really. Similarly, I love a good ale and going to live gigs with pretty much any type of music from rock to drum & bass to jazz.
7. Do you have any particular hobbies or interests that you are passionate about?
I’m an instructor in the Army Cadet Force which is a hobby that takes up a lot of my spare time. It’s a youth organisation working with kids ages 12-18 teaching rifle safety and shooting, first aid, navigation and a number of other subjects.
I’ve been instructing for 6-7 years now and I love it because I get to go out on my weekends and do things that I would never have(even though it leaves me absolutely knackered a lot).
For example, we regularly have weekends where we conduct blank firing exercises with the cadets (teaching them how to be tactical and safe with the rifles) on the other hand we also have sports and first aid competitions for the cadets.
8. Favourite country visited on holiday and why?
I’ve never had a passport so haven’t left the UK (yet..) but my favourite place so far was west coast of Wales, hiking for 5 days for my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award.
We planned the route to be along the beaches as much as possible and they were surprisingly beautiful. I was amazed that the weather stay fairly warm and dry as well!
9. If you could take an inanimate object onto a desert island with you, what would it be and why?
Definitely a Swiss Army knife with a flint attachment… because trying to light a fire without a lighter or flint I find impossible.
10. What is the music track of your life, and what does it make you think of when you hear it?
4 Non blondes – What’s up? Because no one has everything figured out. Also, it’s a fantastic song to sing very-very loudly (and badly) too – my team leader, Ben Jacques, has been subjected to this torture a number of times.