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 and Development each year. The investment and innovation enable Leonardo to deliver the UK’s most advanced technology programmes, such as new-generation radar for the RAF’s Typhoon combat aircraft, Infra-Red cameras, and advanced helicopter capabilities. Through
the EngD scheme, Leonardo defined my project and provided me with the tools and facilities necessary to conduct my research. I was placed at the company’s premises in Edinburgh, which gave me an excellent grounding for a career in industrial research and development.
My research project focused on
the delivery of a single-photon counting lidar demonstrator for long-range 3D imaging. The project provided Leonardo with a valuable understanding of the system performance and problems that need to be addressed in developing new technology for next-generation electro-optics sensors.
The EngD gave me fantastic experience in industrial research, providing an excellent grounding for a career in industry. The successful outcome of the project led to full- time employment at Leonardo.
I began my career as a Senior Systems Engineer working on electro-optics advanced research projects for airborne applications. The industrial experience gained during my EngD allowed me
to progress to the Principal Engineer within less than three years. In my current role, I work
as an Engineering Lead and a Design Authority, leading a multi- disciplinary team of engineers
on a technology development programme.
Recent Graduate
Dr. Gabriel Reines March
Graduated 2020
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and University of Strathclyde
Back in 2015, when I started my EngD, little did I know that the programme would be such a pivotal point in my professional career.
My initial idea of an Engineering Doctorate was that the research activities would be developed in a company, but aside from this fact, it would not differ much from a standard PhD.
My project, which was co- sponsored by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, consisted of developing novel imaging tools for aligning lung cancer PET/CT scans - taken before surgery - with microscopy slides of the resected cancerous tissue. This enables clinicians to compare the tumour microenvironment, as seen on the scans, with its actual cellular composition. Why is this important? Because the more we learn about the information contained in PET/ CT, the better cancer treatment can be tailored to a specific patient.
Due to the broad scope of the project, I had to collaborate with
a diverse range of people from different departments to get the study up and running, including oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, and clinical engineers.
It was daunting in the beginning, not least because my knowledge about lung cancer was next to nothing! What I did not realise at the time was that, by interacting with all these new colleagues, I had started to build a heterogeneous professional network, reaching far beyond the purely academic setting and into multiple different fields.
In hindsight, the multidisciplinary, industrial nature of the EngD was the real asset of the programme, regardless of the research subject. Being exposed to a real working environment taught me how to adapt to new circumstances and challenges, how to manage a project with multiple stakeholders, how to find optimal trade-offs between engineering solutions and real-world constraints. These translational skills make you highly employable. In my case, since
my graduation in June 2020, I’ve had several job offers from the university, from the NHS and from the private sector. This shows that research engineers are properly trained to work in a broad range of positions, spanning from academia to the corporate world. The possibilities are endless!
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