Director of WECAS Ltd
Having left the army in 1991, 53-year-old David Williams has worked his way up to becoming an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) following some inspiring motivation from a member of TWI’s training team and his wife Rubi.
While David had completed a number of training courses and qualifications, including being awarded EngTech status, he admits that he still felt unsure about whether he should apply for his IEng status. This was partly due to his lack of formal academic qualifications, as he revealed, “I was born into a generation where getting a university place was very difficult.”
However, David also felt that his age was a negative factor, especially when compared to the thousands of younger university academics, as he added, “I began to think it was too late to start the application process for the IEng qualification.”
These doubts may have derailed David’s progress before he even began, but as he explored the option of taking his IEng, he began to realise that it was “a chance for me, and anyone like me, to show potential employers, your peers and current or potential colleges that you have the ability, the skills and the motivation in your chosen field of expertise.”
The road to IEng
So, deciding to take the plunge, David started by contacting The Welding Institute to find out what was needed for him to become an IEng. He explained that he found the staff there very helpful, while he also did his own online research to find out more.
The next step was to construct and format a portfolio, which included the creation of an experiential report on past projects he had worked on, but a mentor who was assigned to him from The Welding Institute helped David in this. Although he admits this report took quite some time to compile (as he was having to fit this in with his working hours), David says he was surprised to find that he ended up creating a document as long as a decent-sized book!
Compiled over the course of nearly a year, this report cited David’s past experience in the industry, having worked for a number of different companies – perhaps most notably Fronius International in Austria - where he studied for his International Welding Specialist (IWS) and Master Welder (Schweiβwerkmeister) qualifications, as well as lecturing at the University of Styer.
So, was the time and effort worth it?
David believes so, as he revealed that completing his IEng has increased his confidence in his own abilities. He explained, “It has given me the boost in confidence to work at much higher level than I would have previously dared or thought possible, I have also noticed a greater degree of respect and I feel more accepted working at this higher level.” He also noted how the IEng has not only allowed him to get closer to his professional goal, but has also allowed him the opportunity to volunteer as a mentor to others.
Looking forward, David has plans including completing a Master’s degree in Welding Engineering MSc (starting in September 2017), volunteering for The Welding Institute, continuing his professional development, completing a six sigma green belt course, and becoming a Chartered Engineer.
But what advice would he give to others who are considering a professional registration as an IEng?
David replied, “I would say that this process required self-motivation and dedication as well as really focusing on the achievements that successfully completing this process will bring.”
It is clear that, for David at least, these achievements have made all the work worthwhile.