The 5% Club Case Study: Ella Ellisdon

A happy New Year from all at The 5% Club!

We thought we’d kick off 2014 with a case study, so meet Ella Ellisdon, an Astrium Engineering apprentice from aerospace and defence company EADS.

Ella Ellisdon EADSName: Ella Ellisdon

Division: Engineering

Location: Stevenage

I have been an Astrium Engineering apprentice since September 2012; I joined as I got to spend the first year studying for PEO (Performing Engineering Operations) and BTEC National in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering qualifications at Highbury College in Portsmouth.

I am currently in industry doing real hands on work for the company, studying for my NVQ level 3, as well as doing block release back to college to gain a HNC in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. This will continue for my final two years on the apprenticeship.

A massive positive of this apprenticeship scheme with Astrium, is that you get to move around the company, working under different people, doing different types of engineering in each placement. This gives the apprentices the chance to develop themselves and gives the opportunity to see what department you would potentially like to end up in.

Every day is different, and being able to adapt and change to different challenges that arise, makes the work place a great place to be a team member of.



The 5% Club Case Study: Dan Rigby

This week’s case study focuses on Dan Rigby of EADS. Having joined as a graduate in 2011, Dan is now a project leader on the Airbus A320 program. Read on to learn more of Dan’s time as a graduate at one of The 5% Club’s founding members.

Dan Rigby EadsI joined the Airbus graduate scheme in 2011 after completing an engineering apprenticeship with the RAF, during which I worked on the Airbus Hawker program and completed a Business Studies Degree.

During my time as a lean graduate with a passion to improve and transform business processes, I had the privilege to work on various projects including the re-engineering of the A380 skin-to-rib process, the relocation of A350 wing equipping business and operational management of A320 during a production rate increase.

Over the course of the scheme I have witnessed the first flight of the A350, I have seen the introduction of Sharklet wing-tip and now the A320 NEO (New Engine Option).  I also had the opportunity for a meeting and guided tour at Number 10 Downing Street during a placement in EADS.

Today, with my graduate scheme behind me, I am a project leader and Executive Assistant to the head of the A320 program. I am responsible for delivering a fully integrated enablement solution ensuring that as a team we meet our cost, quality and delivery objectives through optimising processes and reducing all forms of waste.


The 5% Club Case Study: Sam Edlin

Sam EdlinSam Edlin of QinetiQ is the focus of The Five Club Case Study this week. Find out more about his day to day role as a graduate in the Maritime division:

Name: Sam Edlin

Position: Maritime Graduate

Started: September 2013

Studied: Systems Engineering MEng at Loughborough University



I joined QinetiQ and the Maritime Graduate Scheme in September this year. The scheme lasts for 18 months and is designed to give graduates a taste of the range of areas that the Maritime Division has to offer by running 6, 3-month placements in the division. I am currently on my first placement in Maritime Communications. In January I will be moving to a new area of Maritime where I will be joining the Naval Combat Systems group.

The work I do day-to-day is varied, one day I could be testing some equipment on a submarine, the next I could be back at my office in Portsdown Technology Park working with customers for future developments.

In addition to my work in the graduate scheme I am looking to continue my professional development and gain chartered engineer status. QinetiQ has already provided my with some great opportunities and experiences, I look forward to an exciting career!

The 5% Club Case Study: Andrew Sheppard

EADS SheppardThis week’s case study focuses on Andrew Sheppard, an Astrium graduate from EADS and a member of the ENS department.

Joined: 2012

Division: ENS

I started the Graduate Development Program at Astrium in 2012 after graduating with an MSc in Astronautics and Space Systems Engineering from Cranfield University. I work in the ENS department which stands for Earth Observation, Navigation and Science, and means that I deal with the more unique and specialist space missions.

During the program we rotate placements every six months within the company in order to increase our exposure to the activities elsewhere and even across different sites; my second placement was in the mechanical design office in Friedrichshafen, South Germany!

At the end of the scheme I will end up in my home department which is spacecraft systems engineering, this is ensuring that a spacecraft meets the requirements of the customer at every level in a project, from its individual subsystems and parts right up to the full spacecraft itself. I spent my first seven months working as a systems engineer on the European Mars rover, ExoMars. This was a fascinating project to start on as it is an Astrium first, we will be sending a rover to the surface of Mars to search for signs of life, past or present, which is extremely exciting!

The 5% Club Case Study: Makena Ireri

As part of our series examining success stories from the members of The 5% Club, meet Makena Ireri, a Civil Engineer graduate from Atkins.

Makena Ireri

Joined: April 2012

Role: Civil Engineer in the Energy (Nuclear) division

I joined Atkins after graduating from the University of Manchester. I have already been involved in a high profile project for EDF, one of major clients. The project – the Sizewell B Emergency Response Centre (ERC) – responds to a report by the Office for Nuclear Regulation which identified lessons to be learned from the events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. I carried out structural design and analysis of various components of the ERC, applying lot of the engineering theory I learned at university.

I was attracted to Atkins by its international reach and the opportunity to work on a range of exciting projects. The graduate training and development route offers mentoring and supplementary courses, and gives individuals the responsibility for their personal development, allowing me to tailor my route to chartership and manage my wider career development goals.

The 5% Club Case Study: Catherine Bateson

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an observance of the world’s first computer programmer and a celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

This international day of recognition is intended to help raise awareness of the achievements of women in STEM. In light of that, meet Catherine Bateson, a current graduate from The 5% Club partner EADS…


Division: EADS Astrium

Location: Stevenage

I joined Astrium in Sept 2012 as a Graduate Production Scheduler after completing an undergraduate masters course in Mathematics at the University of Bath. Here I am part of the AIT Scheduling team, working with the schedules for our various satellites, analysing how work is progressing and managing resources through the various manufacturing departments.

As well as analysing the current status of departments, we plan for future requirements, based on predicted future projects. I find it very interesting collating information about the status of components from colleagues across departments, in addition to working with the schedules themselves. Following the logic of a build sequence can often get quite complex and being able to rearrange a procedure or find a key inconsistency can be challenging but immensely fulfilling.

AIT, and Astrium as a whole, are dynamic and inspiring places to work, especially as a graduate, because of the fast pace of the work and you never what challenges you will face next. It is also very rewarding to know you are able to make a valuable contribution to the team.


The 5% Club Case Study: Chris Fisher

In the first of our series examining success stories from The 5% Club’s partners, meet Chris Fisher, an former graduate at QinetiQ who is now a Naval Architect.



Joined: September 2009 as a Naval Architect at Haslar Marine Technology Park

Studied: ‘Ship Science’ (naval architecture) between 2005-09 at University of Southampton, gaining a MEng.

Role: My role mainly involves assessing different aspects of ship and submarine performance (e.g. powering, manoeuvring, stability and seakeeping), either through full scale trials and data or series of model tests. Much of the work is on current and future naval shipbuilding projects.

Some of my highlights and achievements include conducting through-build inspections, acceptance trials and delivering the new QinetiQ Loch Goil workboat built in Holland. I organised and managed the QinetiQ Schools’ Powerboat Challenge for the last 3 years to support STEM activities with school pupils.