Ben Drumm

Thanks to those who voted, brilliant 2 weeks as far as I'm concerned - bye students!



University of Bath, Masters Degree in Automotive Engineering aka MEng Automotive Engineering (hons)


See above + some A levels (Maths, Further Maths (AS), Physics, IT, PE (AS))

Work History:

Just STFC since uni, and 2 summer placements at Oxford Universities Mechincal Engineering Department during uni.

Current Job:

Mechanical Engineer in the ISIS Design Division, working in the accelerator group.



Me and my work

As a Mechanical Engineer I take scientific concepts for particle accelerator equipment and engineer them into real working objects.

I am a Mechanical Engineer working at the ISIS Neutron Source – a particle accelerator that produces neutrons. As a member of the engineering team I speak to scientists and technicians about their ideas and requirements for new pieces of accelerator equipment. I then take these requirements and develop them into a full specification for the new hardware. With the specification agreed it’s time for my main responsibility; coming up with a design for the new equipment that meets the criteria defined in the spec’. As an engineer in ISIS I’ve been involved in the design of large magnets, beam profile monitors and whole accelerating cavities. This equipment then gets installed into the ISIS accelerator, helping to keep the facility running and allowing scientists to perform world class research.

My Typical Day

I don’t have one…!?

A typical day is hard to define – I guess the place I spend most of my time is in at my computer using CAD, but that’s certainly not the whole story…!

At the start of a project to design a new piece of hardware I will be meeting with scientists and technicians to determine requirements and assembling a specification. I also produce time plans (how long I think the project will take me) and budgets (how much I think the equipment will cost) and communicate this information. The design phase typically involves working with 3D modelling software (CAD) to come up with the new design, but I also hold meetings to update people on my progress and allow them to see my ideas. When the design in approved it goes out to manufacture, and during this phase I’ll be visiting the suppliers to check they are making everything correctly and answer their questions. When new equipment comes in it is tested, and during this phase I can be away from my desk a lot helping set up and perform the tests and getting bits remade in our workshop. When the equipment is finally installed, I also spend time away from my desk speaking to the fitters to make sure everything is going smoothly.


What I'd do with the money

Give it to the outreach team at STFC…

The outreach team do things like buy cool scientific kit and take it to schools to inspire kids into careers in science and technology.

They would probably have better ideas for the money that me, so I’d pass it on to them…!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Sporty. Well fed.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Hmmmmmmmmmmm….. Pearl Jam.

What's your favourite food?

A big fat steak.

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Spent a week in New York with 4 uni friends…

What did you want to be after you left school?

A Mechanical Engineer!

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Not really…

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?

When the beam profile monitor I designed got installed that was pretty good – it’s nice to see your designs installed and working!

If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?


Tell us a joke.

Knock knock….. Who’s there?….. I need ap….

Other stuff

Work photos:

A picture of out Synchrotron (where we accelerate protons):


A picture of the Target Station 1 hall (where we direct the protons at our ‘Target’):


A picture of our linac (which accelerates H- ions before they go into the synchrotron):


A picture of the Target Station 2 hall (similar to TS1 but ~20 years newer!):


A picture taken at the new graduate/placement students day I helped organise: