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Melissa Lock, integration manager

Melissa is an integration engineer, working in our technology centre in Worle, North Somerset. She started her career as an apprentice. Three years on, she reflects on her experience and tells us how she got involved in one of our most important projects of the past 12 months.

Costain's new technology centre

An apprenticeship wasn’t how Melissa planned to start her career. “I have a degree in geography," she explains. “But I saw an ad for an apprenticeship when I was looking for graduate positions and I thought it was an opportunity that would be worth exploring. I’m quite a hands-on, practical person and it seemed like the sort of position I would enjoy.”

Melissa applied for the role with Costain, was successful, and started as an apprentice electronic technician in January 2018. She studied for a Level 2 qualification in Performing Engineering Operations and a Level 2 Diploma in Engineering Technologies. At the same time, she was involved in a diverse range of mechanical and electrical engineering projects.

 

“Now that I’ve done a degree and an apprenticeship, I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship. You gain formal, recognised qualifications and real-life, on-the-job experience. If you want to advance in your career, you’re going to need both.”

Melissa Lock, integration engineer

Throughout the past three years, Melissa’s helped us explore the potential of leading-edge digital technologies. She was part of a team that won an innovation challenge by creating a new product that could make it easier for highways authorities to check the depth of tread on a vehicle’s tyres. “I led the development of the hardware,” she explains. “We produced a prototype at first, then we tested it, and I integrated the different components. It was a really important piece of work for me and it required a lot of problem solving.”

Melissa says she enjoys using technology to solve clients’ challenges, especially when she can see the difference her work makes to the people and the world around us. She adds: “I’ve always wanted the work that I do to be meaningful.”

 

Female apprentice at Costain standing by thermal imaging technology

She was part of the team that was helping companies in the aviation sector integrate thermal imaging technology into their operations to help protect their employees and travellers, and restore confidence in flying amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Everyone involved in this project was making a difference. We were helping the airlines and the airport operators, and together enabling people to travel if they needed to.”

Now, Melissa has a new role and is based at our technology centre in north Somerset. That means she’s even more involved in the testing and delivery of the products and components that are being deployed, and as she puts it: “Working right at the forefront of technology”.

 

So, what’s next for the former apprentice?

“I’ve just started in my new position so I’m looking forward to the training and development opportunities that will stem from that,” Melissa explains. “I’d also like to get involved in more projects like the installation of thermal imaging technology at airports. Looking further ahead, I’d be interested in pursuing a systems integrator role - talking to clients, and overseeing the installation of our technical solutions. I’d like to advance to be in a position like that.”


Connect with Melissa on LinkedIn or search our careers page to learn about our current job opportunities.