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Head of Systems & Performance Engineering

Cobham Capability: Mission Systems


I'm Head of Systems & Performance Engineering at the Wimborne site of Cobham Mission Equipment. My role involves recruiting and developing the best talent for our Systems team and Performance Engineering team. I am also responsible for the development of our processes and tools so that we continuously improve the quality and efficiency of our work. As a member of the Senior Engineering Management team I share responsibility for the day to day management and development of the Engineering department as a whole.


To date I have worked with Cobham in the US with two different teams. In both cases I was acting as a technical assessor or chairman for design reviews. I've found that establishing a network of colleagues across the globe sometimes provided opportunities to find solutions to problems without the need to develop them locally.


The Systems & Performance Engineering team is a sub-set of the Engineering department, which is responsible for the design and development of new products and systems. Systems engineers seek to bring a structured approach to the technical management of complex projects, typically leading the development of products which incorporate many mechanical, electrical and electronic elements; projects which require holistic thinking and for which mistakes are expensive to correct. Performance engineers provide the analytical support required to develop new equipment and systems. A performance engineer will use a wide range of techniques, from simple hand calculations to complex computerised modelling, to predict and analyse the performance of our equipment.


Providing innovation with insight is at the heart of what we do. For example, a systems engineering capability improvement project is underway at CME Wimborne, seeking to establish world class processes and staff development. To this end a new set of processes is in development which is built upon the best practice defined in ISO/IEC 15288 and the INCOSE Handbook. This is supported by a staff competency framework which links into the same standards and which provides a structure for development of our systems engineers.



Graduate Engineer


I'm currently working in Business Improvement for Cobham Surveillance. I've been with Cobham for six years starting as an apprentice and I've been involved in various departments. I work in six month placements so I've had exposure to different roles and teams, which has given me a broad range of skills.


As a graduate I've seen the importance of innovation with insight firsthand. For example, while merging an existing business with another business in the division, the team had to be innovative with the layout to allow the businesses to function in a flexible manner depending on the outputs required. We also had to consider growth and future product manufacture. Also, with a combined selection of skills and experience, the two operations teams can support and develop each other.


I've also worked for Cobham Mission Equipment during my foundation and advanced apprenticeships, working in various placements - including air-to-air refuelling pod production, design verification and endurance testing of air-to-air refuelling probes. Working in the different areas I've seen the capabilities develop from designs through to finished goods that are now in service for the Marines.


I have been lucky enough to visit teams in San Francisco and Orchard Park whilst working for Cobham Mission Equipment. I was also involved in an Air Traffic Control refit of a control tower in Bahrain whilst working for Cobham Aviation Services.



Senior Consultant Engineer

I'm a Senior Consultant Engineer, working for the Antenna and Electronics Group at Cobham Technical Services (Leatherhead, UK). My main role within the group is to provide technical consultancy on antenna related research and development programmes, but I also manage projects and get involved in business development activities.


My group is at the forefront of technology, producing state-of-the-art antenna and electronic systems for both commercial and defence markets, for a wide range of international customers. I have been lucky enough to work on many interesting, diverse and technically challenging projects whilst working for Cobham. These include being involved in developing stealth technology for airborne platforms, millimetre wave radar technology for surveillance applications, ultra wideband antenna arrays for high data wireless links and many more.


I've also had the opportunity to work with many other parts of the organisation. For example, we've recently completed the development of a compact anti-jam GPS system for attack helicopters, a project in which we worked closely alongside Cobham Antenna Systems (Marlow). By demonstrating high levels of innovation and strong team working, our system has been selected for airborne trials in the US. Cobham have recognised the achievements that we made by awarding the team with the Sir Alan Cobham Gold Team Award for Team Work in 2009.


Innovation is a core part of the ethos at Cobham Technical Services, which is built on the high levels of expertise and dedication of the staff. We are continually driving technology forward, something I think Sir Alan would be proud of.

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