The engineering work shop at the Crick.
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Can we fix it?

Every corner of the Crick building contains specialist equipment, which scientists rely on to get their work done. When the equipment breaks, the science stops.

Meet Alan

Alan Ling
It’s a rollercoaster. You never know what will come through the door next but it’s great when somebody arrives with a new challenge for us.
Alan Ling, Workshop Manager

Meet Alan

Alan Ling started out as an apprentice and has worked alongside scientists for almost 30 years – creating bespoke equipment and fixing faults in the Mechanical Engineering workshop.

Employment pathway

  • 1979

    Completed A Levels including Maths, Physics, Design and Technology

  • 1979 - 1983

    BTEC Level 3 Apprentice, Mechanical Engineering, The Metal Box Company, London, UK

  • 1985 - 1987

    Product Model Maker, Satherlay Design Associates, London, UK

  • 1987 - 2015

    Medical Instrument Maker, National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK

  • 2012 - 2015

    Workshop Manager, National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK

  • 2015 - Present

    Workshop Manager, Mechanical Engineering, Francis Crick Institute, London, UK 

Meet John

John Giwa
This job is very dynamic and requires a lot of hands on equipment experience. A lot of us here have worked in many industry areas and this gives us a better knowledge of how to take things apart, and put them together again.
John Giwa, Service Engineer, Scientific Equipment Care

Meet John

Electronic engineer John Giwa used to work as a programmer and engineer in the amusement arcade and telecoms industries. Now he uses this wide-ranging experience to diagnose and fix failing scientific equipment at the Crick.

  • 1983

    Completed A level equivalent including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Extension Mathematics, Nigeria

  • 1984 - 1989

    Bachelor of Science in  Mechanical Engineering, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

  • 2004 - 2012

    Engineer, Annecto Telecoms Ltd, London, UK

  • 2006 -2013

    Project Manager and Software Developer, Cork Amusement Centre, Cork, Ireland

  • 2013 - 2016

    Freelance Web Developer, London, UK

  • 2016 - Present

    Electronic Service Engineer, Scientific Equipment Care, Francis Crick Institute, London, UK 

Meet Debbie

Debbie Roblett
This is an interesting job which varies from repairing specialist equipment and calibrating laboratory instruments, to collaborating with scientists to develop new instruments for the future of science.
Debbie Roblett, Specialist Engineer

Meet Debbie

After finishing school Debbie Roblett began work within a hospital public health laboratory. Whilst developing important skills on the job, she was able to continue studying medical sciences by balancing classes outside of working hours. 

Employment pathway

  • 1977

    Completed Ordinary National Certificate/BTEC Level 3 equivalent including Biology and Maths

  • 1978 - 1980

    Higher National Certificate, Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Bedfordshire, UK

  • 1981 - 1983

    Higher National Diploma, Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Bedfordshire, UK

  • 1977 - 1983

    Junior Laboratory Technician, Luton & Dunstable Hospital Public Health Laboratory, Bedfordshire, UK

  • 1983 - 2003

    Technical Liquid Handling Manager, Anachem Ltd, Bedfordshire, UK

  • 2003 - Present

    Managing Director, Delsaro Scientific Solutions Ltd, Bedford, UK

  • 2010 - 2013

    Managing Director, Gilson UK, Bedford, UK

  • 2016 - Present

    Specialist Engineer, Francis Crick Institute, London, UK

Have you got what it takes?

Here are the top three skills needed to work in Engineering:

  • Attention to detail
  • Practical application
  • Problem solving

    For more information on the different skills required for technical roles in science and beyond, have a look at the Technicians Make it Happen prospectus:

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