Hi John, tell us a little bit more about you and your role?

For those of you who know me, you may say I like to blow my own Trumpet…

I am a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, one of the more senior members of the Morson Projects team having more than 40 years’ experience, 30 of those at Morson Projects.

I am interested in all aspects of engineering and have worked in may sectors of industry on numerous products; fixed wing aircraft, rotorcraft, nuclear power stations, nuclear re-processing, lifting gear, chemical plant (structures & pipe stress), submarines, rail vehicles, complex mechanisms, to mention a few.

As Chief Stress Engineer I am responsible for forming, developing and managing my in-house team of structural analysts. I am accountable for the analysis we deliver to our customers and take an active role in technically directing, planning and co-ordinating teams of engineers to deliver a world class product.

In my role of the Chief of the Office of Airworthiness (CoOoA) I am responsible for the airworthiness of the flying parts, systems and equipment designed, approved and certified by Morson Project’s UK CAA Part 21J DOA (Design Organisation Approval) team. I ensure that there is a level of independence in the Certification and Verification to meet the relevant Certification Specifications and the Environmental conditions.

The position of CoOoA although appointed by Morson Projects, is subject to the authorisation by the CAA following their assessment of my credentials; qualifications, knowledge, experience and of strong character to ensure a level of independence.

For those who don’t know me, my other passion is playing a Cornet (not actually a Trumpet), which I have done since the age of 8.

Image: John playing the Cornet at Salford Town Hall to commemorate Armistice Day.

How did you get into a role in engineering?

You may say engineering is in my blood, both my grandfathers worked in the Steel Industry, my dad worked in engineering as a Fitter and ended up the Foreman of a test facility, pressure testing valves and calorifiers. My mum was a Tracer in the drawing office where they both worked, they actually met on the shop floor.  

As a child I was always tinkering with stuff, making go carts using pram wheels, extending the forks on by bike and respraying them by adding transfers and so on. When leaving school it seemed like an engineering apprenticeship was the right route for my progression.

What is your favourite part about your job?

I really enjoy being in at the beginning of a project and seeing it through its full life cycle, having an influence on its development, solving the numerous problems that often emerge and working with a great team of mixed disciplines, abilities and personalities.

I love passing on my knowledge, encouraging and supporting young engineers. It is really rewarding watching them grow as both engineers and individuals.  Most of my team has been organically grown, starting at undergraduate (for work experience) or graduate level to become world class engineers.

What projects have you been involved with recently that you can share with us?

Over my years at Morson Projects I have been privileged to be involved in and responsible for some great projects. Learjet85 has to be one favourite. It was the first composite fuselage, designed and stressed by Morson Projects from forward to rear pressure bulkheads with all structure and mechanical systems in between. Morson Projects were awarded the ‘Queens Award for Export’ for our work on that project.

More recently in the role as CoOoA, the design and installation of systems to several Textron Aircraft for conversion to Air Ambulances for service in Norway. The latest (a Latitude 680A) was delivered into service for Christmas.

What are you and your teams’ main areas for focus when designing and delivering a project?

Customer focused teamwork, ensuring quality, adherence to the specifications and delivering what the customer wants on time.

To do this we work closely with our customers from the onset of the project and in the main develop the requirement together. We have built up excellent client relationships, these relationships (along with great delivery) have resulted in business growth, team expansion and increased capability. This has also enabled Morson Projects to generate new clients, many in different engineering sectors.

What’s next for you and the team?

Due to our excellent performance in 2021 we are looking to expand teams on all current projects and have new exciting contracts won for 2022.

We are currently recruiting at all levels, Graduate’s, Junior and Senior Engineers, this is an amazing achievement, especially within the backdrop of the COVID pandemic. In conjunction with this recruitment drive, we have recently launched our new Early Careers Development Programme which will enhance the training and development we provide for the engineers of the future.