Name: Derek Hamilton EngTech IEng MIMechE
Education and qualifications: Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Mechanical – Electronic Systems Engineering, Glasgow Caledonian University
Which Institutions are you a member of? Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Permanent Way Institution (PWI)
Current job title: Track Maintenance Engineer
Company: Network Rail
Length in current job: One year in the role, just short of 12 years with the company
Approximately how many staff are employed by your company? Over 30,000 nationwide
Where are you based? Perth, Scotland
Please describe your current role
I head up the Track Maintenance function for my area in Network Rail and lead a team of four direct reports who each manage their own teams. My key responsibility is applying my engineering and technical knowledge to ensure best performance so that the train operating companies can keep to their timetables.
Please provide a brief outline of your career so far
I started work with Network Rail as a labourer and progressed by undertaking operational and technical roles in the company. In 2011 I moved to an engineering position, Assistant Track Maintenance Engineer, until 2016 when I was promoted to my current role.
Describe your experience of how you became an Incorporated Engineer (IEng)
The information on my Institution’s website and support from existing Chartered Engineers helped me to understand the application process. My degree meant I already met the education requirements. I realised that my day to day engineering role and the decisions that I was making could be used as part of my application. Additional reading was insightful and made me reflect on the job I was doing and the responsibilities that I had. It was a challenge translating my real life experience to fill in my application form. The interview was daunting initially, however it was conducted in a very friendly manner. I have never wanted an interview to go as well as my IEng one. Thankfully, I gave a good enough account of myself. Becoming a Track Maintenance Engineer and registered as an IEng really opened my eyes. I now consider myself to be a professional and expert in my field.
What advice would you give someone considering professional registration as an IEng?
Do it! There is work to do but the process is more straightforward than you would think and the rewards mean so much more to you as an individual than just letters after your name. The application process alone changed my way of thinking and gave me the confidence to do the right thing in my current role.