Stuart Mills, a Hathershaw College of Technology and Sport graduate, decided to join Tameside College in 2008 to study towards a BTEC qualification, followed by an HNC in Mechanical Engineering as well as an HND in Mechanical Engineering (top up). Stuart successfully completed his HND with a Distinction in 2013 and currently works full-time as a Design Draughtsman at Gericke UK Ltd, a multinational company with operations in feeding, mixing, conveying and size control technology across the globe.
Stuart was an exemplar student during his time at the College and, judging by his first job, he is having a great career ahead of him. He said: “Whilst at College, the support I was given was great. All the tutors where always willing to help you as long as you showed that you were willing to put the effort in yourself, and you can’t ask for more than that! Tameside is a College with great staff and facilities that give the students every opportunity to make something of themselves.
At the moment I am a Design Draughtsman at Gericke. My role mainly consists of designing factory equipment and machines for powder handling processes. I started out on the shop floor where I worked as a sheet metal worker and welder. I then moved into the office where I stared to learn how to draw. I have been on site to assess a factory and to install equipment, I have taken trips to the Switzerland branch of the company and in general it’s been a great ride so far.
At Gericke I work with many big industry names such as Mondelez (Cadburys), Mars, Unilever and many more. I am looking forward to more on-site experience now that I have finished my HND at Tameside College. In the future I am looking to become a Project Engineer with Gericke which will involve me managing the projects instead of designing them; this will be a big step up from what I am currently doing but I look forward to the challenges it will present.”
Stuart’s tutor, Tracey Roberts, said: “Stuart was awarded the ‘most academic student’ prize for the Level 3 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. During his studies here Stuart also took part in the UK Skills Mechatronics competition, where he performed very well within his team and gained valuable knowledge and experience. He then wished to further his studies and his employer, Gericke, agreed to sponsor him on an HND in Mechanical Engineering. He attained 8 distinction grades from 16 units, with an overall Distinction for the qualification. Stuart gained experience in many different departments with his local employer before ending his apprenticeship in the drawing office. He is now a design engineer working on systems and machinery and we are all very proud of him.”