Meet Sam, an Engineer in the Defence space

Sam Yeap, who graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Loughborough University, joined the ‘Freethinker & Problem Solver’ Graduate Programme in 2022.

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Sam Yeap

Engineer

Frazer-Nash Consultancy

Please describe your role at Frazer-Nash.

I am an engineer in the Energetics and Vulnerability team at Frazer-Nash Consultancy. My main role is using analytical techniques to aid in the design and assessment of Weapons, Ordnance, Munitions and Explosive systems. I have been at Frazer-Nash nearly a year now, since graduating in 2022.

What made you want to work in defence engineering?

I’ve had certainty for a long time that defence engineering was the field for me, with it all starting from building things in the garage with my grandfather. My grandfather was an electrical/radar engineer in the Royal Navy, and then for Marconi, which is now part of BAE Systems. Growing up, a lot of my time was spent making things with him, where my curiosity for how things worked first started. He would often take me to Navy days, air shows, and war museums, which sparked my fascination in defence engineering.

What has been your career journey so far?

Due to my interests in defence engineering, I chose to do a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Loughborough university with a placement year. It was during my placement year that my passion for defence engineering was cemented; I got to work on some fascinating projects centred around the British Army’s combat vehicle fleet, including Challenger 2 and Warrior.

Upon my return to university for my final two years, I chose to undertake modules in Finite Element (FE) analysis methods, or computational physics simulations. I was struck by the power of being able to simulate components virtually, as well how large the scope of numerical modelling was. This made me keen to look for careers in the defence sector with a numerical modelling aspect. I also wanted the option to do other types of work in different sectors, narrowing down the field to engineering consultancies. It was then that I found Frazer-Nash Consultancy, where I was fortunate enough to be offered a position in the Energetics & Vulnerability team that focusses on dynamic modelling, often in a defence-oriented manner…perfect!

What have you got involved with so far whilst working at Frazer-Nash?

Since, joining in September 2022, I have had the pleasure to work on a variety of different projects in different sectors, such as drop-assessments of nuclear transport containers and the modelling of mine blasts under vehicles. I have significantly built upon my numerical modelling skillset, learning even more techniques in different software suites, as well as developing new skills in engineering calculations, code assessments, and vehicle concept design. Additionally, I have begun to develop a brand for myself, presenting my independent modelling work to multiple business managers, establishing connections with other areas of the company.

What do you enjoy about working at a consultancy like Frazer-Nash?

While I have found the technical side of the work interesting, I have found the client facing side of consulting to be the most rewarding. Speaking with industry professionals and clients, both in meetings and in casual conversation, has shown me that there is always something to learn, as well as an opportunity to prove myself.

I was also given the chance to attend several client/peer-facing events, such as Fulmination 2023, where I presented as the early career’s representative for Frazer-Nash. It was a pleasure to speak at such an event, as I got to meet like-minded peers and gain a better understanding of the industry. It was also there that I began my registration process as a member of the Institute of Explosive Engineers (IExpE), beginning my journey towards chartered status.

Do you have any tips for students and graduates applying to engineering roles at Frazer-Nash?

Try to demonstrate your passion for the role you are applying to, this can be through taking relevant university modules, work experience and/ or further reading outside of university. For example, I demonstrated my passion for defence engineering through my placement year and through self-learning dynamic modelling via YouTube tutorials, journal papers, software manuals, and much trial and error!

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