1 August 2019
Name: Mike Warbrick
Job Title: Lab Technician Teaching Assistant
Qualifications: HND Electronic Engineering
As a technician in the Engineering department at Harper Adams, Mike assists mainly with student projects, along with preparation for lecturers.
Entering his eighth year at the University, a typical day involves opening up in the morning, then dealing with a number of jobs throughout the day with equipment in the department - managing storage, maintenance and calibration.
Mike is there to offer help to student on their projects, whether they need equipment, ideas or resources – such as providing access to the electric soldering benches in the lab. Aside from this, lectures sometimes require certain pieces of equipment or kit for demonstrations or practical tasks – which he is on hand to provide.
Equipment in the department requires organisation, maintenance and calibration, with Mike ensuring it’s all ready when needed for the purposes of projects or teaching. With the academic year recently finishing, he is busy making sure everything is in place for next years’ students. With a change in strategy with teaching modules, he is also getting up to speed with the new methods which will offer more practical content for students.
Speaking on what he enjoys most about his role, Mike said: “The variety and the challenge of trying to give information to students. If you’re not giving it the right way, it’s about having other tools to present it differently – or practically demonstrate it - if you’re trying to explain a concept, theory or product as part of a project.
“The challenge of getting the next generation up to speed is a great part of the enjoyment. Although, it works better sometimes than others!”
Prior to starting at Harper, Mike spent 17 years with Lucas Automotive in the equipment testing department at the end of the production line for Electronic Control Units (ECUs).
“Every product the factory built had to be tested before it was delivered to a vehicle manufacturer. We checked that when fed input, the output switched effectively and that the ECU was functioning – which would give the manufacturer confidence that it’d work when bolted to the car.”
Away from work, Mike has a passion for the outdoors, being a dingy sailor and a member of the Royal Yachting Association. He also spent a couple of years out of work prior to starting at Harper, working on an extension to his home. Fortunately, when Mike decided to get back into a full-time post, the first role he applied for was his current role here at the University!
As part of the Technician Commitment, the University pledges to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians, technologists and skills specialists working in higher education and research, across all disciplines.