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UKFB STAFF BLOG: “My Year In Industry at UKFB” Junior Designer, Charlie Parke looks back on his plac

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In September 2012, UKFB welcomed  Charlie Parke to the team as part of his BA in Product Design at the University of Nottingham.

During my 36-week placement at UK Flood Barriers I have gained invaluable skills and experience in the industry, these include; developing my interpersonal skills, working as part of a team and communicating ideas and designs to colleagues and clients. I have also gained experience in problem solving and negotiating to get the best outcome for each task, this has helped me understand how to move forward in a project and recognise customer requirements.

Technically, I have developed as a designer, working on a variety of projects requiring different skills. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside Technical Engineer, Noman, who has helped me develop my CAD Skills so that I have a better understanding of presentation, visualisation and communication to help keep to industry standards. I have also been able to develop my solidwork skills, developing 3D models of products and designs.

Having a testing facility available at UKFB has helped me to understand the dynamics of the products we use and allowed me to create and test prototypes that can be tested in a flash flood situation.  Working at UKFB has also helped me understand the importance of materials and their manufacturing processes. Because of the environment in which the products are used, special attention needs to be given on choosing the right material in order to preserve the product life expectancy and capability of achieving its job.

Due to cross functioning departments I was also able to understand other areas of the business, including, construction, on site work, training, marketing and structural awareness, but a large proportion of my time was spent in the Research and Development of new and existing products. 

The Sentinel Barrier has been a large project where I have been able to develop, test and improve the design before going out to market. Steps involved designing new fixing systems, sourcing materials, seals and fixings, and also reducing the cost of manufacture. Other projects I have worked on are the development of the Defender ™ Wall where I looked to reduce manufacture time and cost.

More recently, I was able to work with local businesses Sunlight Windows and Yale, to develop, test and manufacture the Flood Angel® Flood Defender™ Door that has recently been launched into the market.

Being given the opportunity of a placement at UKFB and the ability to express my design ideas and develop within the company has been incredible for me as a person and as part of my career to show what I am capable of.  I have enjoyed my time working at UK Flood Barriers, I feel that I am in the right industry and it has given me a good insight of what I want to do in the future.

UKFB are always looking for new talent to join the team to help develop skills and knowledge, if you are a student looking for a work placement, contact us to find out about our career opportunities.

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