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Alumni

Luke Gilchrist

Career Path: LPSD Lead European Support Engineer, Caterpillar
Location: Belfast, UK

I have always loved engineering, from restoring a classic MGB GT 1997 to designing new innovative ideas. This course propelled me further than I could have imagined in the direction that has put me into one of the biggest engineering firms globally.

What are you doing now?Luke Gilchrist

My role at Caterpillar sees me as Lead Support Engineer for 3500, 3412, C175 and C32 generator packages and controls for Europe. As part of this role I design new methods and products to resolve issues to support facilities globally, perform product maintenance to deliver accurate product analysis and provide design controllers with comprehensive data resulting in the initiation of new product ideas to the factory floor. I also work to produce high quality specific information guidelines to help tackle production issues in a timely matter and am the lead engineer for test cell support, working with my counterparts throughout China, India and the USA to provide support on a global level.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I loved the social aspect of the University. I am from Northern Ireland and moving away from home is never easy. The societies and the group inclusion that revolves around Northumbria is electric. Alongside this, I knew that the engineering aspect of the University was fantastic, with new equipment and a well-structured learning plan.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

The lecturers and the students combined to make a very strong team that make it easy to learn and also teach your fellow peers.

How connected was your course with industry?

The projects I studied at Northumbria really allowed me to connect with interviewers, they related closely with the engineering world and this was something I personally benefited from. Our course leader, Christopher Connor, sourced Hydro (an external company leading the way in aluminium extrusion) to set up a competition for our year in which I came third place.

What was the best thing about your course?

The friends you make are what help you through.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Working with some of the latest state of the art equipment is always a benefit.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

Personal skills are the most important, knowing how to talk to people and knowing the right thing to say. Northumbria pushes you to come out of your shell, the lecturers push you to get out of your comfort zone to prove to yourself that you can do it.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The Students' Union and making new friends.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Do it! it is the best experience of my life. I have made friends for a lifetime and I know now that if I ever want to go back to further study, Northumbria will support me.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Habbita, fun and proud.

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