Former Telford College apprentice Luke Richards is learning his engineering trade at one of the world’s leading aerospace companies.
The former Charlton School student is now working as a machinist at Radius Aerospace, based at Shrewsbury’s famous Sentinel Works.
The company services the commercial aviation, business jet, military and industrial gas turbine markets, specialising in the fabrication, formation and manufacture of aircraft engine and industrial gas turbine, machined and fabricated casings.
It also produces machined rings, turbine blades and nozzle guide vanes, plus combustion liners and complex fabricated assemblies. Luke chance to work on engine components for top brands such as Rolls-Royce.
He said: “I decided to go to Telford College as they had the aerospace engineering course, which is an area I've always wanted to get into and gave me the opportunity for employment.
“I enjoyed my time with Telford and always got along with my lecturers, who made the course more enjoyable. The college was helpful and key to me getting my job, and I’d recommend it for anyone trying to get into the aerospace industry.
Jo Smith, HR manager at Radius Aerospace in Shrewsbury, said: “Luke is one of four apprentices we have taken on this year.
“Each of them did a work experience placement on site with us, followed by an apprenticeship interview – which was a site tour followed by a chat with our cell leaders and engineers from all areas of the business.
“Luke is following the machining pathway, which allows for both manual and CNC options in the development stage. The CNC option allows for loading and proving CNC programs, programming, setting and operating CNC machines.”
Beyond the production of new components, the Radius facility in Whitchurch Road also has a dedicated maintenance, repair and operations business unit specialising in fabricated and coated components.
The company says: “The experience of producing new components combined with the ability to repair them offers an unparalleled level of expertise.”
Luke’s lecturer at Telford College, Joanne Cheshire, said: “Luke was on the aviation engineering course, completing his qualification in July this year.
“In his second year he won the ‘Most Improved’ award, which was voted for by his tutors. He was a very likeable student who combined his studies with working at a local restaurant.
“He produced some good pieces of research for his assignments and frequently questioned tutors to cement his understanding of the topics covered. I wish him every success at Radius Aerospace and am sure he’ll be successful.”
Aviation lecturer Jamie Dawson, who taught Luke on units including gas turbines, propulsion systems, and engineering principles, added: “He put in some excellent effort, particularly in his engineering project and showed a mature degree of resilience.”
Caption: Luke Richards, who is working at Radius Aerospace in Shrewsbury