Apr 2023

Spotlight on EngTech: Rob Anderson

In our ongoing series of case studies, Jordanne Allsopp, IGEM Marketing Communications Co-ordinator, is chatting to our members about their careers to date and how IGEM has supported them so far. She spoke to Rob Anderson, Plumbing and Domestic Heating Lecturer/Assessor at Abingdon Witney, and an IGEM EngTech member.

Rob started his career in the industry at Oxford College, where he completed an Advanced GNVQ in Engineering before taking on a foundation degree in Engineering at Oxford Brookes University.

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He went onto to secure an apprenticeship with British Gas in the service and repair division, staying there for seven years after completing his apprenticeship. He said: “I became fully experienced in servicing, maintaining and repairing different types of gas appliances and their associated heating systems.”

He then moved to the central heating installations division for two years before moving back to service and repair for a further three years in the heating upgrades team.

Rob said: “It was during this time that I had apprentices of my own to coach, mentor, support and inspire. I was nominated by my manager and put forward to undertake the BG Potential Leader Programme and Advanced Apprenticeship in Management. Successful completion of this course reinforced my confidence to reach further and apply for the coveted Safety Assurance Engineer (SAE) role.

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“I successfully applied to become an SAE and stayed in that role for eight years, for the remainder of my career at BG, achieving what I had set out to do when I was an apprentice engineer.”

While working as a Safety Assurance Engineer, Rob was nominated to undertake carbon monoxide incident investigation training which allowed him to investigate fatal and non-fatal carbon monoxide incident in his lead role.

He said: “From the SAE role I was able to fulfil my goal of positively influencing and inspiring apprentices, engineers and contractors, going full circle to become the one who had inspired me. I then decided to leave British Gas in 2019 due to voluntary redundancy negotiations.

“Throughout my working life I have always been fully committed, dedicated and keen to learn new skill sets, advance my knowledge and seek out new opportunities and experiences.”

Rob then moved on to work for Crowcon Detection Instruments as a Technical Support Engineer before later becoming a National Account Manager (HVAC Specialist).

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He said: “Working at Crowcon really expanded my knowledge in the wider gas industry, chemistry, engineering, micro-electronics, software applications, manufacturing, production, customer services, sales, marketing, research and development, product management, and account management.

“It allowed me to grow my knowledge, skills, networks and experience way beyond the expectations I had as a young engineer.”

Rob then moved onto working as a Plumbing and Domestic Heating Lecturer/Assessor at Abingdon-Witney College Bicester Construction Skills Centre (AWC BCSC) which is his current role.

Commenting on his role: “I find the teaching role challenging, humbling and fulfilling at the same time. The positive feeling of the sense of achievement I get when my students are doing something for the first time, or have just made the necessary connections for task completion, is absolutely amazing.

“It is brilliant to see that I have in some way been involved in their learning journey, their achievements and successes in their qualifications, while passing on my experience, knowledge, skills, ability and safe working ethics. I am safe in the knowledge that they will remember this and in time pass the knowledge on to apprentices of their own, becoming the ones to inspire future generations of plumbers, gas engineers and no doubt active future IGEM members.”

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When asked how Rob joined IGEM as a member, he said: “It was while I was working at Crowcon that I became an EngTech member of IGEM, where I continue to be a positive downstream influencer/ambassador, promoting carbon monoxide safety awareness and engineer safety to this day.

“Being a member of IGEM is brilliant as membership gives me networking access with other IGEM members, including those who write gas industry standards, while providing a level of professional recognition recognised by the Engineering Council and gas industry alike.

“I am proud to be an EngTech member, to have professional recognition in the industry that I have dedicated my career to, and to be part of the IGEM community with like-minded professionals. I recommend and encourage those who are interested in a career in gas to enquire into becoming an IGEM member.”