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The University of Southampton

Tim Baldwin Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1981

Head of IM Maintenance and Engineering Delivery Unit, Network Rail

Tim Baldwin's Photo

Hi, I'm Tim Baldwin and I studied Aeronautics and Astronautics within Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton.

A career in engineering offers a huge variety of experiences at home and abroad, and since I graduated in 1981 I have worked in a number of industries (defence, aerospace and even medicine).

What do you do?

I manage a team that is responsible for developing IT solutions for the engineering parts of Network Rail's business. We implement all kinds of computer software, from the systems that are used to manage the correction of faults on the rail network (broken rails, failed points etc) to handheld computers to collect data to help us to maintain the tracks. We've even got involved in a system, fitted to a specially designed high speed train, that collects measurements of the track using ultrasonics to help us to understand where we need to carry out maintenance work to keep the railway safe.

What's the best part of your job?

It's great to be involved in an engineering company that is devoted to making huge changes to the railway that will revolutionise rail transport over the next few years by increasing the speed and capacity of the network to cope with the increasing public demand for safe, efficient and eco-friendly transport network.

Why did you go into this career?

It was a natural career development into a management role, through appointments in engineering and IT.

What is your education/experience:

Up to age of 16: Grammar school; After 16: Grammar School sixth form

Any advice on getting the first job?

I was sponsored by the MoD, so I worked for them at various research establishments, ending up at the Aircraft Test Establishment at Boscombe Down, near Salisbury in Wiltshire.

What is your advice to potential students?

A career in engineering offers a huge variety of experiences at home and abroad. Since I graduated in 1981, I have worked in a number of industries (defence, aerospace and even medicine) in the UK and abroad (I spent two years working on aircraft engines in the US). What seemed like hard work to get the grades to get a place at Southampton to study engineering has certainly paid off for me as it gave me the foundation I needed to enjoy a great career, though I would never have guessed, when I started, that it would have led to the role I now have, in IT.

What are your hobbies?

Walking, swimming, gardening.

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