Duncan has been with us at Rochem since 1999. Already an experienced electrical engineer, he quickly proved he was a huge asset to the team, rising to operations manager and working closely with MD, Martin Howarth. 
Today, his job title has changed and he’s become integral to the day-to-day operations at Rochem, not to mention a source of invaluable support to our customers. 
We asked Duncan to take five minutes out from his busy schedule so we could learn more about him and his role at Rochem… 

1. Can you tell us more about your role and what you do?

I’m the Senior Engineering and Technical Manager – I support the UK and US offices with technical and engineering solutions, technical questions from our own team and external clients and stakeholders and support the design and manufacturing efforts.
I order parts and deal with suppliers to try and get the right solutions at the right price for the application. I try and plan to ensure we always have the materials we need to complete the jobs going through, and look at new and better, more efficient ways to do the jobs to keep us competitive in the market. This may mean using new machinery and/or techniques to those we have employed over the last 30 odd years.
The biggest part is to get a quality product out of the door within budget and on time.

2. What does a typical day at Rochem look like for you?

I start the day with a coffee and read through my inbox answering anything urgent and then replying to anything else I can do immediately. I then run a 9:30 production meeting which everyone attends. This is a quick overview to let everyone know the status of any new orders coming in, checking on progression of jobs that are leaving and also allows anyone to raise any concerns over shortages of parts or any other issues facing them that day or in the coming days.
Two days are rarely the same – I might simply be ordering standard parts, screws, nuts and bolts etc. or I could be designing an electrical system for one of our wash skids. I will typically liaise with one or more clients or customers regarding upcoming or ongoing projects. 
Part of my role as described above is to look at efficiencies including sourcing new components and suppliers, obtaining better pricing on common products etc.
Checking the correctness of drawings and designs outsourced is also a task that I undertake to ensure these are all corrected where possible before issuing to the client or indeed before we commence any work.

3. What do you specialise in? 

My background is in electrical engineering and IT so they are my specialities, I suppose.

4. What is the most valuable piece of advice anyone ever gave you?

Always walk around with a clipboard and pen! Seriously though, it was probably: try not to leave anything half-finished or it’ll appear twice as hard when you come back to it!

5. What do you think the future of the industry looks like?

I believe it’s pretty positive overall – There are new technologies in the industry and more efficient gas turbines are becoming available. This gives the future room to move into initial design concepts, working with the OEMs on their wash systems at the time that the gas turbine is being designed rather than simply being an afterthought or supplying a retrofittable product.
It has to be the variety and to some degree the freedom; I get to work on the projects in a way that works for me. Working within a small team, having an influence and a say in things is also very important for me. It’s nice not to just be another member of a huge faceless team that, unfortunately, some very large organisations have become.

7. What makes Rochem a great company to work for?

Again, the above – the team ethic, seeing jobs through from inception to manufacture and letting me have the freedom to do what I’m good at – the socials are always good fun, too! I’m the Rochem Karting Champion 2022, don’t you know!!

8. What are some of your passions outside of work?

I’m big into the VW scene, owning a 1965 splitscreen bus and a 1966 ‘Herbie’ replica beetle. We have just had an 8 page feature in a major VW magazine which was great. 
I attend and exhibit at car shows which is great fun, but I also love the restoration side of it all. Away from that it’s watching and playing football and most importantly family time – we love a theme park!

Get in touch

Thanks so much to Duncan, Rochem Karting Champion 2022 for giving us an insight into his role here at Rochem. An engineer through and through, it sounds like he can’t resist a project, whether it’s designing a new wash skid system or tinkering with cars! We know any project is in safe and experienced hands with you in charge.  
As Duncan said, we’re a small, close-knit team of industry specialists, and we’re here to personally support you with your questions and orders.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.   

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