Radu-Stefan Dragan works as a graduate electrical design engineer at Magnomatics.

I'd like that job: Radu-Stefan Dragan, electrical design engineer, Magnomatics

Working on an actuator design which could make aeroplane engines lighter, more efficient and more resistant to faults, Radu-Stefan has been selected as this year's Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 ERA Foundation Fellow.

What’s your name?

Radu-Stefan Dragan.

Age?

24.

Where do you work?

Magnomatics Limited.

What's your job title?

Graduate electrical design engineer.

How long have you been doing that?

I started in September 2014, after finishing my undergraduate degree at the University of Sheffield.

How did you get there?

During high school, I developed a passion for mathematics and physics in particular. In my last year I decided to apply to several universities in the UK. This brought me to Sheffield University’s Electronic and Electrical Engineering department, where I did a bachelor’s degree followed by master’s. After my first year of university I decided to apply to a summer internship at Moixa Technology, a company dealing with smart direct current technologies.

In my second year of university I spotted an internship opportunity of Magnomatics. After reading about the technology they use in their electrical machines, I felt like I’d found the perfect career opportunity. As a result of a successful interview, I started working for Magnomatics during my holidays and was offered a full-time position after finishing my studies.

The pace of work here represents quite a change from the normal academic environment that I was exposed to.

What does your work there entail?

During my internship, I was mainly involved in assisting the engineers in machine design or testing as well as the manufacture processes. The learning process was fast paced, but this enabled me to learn faster and adapt to the new environment better. This also meant that I was able to bring valuable input to the company in a shorter timeframe.

In my last summer as an intern, before I joined the company full-time, my responsibilities grew by being involved in more complex design and testing aspects of electrical machines.   

During my work here, I have bridged the gap between the knowledge gained during my studies and the practical aspects associated with designing and commissioning electrical machines. Being awarded an Industrial Fellowship by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 will help me to continue this.

Could you tell us about the fellowship and what it means to you?

I am very excited by this new research opportunity in the field of magnetically geared machines that would be designed for aerospace applications. The technology that Magnomatics is pioneering can make a profound effect on multiple industries through its remarkable advantages. However, technological progress requires resources to drive it forward. This fellowship gives me this opportunity of designing a new electrical machine which will address several issues of aerospace actuation and help the industry shift towards implementing ‘the more electric’ aircraft.

What could the results of your work mean to the engineering industry?

As I am working in a company with a research and development strategy, the concepts and solutions we promote are meant to increase the efficiency of different industry sectors.

In all the projects I have been involved within the company, the electrical machines that were produced gave a new depth to the industrial application through increased levels of performance, reliability and efficiency

What's the best thing about the work you’re doing right now?

The best aspect of my job is that I have the opportunity to work with novel technologies and apply cutting edge designs and manufacturing processes in order to obtain a product that addresses the current needs and future expectations. The team driving this is very focused and helpful towards achieving the set goals and this has enabled me to get valuable experience during my work here.

And the worst?

In a research and development field, time is a real aspect that could represent, at some point, an issue when investigating the uncharted grounds of engineering.

Is there any advice you’d like to pass on to those considering a similar career path?

For research in engineering, the habit of thinking outside of the box and questioning your every move is vital.

Practical experience is also valuable in my line of work, thus internships are an important opportunity to link the knowledge gained in university with real world scenarios. This together with self-confidence and the constant desire of improvement will enable you to practice the job successfully.   

What do you think you'll do next?

Continue to explore novel concepts that will enable me to progress within the fellowship sponsored research area and bring new products to UK’s aerospace sector.

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