Ask the Graduate: February

RO Central Team - Thursday, February 07, 2019
Posted 13 days ago


Hello! I’m Rory and I studied Chemistry at Durham University from 2011 until 2014. When I finished university I joined NSG Pilkington, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of glass and glazing products for the architectural, automotive and technical glass sectors, through their two-year graduate scheme. I originally worked as an Advanced Technologist (industrial scientist) developing coatings for glass and I’m currently seconded to the role of Incubation & VAP Technical Manager.


It’s difficult to describe a routine day in this role, as every day has its own challenges and experiences. More days seem to be atypical than typical, but this is positive – it keeps me engaged and focussed.
In the morning, I commute to the NSG European Technical Centre in Lathom, admiring the flora and fauna of its West Lancashire countryside setting. Throughout the working hours, I’ll be conducting experiments, writing reports, and researching new ideas. I regularly host visitors and partners from academia and industry to discuss and work on innovation together.


At Lathom we have the privilege of a full restaurant that prepares breakfast and lunch, with a varied menu full of choice and healthy options. There is also cycle storage and showers for those who choose to cycle to work, and for changing after taking part in the exercise and Yoga classes.


Being a global business, there is sometimes a need to be available in unsociable hours to talk with colleagues around the world. Normally, however, the need for a balanced work-life lifestyle is recognised, especially as the effects on physical and mental wellbeing are increasingly recognised.


In addition to producing raw data and results, a keen understanding of how to report and present them in an effective manner is crucial for managing and delivering projects. Developing a working knowledge of administrative and management principles is key to working effectively in and across different departments and business units.


As part of my role, I travel around the UK and abroad to visit other NSG sites & factories, scientific conferences, industry exhibitions, and to other companies. Travel can require long, hard hours, but can lead to great results, and the opportunity to explore and experience different countries and cultures. Being able to network, collaborate, and socialise with all kinds of people is a critical skill.
I was able to develop and practise most of the skills and abilities needed to perform my job as part of my studies at university, in addition to pure technical knowledge. My progress has continued whilst working, being encouraged to complete training courses and professional development. I have relished mentoring summer students, apprentices, and new graduates beginning their careers, and supporting STEM outreach in the local community.


It’s been great getting to show you a day in my life, please feel free to ask me any questions you have – I’m happy to help!


Questions for this month's graduate

  • Charlotte
    07-Feb-2019 03:36 PM

    Hi, how did you pick your degree?
    Rory's answer
    I researched via different uni websites and then I visited my favourite courses.

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