Matthew Wilmot BEng, MSc, AMRAeS – Graduate Project Manager, Telecommunication Satellites, Airbus Defence and Space

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Matthew Wilmot BEng, MSc, AMRAeS


Graduate Project Manager, Telecommunication Satellites, Airbus Defence and Space

What is life like working in your role?

My role at Airbus is part of a global team that comes together to produce advanced telecommunication satellites. I am responsible for ensuring any equipment that isn’t made by Airbus is purchased, manufactured and delivered to our Cleanroom at the right time, to the right quality and on budget. Before working on satellites, I was part of the Airbus team preparing the Zephyr UAS for its flight tests in the stratosphere.

What does a typical day look like?

The day is always based on whatever activities can progress the satellite project. This could be meeting with a supplier to discuss some manufacturing, catching up with Airbus Engineers regarding new equipment or even reporting to senior Management on my financial responsibilities. I spend a lot of my day organising information, motivating my colleagues and learning from everyone I can.

What are the key skills required?

As a Graduate, I believe that the most important skill is clear communication, with a willingness to try new things and learn from everyone you meet. Problem solving is also a very important skill to have working in this industry, with new problems requiring new solutions every day, while attention to detail is vital.

What is the most exciting/ challenging part of the role?        

Growing up I always had a fascination for space, it was one of the reasons I studied aerospace technology at university. Being able to work every day with colleagues who are some of the most knowledgeable people in the world about space topics is very rewarding, I am able to learn so much so quickly. It’s very exciting to know that the equipment I am responsible for is going to be spending the next 10-15 years orbiting our planet. Working in this role can be challenging as the expectations are high, we only have one attempt to get everything working perfectly. We can’t make changes once the satellite is in space and we have to make our customer happy!

Any advice to new entrants into the sector?

Time, cost and quality are the benchmarks for all projects, especially satellites that are so costly and risky. You can’t be expected to know everything when you’re just starting your career, so having a positive attitude and be willing to learn is so important. This industry is highly competitive, so stay determined and show your enthusiasm and passion whenever given the chance. The future looks great for Space in the UK so there will be plenty of opportunities so keep working hard!

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