Interview With Robert Sharpington, Design Draughtsman
Our staff are incredibly important to us at Celab, their expertise and skills are what makes our business successful and innovative in the custom power supply field. This month, we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary and we’ll be interviewing team members to understand what their roles are, how life at Celab has changed and their expectations for the future.
Our second interview is with Robert Sharpington, Design Draughtsman.
Introduce yourself – your name, background, role and how long you have worked at Celab?
Robert Sharpington, Design Draughtsman and in my 31st year working for Celab.
I came to Celab when I was thirty eight and looking for a company with a solid future. I had seven previous jobs in engineering and now it was time to settle down. I had started at 21 as a workshop technician at St Thomas Hospital in London, then a junior draughtsman with a special purpose machine company in Guildford. Following that I was assistant to the mechanical engineer for a torque tool firm also in Guildford (we use their torque screwdrivers at Celab) and then a design draughtsman at the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences before it moved to Southampton University. The next move was to start up a drawing office for a solder levelling machine company in Petersfield, this followed by design draughtsman at a post design services firm in Godalming and finally a short time with a company manufacturing nuclear hardened cameras.
During four of those years I gained ONC and HNC in mechanical engineering at Guildford County College of Technology as it was in those distant days!
Can you remember your first day – what were you driving, wearing, and eating for lunch and how are they different from today?
I cannot remember much of my first day at Celab except that I was driving an 1800 Morris Marina Coupe at that time, and the layout of the factory was completely different from what you see now.
What do you enjoy most about working at Celab?
The best thing for me working at Celab is that in engineering we are a small integrated team, each with our own role. Equally enjoyable has been visiting suppliers and their machinists who will be manufacturing our metalwork.
What is one of the most memorable moments from working at Celab so far?
A memorable moment for me didn’t happen at Celab, but at an air show when a Typhoon aircraft flew over very fast and I realised that some of my work was in the avionics. Very satisfying.
I also enjoyed a trip organised by Julian several years ago to the Farnborough aviation museum which was brilliant!
How has working at Celab helped your career development?
Before coming to Celab, I had very little experience of mechanical packaging of electronics and I have found it a much more demanding field than I realised and these days a useful skill to have (although I am on the edge of retirement!).
What was the biggest ‘lesson learnt’ in your career?
The biggest lesson learnt is not original but I think so true, the more you put in to your work the more satisfaction you gain.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in electronics manufacturing over the years?
The biggest change I have seen is that everything is now so small in the digital electronics world (but power carrying items remain large!).
What are the challenges faced by electronics manufacturing and custom power design currently?
Electronics feature everywhere in our lives and probably the biggest challenge in electronics manufacturing these days is procuring the necessary parts.
How do you think the electronics manufacturing market will change in the next 10 years?
With the advent of the automotive industry moving to electric vehicles, I think electronics and power design can only increase hugely over the next decade.
Contact Celab Today
Celab’s expert staff all work together to create long-lasting rugged custom power solutions for use on land, in the air and at sea. Discover more about our power supply products or speak to a friendly member of the team about your requirements today.