Tom Paton, Intern at SDA
While studying Mechanical Engineering at Herriot Watt University, Tom has done 3 summer placements with Star. Tom initially worked on Ethos; after this he worked a within in the design department and in 2020 moved over to SDA.
What is your education background?
I am in my 4th year studying Mechanical engineering at Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh.
How did you start working at Star? / What brought you to Star?
2 summers ago my dad’s friend David Blackhurst had said he needed a hand with a data logging panel for Ethos; I worked on this for 1 week.
The next summer I applied for a summer internship, this time in the design department, and I was accepted.
This year, I reapplied for a summer internship but due to Covid it was looking unlikely to go ahead. However, in July I was offered a 10 week placement in SDA and when that came to an end I agreed to stay on 1 day a week and I work 8 hours on a Friday.
What benefits have you found from your intern placement?
A lot. It has got me used to working in an office environment. It has helped me gain a professional approach to my communication and workflow. In university I could let work build up but in star I couldn’t do this; it is more progressive and helped me to realise I achieve more with a better structure. Also, this year working remotely has been helpful with my studies as they have also been carried out through group calls.
What does your current role involve?
In SDA, since working part time, I am working on data mapping what SDA are taking from refrigeration plants so that we can show it on an online platform.
What do you enjoy most about what you have been working on, and what are the biggest challenges you face?
What I enjoy most is department I am working with; they are all nice people and encourage me and are understanding of my studies.
The biggest challenge I’ve had since working at Star was last year when working in the design team I had to do a presentation and I found that stressful.
How long have you been working for Star? What do you like about working for the company?
Since 2018, on and off.
I like Star ‘Ethos’ improving the efficiency of refrigeration plants. Ethos has tapped into a market with huge potential whilst having a key focus on reducing impact on the environment – which I think is very special and responsible.
“Also, this year working remotely has been helpful with my studies as they have also been carried out through group calls.”
What type of role are you looking to develop into in future?
I’ve haven’t thought too much about it. I try take the experience and learn from it and focus on doing what it is I am doing just now.
During my first week in 2018 I got to travel down to a site in Preston to experience first-hand what I had been learning and hearing about in my course and in Star. It was good to see in person and made me realise engineering was a good choice for me.