George, one of our Systems Engineers, has been appointed as the new Chair of FutureNEST.
Could you tell us a bit more about UKNEST?
UKNEST is a not-for-profit member organisation, which promotes engineering, science and technology on behalf of the naval sector. It provides a unique space for collaboration between government, industry, academia and even professional institutions like IMarEST. UKNEST has two key goals, to be a thought leader and to promote careers in the naval industry.
You were recently appointed as Chair of FutureNEST, congratulations! Tell us more about FutureNEST.
Thank you! FutureNEST is a subgroup of UKNEST, it’s a collection of around 80 members, all early-career engineers in the naval industry. Members are usually in the first five years of their career, and we provide them a community to empower them. We mainly do this by offering a variety of events every year, these can be presentations, workshops, conferences etc and are sometimes virtual, sometimes face-to-face.
How long have you been involved with FutureNEST?
I joined around two years ago and started off as an S&T (Science and Technology) rep. S&T is another subgroup of UKNEST which explores the future direction of naval technology and where the opportunities lie. For example, in May last year, the S&T group hosted their annual conference titled “Achieving Artificial Intelligence at Scale in Naval Domain”. I was responsible for organizing volunteers from FutureNEST to help run the conference on the day.
What made you want to get involved?
I wanted to get involved in something outside of my day-to-day role. Also, I’m currently doing my degree apprenticeship, and these experiences will really help with my final apprenticeship assessment. When I started at SEA there weren’t many graduates, so it’s also about building a network of people in the same stage of their career.
And now you’re the Chair of FutureNEST!
Yes! I became the Deputy Chair last year. When the previous Deputy Chair dropped out, I responded to an email asking for applicants. I had a brief interview with the Chair at the time and he thought I’d be a good fit. It was assumed that I would go on to become Chair after a year of being Deputy Chair, but I wasn’t fully sure. I’ve really grown to like the team, and that convinced me to stay on.
What’s your goals now you’re Chair?
I want to arrange more face-to-face events within the FutureNEST group, and I’d like to get a lot more people from SEA involved too, so if you’re in the early stages of your career and want to get involved, let me know.
How do people get involved?
You can enquire via the UKNEST website.
Any highlights from your time at FutureNEST?
Highlight would be last year's DSEI, where we had the privilege of meeting the current Second Sea Lord, who gave us a lot of encouragement and useful feedback on our recent work.