Engineering profile: Melissa Windley

Integrity engineer Melissa Windley has worked with British Steel and its forerunners since 2005

In June 2019, Melissa took on the role of Senior Integrity Engineer at our integrated steelmaking site in Scunthorpe. Now heading up a team of engineers, she embarked on her career with us in 2005 as a technical clerk. Find out about her inspiring journey...

Tell us about your first role with British Steel and the journey you’ve taken to your current role as Senior Integrity Engineer

My first role with the company was as a technical clerk in the drawing print room in the Projects and Technology department. From there I started a night course in Autocad, which led me to achieve my BTEC National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering. This in turn saw me move into the design office.

During my time there, I was responsible for creating drawings requested from site engineers as well as making drawing modifications and assisting with major projects. During the 6 years I worked in design, I completed my HNC in Mechanical Engineering and started my BEng Degree in Mechanical Engineering before becoming a junior engineer.

Becoming a junior engineer was a great opportunity, allowing me to grow my knowledge of our site during my rotations, which were at Appleby Coke Ovens (ACO), Continuous Casting (Concast) and Scunthorpe Rail & Section Mill (SRSM) Area 2 (finishing end). This enabled me to see what the actual day-to-day running of these areas were like, along with the experience of the additional projects I was tasked with. This helped me build my confidence and grow as an engineer.

My final rotation and my transformation into a substantive role was with the Asset Management Team as an integrity engineer. This role allowed me to use the knowledge I learnt in British Steel and at university.

In 2019, I was appointed as Senior Integrity Engineer. As well overseeing the integrity of our vast array of assets at Scunthorpe, I’m also now responsible for a team working in Engineering Metallurgy and Finite Element Analysis (FEA).

My role has a lot of variety and involvement in many varied engineering tasks, no 2 jobs are the same. Every day there is something new to learn.

How many years have you been with the business?

I started with the company when it was Corus in 2005 as a contractor, starting as a technical clerk; in 2006, I was taken on as a staff member.

What does your day-to-day role involve?

My day-to-day role is quite varied. Now as a manager, my responsibilities also include fully understanding the roles of my team as well as my own and overcoming any issues that might arise. It’s also an important aspect of my role to help each team member develop and achieve their potential.

My daily activities include liaising with various engineers at all levels for leak inspections, making recommendations, providing technical advice and managing workloads for the team. This can involve collating information, drawings, previous inspection reports, engineers’ knowledge and previous studies to enable risk-based inspections to be carried out.

Site visits with maintenance engineers continue to improve my overall understanding as well as that of the current conditions of the assets and mechanisms present. These site visits are essential to ensure knowledge and understanding of the plant, enabling me to write the inspection instruction and schedule this with our structural inspectors.

Another day, I could be reviewing the inspection results and understanding the data that’s been collated. The asset can then be assessed and the approximate life remaining can be determined. In certain circumstances, additional assessments may be required and to do this specialist engineering analysis techniques (Finite Element Analysis) would be used to carry out the task.

Having joined the company in 2005, I’m still enjoying the variety my role provides and the challenges that come with this!

Why do you enjoy working for British Steel?

I love my job and the variety every day brings. The opportunity to progress my career from technical to this senior role has been fantastic.

The role I’m in is rewarding. The people I work with in the office and on plant are supportive and motivated, and as a team we understand the condition of our assets. The pride and passion of people is infectious. 

What advice you would give to other people considering a career at British Steel?

British Steel has a lot of history and also a lot to offer anybody wanting an interesting, varied and exciting career.