R&D profile: Shaun Hobson

Shaun Hobson is Wire Rod Lead in our Research & Development team. He joined the company in 1985 as an apprentice. Find out more about his journey...

Please tell us about your first role in British Steel and the journey you've taken to your current one

I joined British Steel’s Junior Apprentice Scheme in 1985, beginning work at the R&D Laboratories. During this time as a technician, I worked mainly in the Machinability, Mechanical Testing and Metallography Laboratories. I chose this career path rather than the conventional A-Level route as it allowed me to combine both employment and further education.

After attaining my HNC in Metallurgy, I became a full-time British Steel sponsored student at Leeds University studying Metallurgy, which incorporated summer placements in R&D, in various departments. After this, I progressed to the graduate programme and completed various departmental placements including research into engineering steels, as well as company secondments to Stocksbridge Melting Shop and Shotton Cold Mill. I have worked as an R&D Researcher in the Wire Rod Team since 1995.

During this time, I have seen the business evolve to the company we are now and have been in my current role as Section Lead of the Wire Rod Research team since 2017.

How many years have you been with the business?

Including my time at university, I've now been with British Steel for 35 years (as of August 2020).

What does your day-to-day role involve?

My current role as Section Lead means my day-to-day duties are varied and diverse, which keeps the job interesting. I can be occupied with administrative tasks, project and people management, assisting with research grant proposals, meeting with our sponsored students and other academia or dealing with the more technically challenging issues with the technical account team at Scunthorpe Rod Mill and our downstream customers.

My team is also involved with a number of collaborative developments with key Wire Rod customers, which requires elements of project management and research.

Why do you enjoy working for British Steel?

I enjoy the varied technical challenges of Wire Rod research and the fact that we deal with a full range of carbon steels for a large number of customers and wide variety of applications, no 2 days are the same. The markets and sectors we serve are dynamic and working with customers to deliver new products to market allows me to continually stretch and expand my metallurgical knowledge.

The good humour, experience and support of the team we work with plays a large role in making my job so enjoyable.

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

If you are looking for a role which is varied, with the opportunity for both practical and theoretical development, cross-functional working and a company that is investing for the future, a role with British Steel could be the one for you.

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