21 Jan 2022

Stephen's chartering a bright future

Rail Technologies Manager Stephen Lewis has recently qualified as a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

The IMechE is one of the fastest-growing professional engineering institutions in the world with more than 115,000 members in 140 countries.

Stephen said: “Becoming chartered is something that I’ve wanted to accomplish since completing my degree in Mechanical Engineering. Chartership was encouraged by the University of Hertfordshire as part of the route to becoming a professional engineer and I’ve been inspired ever since to achieve it.

“After completing my PhD in 2011, I joined the University of Sheffield as a research associate and worked on many projects in the field of Tribology [the science of friction, wear and lubrication], mainly within the area of wheel/rail interface.”

To attain chartership, engineers are required to complete an accredited engineering degree then gain sufficient professional experience and competence in the workplace. There are 5 main areas to prove competence at the required level of a Chartered Engineer. Stephen said: “One of these areas is a commitment to continuous professional development, something that I have made use of in my own career, always learning and developing.

“Throughout my career, I've written 14 journal papers and co-authored a further 12 publications. I've also presented my research at 11 international conferences and have been cited 535 times.”

Stephen started his British Steel career in November 2017 as a Consultant in the Rail Technologies department, where he quickly got up to speed on topics such as rail site surveying for rail performance monitoring, rail metallurgy, forensic rail failure analysis techniques and rail welding development/techniques including flash butt welding and manual metal arc head repair. 

Four years later, Stephen now heads up the department and is keen to pass on the skills that he has learned to existing and future team members to keep delivering value to the business and its customers.

Stephen said: “I think it's really important to always be learning new skills and continuously improving so we can deliver the best possible customer service. Continuous learning is something that I'm encouraging the team to do. I still collaborate with the University of Sheffield on research projects that the company is involved with and I still publish papers when I can, but I feel very much at home in an industrial/commercial environment.

“It’s great to be in a position where I can utilise my skills gained from academia to support the technical/commercial arm of British Steel’s rail business. And to be recognised with a mark of professionalism that reinforces my knowledge and expertise is a great honour.”

Rail Commercial Manager John Austin said: "Stephen’s drive and ambition to advance his knowledge and expertise are excellent examples of self-development and dedication. He utilises his talents to provide the highest level of technical and commercial service representing British Steel and he's well-respected in the UK rail industry.

"Congratulations Stephen, on your hard work and commitment."