Behind every great team is a great coach. But behind every new England Rugby World Cup shirt, revolutionary golf club or high-performance tennis racket is a team of technicians. Just like Steve and Max.
When they were younger both Steve and Max were more interested in the practical side of things – while Max enjoyed building Airfix model kits, Steve was designing booby traps for his Action Men.
After leaving school, Max studied a qualification in electronic and electrical engineering technology at college before continuing to do his HND in electrical engineering. Steve took a different path, joining a small engineering company as an apprentice before going back to college to study for a CNC programming and machining qualification.
These days, they both work in Loughborough University’s Sports Technology Institute. Their work is incredibly varied, and that’s what Max loves about it. “I like the fact that a technician role allows you to get involved with variety of tasks. I already had a great passion for sport – this job allows me to combine that with my passion for engineering.”
The range of projects they work on is huge. Steve and Max provide day to day support to the academics and students in the Sports Technology Institute, as well as working with major sporting brands including Nike, Adidas and Speedo to improve equipment and athlete performance.
Most recently, they’ve been involved in projects supporting the development and testing of the Adidas Euro 2016 football and testing the safety of the new British standard cricket helmet. In the run up to the Rio Olympics, Steve and Max have both been working with the Team GB Paralympic tennis team on how best to transport their specialised wheelchairs to the Games.
Steve really enjoys the problem solving element of his job, although his approach is not always orthodox. “Some very simple engineering solutions have created outstanding results. I have my best ideas and Eureka moments in the bath!”
Both Steve and Max would recommend becoming a technician to young people. “The best thing about being a technician is being able to be part of the design, solve some problems and create something really great for the user. We get to work with all the major sporting brands and some great people – we have the freedom to design, create and see the product through to the very end.”
Max & Steve - Career Pathway
- Max: 1982
Left school with 7 GSE 'O' levels and studied for a BTEC Diploma in Electronic and Electrical Engineering Technology
Went to Teesside Polytechnic to study for a BTEC HND in Electronic Engineering and Computer Technology
First job as an Electronic Engineer designing, building and testing electronic circuits for a small electro/mechanical production company that produced small tablet hardness testing machines
Moved to a small company that built asphalt testing equipment for the civil engineer sector
Joined the Sports Technology Institute at Loughborough University working as a Sports Research Technician
Stats - Engineering technicians
Full Time Employed: 75,770
Part Time Employed: 3,893
Self Employed: 5,926
Total Employed: 85,589
Engineering technicians perform a variety of technical support functions to assist engineers with the design, development, operation, installation and maintenance of engineering systems and constructions.
Monster UK, Southampton
Jobg8 Limited, Southampton
reed.co.uk, Market Drayton