Does modern engineering need Engineers or Programmers?

Jacek joined Fathom in April 2020 in the role of Analysis Engineer during the UKs first Covid-19 lockdown – a strange and challenging time where everyone had to adapt to a new world of ‘working from home’ and bringing a new set of challenges in managing engineering projects. Nevertheless, Fathom adapted and grew. We have always strived to improve engineering project delivery through task automation and efficient data controls, and this is why we were excited to bring Jacek’s skills to the team.

Jacek’s background in engineering, with a BEng in Power Engineering (Fluid Flow Machinery) and an MEng in Ocean Engineering (Subsea Technology) made him an obvious choice to support Fathom engineering projects, but a key factor in bringing Jacek into our team was his passion for and skills in optimisation and programming. This was apparent from his Master’s thesis ‘parametric optimisation and design of the semi-sub rotary crane lattice’ (fully written in Ansys APDL) but also was developed further in his professional background in business analytics and his drive towards his 2nd Masters in Computer Science with Data Analytics.

Since Jacek joined, he has had the opportunity to work on many wide-ranging and interesting Fathom projects including leading the analysis of the world’s largest pre-piling template for offshore windfarm foundation construction, implementing novel methods for riser analysis, undertaking blast analysis for offshore oil & gas safety equipment, delivering FEA and non-linear buckling analysis for downhole and intervention tooling, and validating sea-fastening designs.

Each of these projects had their own unique set of challenges and Fathom developed bespoke workflows and methods suited to deliver these scopes as efficiently as possible. A big part of that efficiency has been driven by Jacek’s skills to take our engineering process automation to new heights by advancing our in-house tools commonly developed in Mathcad, Excel and Python and improving efficiency through improved coding, more advanced database management and in some cases developing completely new algorithms. Working closely with our Technical Director, Krzysztof Mackojc, they have developed in-house methods and software which can generate, solve and post-process/code check thousands of load cases in a matter of milliseconds.

As part of his training plan, Jacek undertook NAFEMS courses in Structural Optimisation in FEA, and Non-linear FEA. However, much of Jacek’s professional development has been in-house, under the technical leadership of Krzysztof Mackojc, where he has been sharing his many years of research and experience in solving and validating complex offshore and marine engineering challenges. On top of this all, Jacek has also found the time to work on his MSc in Computer Science where he is currently completing his thesis on the implementation of Artificial Intelligence in Structural Solvers, an exciting prospect truly at the bleeding edge of engineering automation.

Do we need an Engineer or a Programmer?

Clearly for Fathom, the answer has to be both. Core to Fathom’s approach to engineering is applying automation and the possibilities of software development to work alongside and enhance ‘best-in-class’ engineering. We look forward to sharing more in our insight series about why we believe that digitalisation should be a fundamental aspect of all engineering businesses, and we’d love to hear from other businesses and engineers about how you are building-in a digital mindset to the business of engineering.