A young University of Leicester student has set a new record of success by undertaking a two-year Industrial Placement as part of his studies.

Mebs Ahmad completed two years of his BEng degree in the University's award-winning Faculty of Engineering before gaining an industrial placement - which is normally for one year - with Caterpillar (U.K.) Ltd of Desford.

But the enterprising engineer is now well into his second year at the construction plant manufacturers and faces the prospect of returning to his studies, and the Finals, next Autumn.

He joined Caterpillar in the Autumn of 1997 and has been working with the Backhoe Loader Engineering team since. With little previous experience he admitted at the start of the placement that it would be a difficult time bringing himself up to speed with the rest of the engineers, but said that it would be a great challenge to meet.

Mebs, who lives in the Braunstone area of Leicester, said: "I am working with both, the mechanical and electrical aspects of a new generation of vehicle being designed at Caterpillar, for which I have also gained a Drive & Test license.

"It is a wonderful opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge acquired at Leicester University and at Caterpillar to help keep the company at the cutting-edge technology. I am using the latest and advanced 3-D modelling techniques to improve component design and to reduce the overall time required for design. This helps to produce well-built, highly reliable products - all the time, every time!

"Caterpillar (U.K.) Ltd is a growing and blooming company with a long history and an excellent worldwide reputation for highly versatile and highly reliable machines. A lot of exciting projects have been going on here, including the Plant turn-around, the new resin-topped factory flooring, our striving towards "Class A" status and our new Paint Plant, Metokote (U.K.), all of which will help us to become more efficient and to improve the quality and working lives of our machines, as well as giving us the vital leading edge over our tough competitors.

"I am a student of design engineering and my work here has involved designing both, electrical components and harnesses for the Backhoe Loader. This is multi-purpose machine with a large front bucket for grading, dozing loading materials into a dumper truck, as well as a versatile hoe at the rear, which is an impressive digging feature. Other features, of a great many, include Ride Control, All Wheel Steer, Powershift Transmission and Air Conditioning.

"I have been working on both, current production and futuristic programmes, and I am the first person to be involved in a unique aspect of design on this equipment which is something I am very proud of. I also feel very proud and privileged to have been able to offer my services to a great company like Caterpillar - I only feel disappointed that I couldn't be here longer! I like to set standards so that others can follow and use it as a means of motivating themselves in their own work. It will be tough going back to my studies at Leicester University - but I will enjoy the challenge!

Mebs, who formerly attended Fullhurst Community College and Gateway VI Form College, hopes to carve out a career at Caterpillar.

His tutor, Mr Colin Morrison, on visiting Mebs at work, said that he could sense the appeal of a company like Caterpillar with its strong team spirit, award-winning safe working environments and the efficient Plant and office layout. The scope of the current design tools available within the company are second to none. "Mebs is very fortunate that he can utilise Caterpillar's impressive facilities and resources during his exciting project," said Mr Morrison.

Mebs has thoroughly enjoyed working as part of the Engineering team for the BHL, the Flagship of the Building Construction Products Division, and which has seen so many occasions of success including reaching record low values of DRF (Dealer Repair Frequency) and just recently, celebrating the manufacture of the 100,000th Backhoe Loader.

In the short time that Mebs has been working at Caterpillar, he has also taught himself a great many things including the Capt/x 2-D CAD package, the 3-D modelling package Pro-Engineer : Part, Assembly and Drawing modes, the Tube Design package in Pro-Lines and the Pro-Cabling package. In addition to this he has wisely invested his own time learning even more new things including completing the Open University's "Manufacture Materials Design" course, learning in detail the Unix operating system and creating a model of a self-designed car on Pro-Engineer.


For more information, messages for Mebs Ahmad can be left on 01455 826822 or contact Colin Morrison on 0116 252 2555.

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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 02 July 1999 09:59
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