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Name: Richard Quelch

Qualifications: HNC in Mechanical and Structural Engineering

Years of working experience: 34 years

Job Title: Mechanical Design Engineer

Speciality: Aerospace

Where are you from?

Originally from Southampton, but moved into the West Country about 20 years ago. I also lived in Germany, Israel and Brazil for some time, due to work requirements.


Do you have any hobbies?

I love fly-fishing and outdoor pursuits in general, such as gardening; Somerset is a great place for all of these!

I also just recently finished working on an innovative Facebook development project called Aquila – a 42 m unmanned solar-powered drone, designed to fly at 90,000 feet , whose goal is to bring the Internet to remote reaches of the world where there is no satellite coverage. The wing is controlled from the ground and flies in around 60 km radius – providing coverage to huge areas. I thought it was a fun and worthwhile project and offered my company’s services; we became a part of a propulsion unit team. It is currently in a test phase, but the plan is to manufacture 100’s of these to employ all over the world.

Find out more about project Aquila here

Aquilla drone during test flight

Are there some other innovative projects you have been involved in?

Errrm… Yes. Unfortunately can’t mention them in any depth as they were for the Defence Department and are secret. (laughs)


Sounds like you’ve had an interesting career path , can you tell us a bit about it?

Sure. I guess it all started with an apprenticeship with Siemens. I was part of a project developing a towed array sonar for the marine industry – a piece of defence mechanism used on Submarines. I came out with a HNC in Mechanical and Structural Engineering. I then went on to work for Airbus, Embrear & Dornier – on and off for many years and I ended up working all over the world including Germany, Australia, Brazil and Israel. I was part of their teams developing the A340 and also the A380, from conception to finish. Previous and subsequent jobs were with AgustaWestland Helicopters in Yeovil, where I was involved in the EH 101 and also AW159 – “Wildcat” development – the latest craft currently being deployed by the military.


Airbus A340 and A380, Helicopters: EH 101 and AW159 “Wildcat”

What interested you in a job at Rotec?

Well, it’s local, I’ve been travelling most of my life and at 55 I would like to stick to my home (laughs).

I think Rotec has a great future, it’s a company that will expand I think and probably at the correct rate and that appealed to me. Also I enjoy the management as well as the practical side of the job. Rotec have invested in innovative 3D Solidworks software and would like to see it used to it’s full potential and since I have over 15 years of experience of using Solidworks as well as other systems it was a good fit. I am also looking forward to working on some new Rotec product ranges the company are looking to introduce, which I think is very progressive!


If you enjoyed this article you might like these: Engineering Talks 1.1: Interview with an apprentice or Engineering Talks 1.2 : Women in Engineering


Author: Sarka Humpolcova

Date: 24/11/2016