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Rob HolleyMeet Rob, one of our Production Database Engineer.

How long have you been at BA?

I joined in 1993 when I worked on the ramp in Birmingham, when BA had a base there. I was involved with aircraft push-backs, towing, de-icing and loading. After six years, I moved to Engineering, working in the stores.
Then in 2002, having met a Scottish lass, I transferred up to Glasgow and continued as a material supplier at BA’s short-haul heavy maintenance facility.
I’d always been interested in engineering, so as a New Year resolution I started a BEng (Hons) course in 2006 with the Open University in Structural Engineering and Mechanics. It took almost nine years, but I graduated last year with first-class honours. Thanks to my studies, I have been able to branch out into more technically focused roles.

What do you do?

I am a Production Database Engineer. Our team is responsible for monitoring defects on the A320 fleet from six months prior to the aircraft coming into the hangar for major maintenance checks. We investigate any defects; prepare job instruction cards and any modification instructions.

At the moment, I am three months into a development secondment, working as a Technical Engineer. This involves liaising with Airbus on any repairs that aren’t in the manual and producing technical documentation from the manufacturer’s response.

What do you most enjoy?

Working in a team. Engineering involves technicians and engineers from lots of different disciplines working together. Their knowledge, skill and professionalism always impress me.
I’d like to learn more about the business. I’ve been here for 20 years and there’s still much to learn. 

What has been the biggest challenge to date?

I had a support role secondment based in the hangar, which involved looking into technical queries. BAMG used to handle both Airbus and Boeing 737s and the manufacturers’ manuals each had their own nuances, and switching between them was challenging. This coupled with my studies, meant I was on a very steep learning curve.

What has been your best day at work so far?

When I was at Birmingham, the US Ryder Cup team flew out on Concorde. That was not an aircraft that visited regularly, so it attracted a big crowd. I don’t think I’ve been involved in a push-back in front of so many pairs of eyes before or since.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

Until recently, it would have been studying. I’ve sacrificed a lot of family time over the years, up to 30 hours a week on top of my job by the end of the course. When I finished my degree, my eight year-old daughter said, “As you got such a good grade, I’ll forgive you for studying my entire life.” I had been tempted to start a Masters, but my family wouldn’t forgive me. I can now get back to my love of hill walking in the Highlands. Hopefully, this will be something we can all enjoy together.