Tom Smith

Tom, what is your role at MIDFIX?
A bit of everything, but I’m officially a CAD Technician working in the Engineering & Design Department.

What do you do on a typical day?
I switch on my PC, grab a fresh coffee and eagerly await what the day brings. It is difficult to plan my day here because it is so varied. I have long-term projects which take up most of my time, but we also have a lot of urgent requests which come in daily, so I have several jobs to juggle; it’s about keeping the plates spinning.

What’s been your favourite project to date?
We’ve been working on a project since December 2017 for a global pharmaceutical company, and so far, I’ve designed hundreds of support structures in over a hundred different areas of the building. We’ve supported chilled and low/high-grade hot water pipework for AHUs, steam systems, stainless pipework for medical gases, plant, and ductwork and cable containment; from the basement right up to the rooftop! A variety of calculations and reports have had to be done to satisfy the client, which has really helped to expand my knowledge. One area of interest for me is thermal expansion and guiding of pipework.

What do you most enjoy about working at MIDFIX?
I love to learn, no matter what the subject. The engineering team here is currently transitioning over to Autodesk Inventor, to give us greater efficiency and capability with our designs and calculations – it’s a learning curve, but I’m enjoying it.

Do you have any advice for people wanting a career in this field?
Having excellent attention to detail is imperative, particularly as there’s a lot of different standards to learn and follow. You need to enjoy the technical aspects; I’ve been playing around with CAD as soon as I learnt to use a PC, hence this career move felt like a natural progression.

Common sense is important, as it’s such a high-pressure industry, being able to quickly realise if something will work or not saves countless hours of revisions.

Finally, you should always be willing to learn. As technology evolves, there is always something new to master. There are promises of AI-based design on the horizon, new advances in 3D printing technology, and ever-improving materials design. Sure, they’ll take time to become mainstream, but it’s still an exciting time to work in this field.

“you should always be willing to learn. As technology evolves, there is always something new to master.”

Tom Smith – MIDFIX