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Our People

People who rise to the top of our company are driven by learning, achievement and high-quality goals.

Get the inside view on what life at General Dynamics UK is really like from some of our people.

John

Role: R&D Systems Lead Engineer
Location: Oakdale, Wales

What is a typical week?

I lead a small team of six on an R&D engineering project. One day is never the same as the next. I work with R&D directors to shape and agree deliverables, set our vision and objectives and provide personal leadership for our close-knit team. The programme offers a real intellectual challenge and the chance to work with cutting edge-technologies.

What are the highs and lows?

I really enjoy the interaction both internally and also externally with potential customers. I get involved with marketing and presenting the programme and get out and about to understand customers’ operational context. I can’t really think of any lows!

Where are you based and what’s it like?

I’m at Oakdale but live in Monmouthshire, a 30 minute drive away. The area is breathtakingly beautiful and is in easy reach of Bristol, Cheltenham and Cardiff. London is an easy 2 hour drive. I live in a very rural environment with easy city links and the local schools are excellent.

Sarah

Role: Graduate Trainee
Location: Oakdale, Wales

What is a typical week?

There is no typical week – just lots of variety. I’ve worked on two or three projects since I’ve been here for periods of between six and 12 months. I started in software testing then moved to more technical work integrating new software. I also gained some formal qualifications that the company sponsored me for, which I’m now using.

What are the highs and lows?

One of the main benefits has been changing teams and projects every few months. You learn new working methodologies and gain a lot of experience in different technologies. You also meet a good network of people across the business. Graduates carry out research and present their findings to the Vice Presidents of business units – that can be quite nerve wracking! It’s good to get access to such senior people though because you learn a lot.

Where are you based and what’s it like?

I’m at Oakdale in Wales and live in Cardiff, which is only a 35 minute commute away in the opposite direction to the heavy traffic. The bars and restaurants are a big plus and there are plenty of good houses and apartments to rent.

David

Role: Business Development Manager
Location: Oakdale, Wales

What is a typical week?

My role involves developing and implementing strategies to win new business. My work is really varied as one day I can be writing a new business proposal and the next I am gathering market intelligence to identify future opportunities and potential clients. I also plan regional specific marketing campaigns to support international sales activities in our targeted regions.

What are the highs and lows?

One of the things I really like is the relationship management and diversity of people I come into contact with. I enjoy meeting new people in the international defence environment and working closely with existing long term customers, so it is really rewarding. I suppose the amount of travel I have to do could be seen by some as a low, but for me it is one of the things that makes the job exciting.

Where are you based and what’s it like?

I’m based at Oakdale in Wales. I think Cardiff is a great place; it’s a modern, up and coming city with excellent restaurants and bars. I am a keen sailor, and enjoy visiting Cardiff Bay, which offers excellent facilities.

Alison

Role: Commercial Manager
Location: Hastings, East Sussex

What is a typical week?

My work involves both domestic and international travel so I am often in different countries dealing with a range of commercial issues. A typical week does not exist! Broadly speaking, my role splits into three areas: providing commercial leadership and guidance during contract negotiation and implementation; ensuring our agreements are legally compliant and carrying out commercial risk assessments and mitigations. I’m also responsible for achieving targets for my business area and resolving any contract disputes. As you can see – it is quite varied!

What are the highs and lows?

For me, one for the best things about my job is the variety and the great teamwork mentality across the company. It’s really rewarding getting involved in contract and agreement negotiations and achieving the best possible results through a strong, committed team. The defence industry is fast moving and I enjoy being at the leading-edge of understanding commercial issues and risk mitigation. One of the lows for me is spending so much time in airports – but I am getting used to it now!

Where are you based and what’s it like?

When I’m in the UK I am based in Hastings. I’m a keen sailor so I love being on the south coast. I live in a marina development in Eastbourne which is an easy 30-minute commute. The area has beautiful countryside, lovely villages and stunning cliff-top walks.

Duncan

Role: Field Support Engineer
Location: Bovington, Dorset

What is a typical week?

I work on Bowman, the tactical combat communications system for the British Armed Forces. Platforms undergo periodic maintenance, so I go in with other engineers to assess, manage, remove or replace the installations. That involves system diagnosis, recording and then applying corrective actions necessary to restore full functionality and ensure they pass re-certification tests. Sometimes I get called out to other MoD projects to perform similar maintenance.

What are the highs and lows?

It is a huge challenge, but really rewarding to be involved in such a complex programme. I enjoy being at the forefront of such cutting-edge technology. My work is very detailed and methodical so you have to be constantly aware of protocols and be meticulous about how you record data, which fits my personality perfectly! The company is very supportive of training employees in additional qualifications relating to their work, which is great because I believe there is always something new to learn. I can’t think of any lows – sorry.

Where are you based and what’s it like?

I am field-based in Bovington, Dorset. It’s a really beautiful rural area and I live in nearby Poole, which is only 13 miles away. It has the best of all worlds, with countryside for walking and a thriving town with shops, pubs and schools. The village of Wool is only two miles from Bovington, so if I need to pop out to the high street at lunch-time it’s convenient. I like the community spirit between the military and civilian population in Bovington – there are always jointly organised events going on. The seaside resorts of Bournemouth, Weymouth and Swanage are all less than 25 miles away, which is great in the summer.

Paul

Role: Programme Manager
Location: Hastings, East Sussex

What is a typical week?

My work is quite varied because I move around different teams and it depends which phase of the programme lifecycle it is. Basically, I manage and execute programmes in any phase from the initial assessment to development, production, support and disposal. I get to liaise with specialist areas across our matrix organisation as I prepare and implement work schedules, plan programmes and resources and track progress. I also monitor, manage and mitigate risks.

What are the highs and lows?

I had worked in smaller organisations before so it took me a while to get to grips with the matrix organisation but everyone was so helpful and friendly when I started that it was never really an issue. There are plenty of highs in my job – I’m quite competitive so I love setting challenging goals and working with teams to achieve them. I’m accountable for a programme’s performance, so it’s quite pressured at times and I get a buzz when we exceed expectations.

Where are you based and what’s it like?

I live in a small village about 20 minutes from Hastings but can get into town easily. I like working on the South Coast as I have access to the sea, countryside and lots of historical sites. It’s also easy and quick to get into London for business or leisure, which is great.

Peter

Role: Senior Software Engineer
Location: Oakdale, Wales

What is a typical week?

It is much easier to describe a typical month than a week. My role is based around analysing customer requirements and developing appropriate design solutions against an agreed budget and schedule. To do that, I spend quite a lot of time liaising with customers and other internal and external subsystem developers. Planning the costs, schedule and resources for a programme takes up as much time as the integration and testing, because there are key stakeholders to keep informed and a multi disciplined team to work with. It’s important we ensure quality standards and processes are adhered to.

What are the highs and lows?

I really enjoy problem solving and being part of a team, so my job is perfect because it involves providing technical input to important projects and working with team members to discuss the impacts of potential solutions. Another plus is being part of a project from start to finish and seeing it through from analysing, developing and getting buy-in for a solution through to implementation, integration and testing. There are no lows for me.

Where are you based and what’s it like?

I live in Aberdare – approximately 30 minutes drive to Oakdale. The house prices are low and the housing is high standard. It has great sport facilities, two huge supermarkets and is on the outskirts of the Brecon Beacons National Park. For more shops I can go to Cardiff and for surfing I go to Swansea – both have excellent train links.

Emily

Role: Systems Engineer
Location: Oakdale, Wales

What is a typical week?

I work on a £2 billion programme that provides secure voice, situational awareness and full data and tactical internet capabilities for land, sea and air platforms. We are looking at a rolling series of capability releases and I am involved in the system infrastructure, which is central to underpinning the future for this programme. There is no such thing as a typical week but my job involves providing systems engineering support to the management team and ensuring we adhere to protocols, processes and quality standards.

What are the highs and lows?

It feels great to be on such an important programme that is at the leading edge of defence industry technology. I like being part of a company that is so open to new ideas and ways of thinking and that rewards hard work with autonomy and trust. It is a great team environment. A low for me is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want! It’s sometimes hard to ‘switch off’ when I enjoy my work so much.

Where are you based and what’s it like?

I’m based at Oakdale in South Wales but live in Cardiff, which is only a 30 minute commute. I’m a city person at heart and like the great choice of activities, restaurants and bars. I can go sailing at Cardiff Bay or escape to the Brecon Beacons if I want some peace and quiet.

Rebecca

Role: Accounts Assistant
Location: Oakdale, Wales

What is a typical week?

I provide support for our purchase ledger, so my typical week involves entering a high volume of invoices – on average around 600. I also deal with invoice related queries from across our sites by e-mail and telephone, or in person if it is a local issue. Between entering invoices I file them and reconcile statements. If it’s my turn on the rota I open the daily post.

What are the highs and lows?

I’m quite organised so I really enjoy the autonomy of arranging my own workload and getting all the invoices in order. It’s also a real sense of accomplishment when I get to deal with a query and solve it for someone in the business. I suppose a low is when I am halfway through filing my invoices and the phone rings – I sometimes have to write down where I was up to so I don’t get lost! It’s such a friendly team though, so that makes up for it.

Where are you based and what’s it like?

I’m based in Oakdale and live in the countryside. It’s a beautiful area and the quality of life is much better than when I lived in London. I can go to Cardiff for shopping and nightlife, while Bristol and Cheltenham are easily accessible too. When I visit my old friends in London it takes less than two hours to drive there.

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