Post-Apprenticeship at Moog – Tom L's Story

Thomas Lyon, Associate Manufacturing Engineer at Moog Aircraft Group

Before applying for an apprenticeship at Moog, Thomas had aspirations to go to university and study biology. After a heart-to-heart with his dad, he realised that his talents would be better placed in a more practical setting. Now, as an Associate Manufacturing Engineer, Thomas has been able to forge a career path with plenty of potential.

Thomas’ apprenticeship took him just over three-and-a-half years to complete, where he also finished his HNC. After his initial interviews, he found Moog’s friendly atmosphere encouraging, and was keen to progress through the company once his apprenticeship was over. In his current role, Thomas has a greater impact on how processes are implemented at Moog.

“My daily routine is to programme the machines we use on the shop floor – so initially, I was operating and setting the machines, and running the programmes that the people in the office have created. Now I’ve gone up into the offices, I create those programmes myself,” Thomas said.

“In a day, I can be implementing new processes, or working on procedural improvement, so it’s all to do with efficiency. It could be that if the shop floor has any problems or if they want to change some parts or aspects of programmes then we look at how we can improve things and how we can change them,” Thomas explained. “This could even be looking into new tooling, or new methods of machining.”

As with all Moog apprentices, Thomas started out on the shop floor himself, which has given him an important base knowledge, which made his transition much smoother: “I didn’t realise how much there is to learn, but I’m getting there! From being on the shop floor, I gained machine knowledge and product knowledge, so that helps a lot carrying that through into my job now.”

“When it came to shifting from the shop floor to the offices, it was easier than I thought as you know the Moog way in effect – so you know how everyone works, and you know the processes. It might sound silly but getting on with your colleagues helps a lot – I knew a lot of people in the offices already, so I wasn’t changing scenery too much,” Thomas explained.

Having that shop floor background means that Thomas has the best of both worlds, and it makes working at Moog even more enjoyable. “Walking round, you can always have a conversation with someone. You’re never afraid to ask anyone a question because there’s an environment you can be comfortable in,” Thomas said.

With ambitions to progress through the company, Thomas is looking forward to what the future holds. “I’m getting my head down and cracking on, and in the next few years, I’m hoping to transition to a Manufacturing Engineer. Starting at Moog, I knew it was going to be a career, not just a job, and I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made so far,” Tom concluded. 

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