15 minutes with… National Express Engineer Luke Mullally

IRTE Skills Challenge winner and National Express Bus Technical Engineer reveals what it’s like to work with the engineering excellence department

Luke was named Top Scoring Electric Driveline Technician at this year’s IRTE Skills Challenge

Why did you decide to become an engineer?

I have been working on vehicles since I was 15. I started at a family-run motorcycle and car audio business as a Saturday job and then moved onto HGVs and coach and bus when I left school. After six years on the shop floor I decided to move into a more technical role to challenge myself to be the best I could be. I have been in my current role with National Express for almost five months now.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

It tends to start at 0700hrs with answering emails and providing support to any of our 10 depots in the Midlands. As a team we try to have a catch up every morning so we all know what is going on and can support each other accordingly. I then aim to spend as much time as possible with the shop floor staff discussing and assessing problems with vehicles, tooling and processes that can then be improved and implemented.

Would you recommend others to do the same job?

Absolutely. Let’s face it, public transport is only going to get bigger and stronger. With such a focus on climate change it is more important than ever that public transport operators provide a reliable and effective service.

What is your favourite part of your role?

Learning about continually improving vehicle technologies, such as hybrid and full-electric vehicles.

What are some of the challenges of being an engineer?

The biggest challenge I have faced so far is the speed at which vehicle technologies change and trying to ensure our workforce stay up to speed with these changes so they can efficiently and effectively repair and maintain our fleet.

Views on the IRTE Skills Challenge?

The Skills Challenge is a brilliant way to test technicians from across the industry and to ensure that we represent the vast skills base in our industry.

How did you feel to be named Top Scoring Electric Driveline Technician at this year’s IRTE Skills Challenge?

Shocked (excuse the pun). It was a good feeling to receive the award.

Would you recommend others to take part in the challenge? 

I would 100% recommend as many people as possible to try the Skills Challenge. It really pushes your knowledge and it is a brilliant event, both as a team and an individual.

How should someone prepare for the Skills Challenge?

Ask questions and try to learn something new every day. It is very important to share knowledge among your colleagues and asking questions is the easiest way to learn how things work.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

In five years, I would love to still be in the technical department at National Express, but in a higher-level role.