5 May 2017

Convert’s ‘Bright Spark’ wins electronic engineering award

Convert Ltd, the UK’s leading manufacturer of cable looms and harnesses, is celebrating after Quality and Engineering Manager, Josh Boakes, won a coveted Bright Sparks award for electronic engineering.

Organized by Electronics Weekly, in partnership with RS Components, the Bright Sparks programme is designed to celebrate the brightest and most talented young electronic engineers in the UK today.

Twenty-five year old Josh, who has worked for the Kent-based electrical engineering company for five years, received his statuette at a celebratory lunch at the Houses of Parliament along with twenty eight other young engineers.

The selection panel - drawn from experts across the industry -  included: Isabella Mascarenhas (Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Young Professionals Engagement Manager); Tony Fish (co-founder FabLab London); Paul Hide (COO, techUK); Dr Lucy Rogers (science writer and presenter); Lindsley Ruth (CEO, RS Components) and Richard Wilson (editor, Electronics Weekly).

Josh initially joined Convert as a part-time apprentice in 2011 having left school at 19 with 10 GCSEs and 3 A-levels. Josh opted not to go to University, deciding instead to pursue a career in electronics by gaining hands-on experience. Five years on he has diligently climbed the career ladder to become Convert’s Quality and Engineering Manager.

Commenting on his award, Josh Boakes, said: “When I started working at Convert as an apprentice it never crossed my mind that I’d be receiving a national award, so to be selected as a Bright Spark is fantastic news! Electrical engineering is a great career and I’d encourage anyone interested in science, technology engineering or maths to consider it. I really enjoy solving electrical engineering challenges and being paid to do it is a bonus! Convert is an amazing company to work for and Dave and the team have supported and encouraged me every step of the way.”

Judge, Isabella Mascarenhas from the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said: “It’s refreshing to see an apprentice join the ranks of the Bright Sparks candidates. Josh’s example highlights how effective this route can be for those not enamoured by the thought of university, learning on the job can be just as valuable and produce exceptional young engineers like Josh.”

Dave Lord, Convert’s Managing Director, said: “This award is well deserved! From the outset, Josh’s aptitude, can-do attitude and enthusiasm made him stand out from his peers.   He’s a true innovator when it comes to designing manufacturing work processes and he provides top class advice to designers on what will and won’t work.  He continually looks at things in a creative way to ensure we meet our customer’s technical requirements. We are very lucky to have him on our team and I’m confident he’ll continue to play a vital role in shaping the future of electronic engineering in the years to come.”

Richard Wilson, editor of Electronics Weekly, and one of the judges, said: “If one attribute singles out the Bright Sparks from their fellow engineers it is that they take nothing for granted when it comes to developing their careers in the electronics and technology industries.  They are not satisfied with the knowledge they gain at university or college; they are highly self-motivated young individuals who are always looking to develop new skills through personal projects and self-directed learning.”

Operating in the automotive, public transport and scientific/medical sectors, Convert is based in Edenbridge, Kent.  The company increased turnover by 20% last year to £1.5 million and employs 30 staff.  It manufactures wire cables and harnesses for car head and rear lights, passenger gates at railway stations and a range of scientific equipment, boasting some top industry names amongst its customers including Wipac, Bibby Scientific Ltd, GKN Hybrid Power, Cubic Transportation and OEM Automatic Ltd, as well as leading luxury and sports car manufacturers. 


For more information on Bright Sparks, visit: Bright Sparks & Interview



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