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Teacher Interview: Bradley Mellor

At UTC Leeds our teachers and students have unique relationships that create a working environment of mutual respect. Both teachers and students wear the same uniform and communicate on an even playing field, with our staff’s vast experience and expertise allowing our students all the extra support and input that they need to succeed. Read our student-teacher interviews for an insight into this dynamic and into our team’s experience in STEM.

Simba (Year 12 student): What did you do before joining UTC Leeds?

Bradley Mellor (Director of Engineering): I started off as an apprentice and worked my way up. I worked in the food industry and actually ended up with a career at Haribo in Pontefract. I decided that, as I was doing more and more training rather than engineering, that I should maybe get into teaching, so that’s what I did! I taught engineering at a school in Barnsley for 12 years but then found out about UTC Leeds, and decided it was too good an opportunity to miss!

Simba: What would you say is the most interesting project you’ve ever worked on?

Bradley: That’s a tough one, I’ve worked on quite a few! I did a roller kiln roller refurbishment which involved cranes, because the actual rollers were about 2 metres long with a 300-mill diameter, and they weighed a lot. It involved taking about 200 of these out of a massive conveyor that went through a kiln. The complexity of it all was crazy - we built specialist fabricated ramps to get the rollers out of the buildings, and it was a 24-hour operation, so that was the most interesting one because of the logistics of it. We had to design all the different parts to get the rollers out, and we made chutes and everything, and we got it all turned around in time, which was really good!

Simba: What’s the biggest engineering/science/maths/technology challenge you’ve ever faced?

Bradley: I think for me it was when I started my degree in engineering, because I came from no GCSEs, and it was a case of ‘can I really do this?’ I had the will to do it but did I have the knowledge? Thankfully, I did! The second challenge was probably starting at UTC Leeds – being in charge of engineering, it was a case of how do we get everything together? I think we’ve done really well in the first year. We’ve got the AGFA project that we’ve just finished where we collaborated with chemistry, maths and english, so that was a highlight!

Simba: What would you say is your favourite part of UTC Leeds?

Bradley: I would say it’s the two rooms I teach in, the CAD room and the CNC room, because they’ve got the 3D printers and the CNC machine. It’s where I live most of the time!