This month, meet David Treleaven...

David is a CNC Machinist Apprentice at BEL Engineering, a division of British Engines, and member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. David is a passionate member of The Common Room Youth Board and an ambassador for young people in the sector, encouraging young people to follow STEM and technical careers through apprenticeships.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your engineering journey so far.

I’m David Treleaven and I’m 20 years old. I’m currently in my 4th and final year of training to be a CNC Milling Machinist as part of a Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship with BEL Engineering, part of the British Engines Group.

At the moment BEL Engineering are supporting the UK through the Corona Virus pandemic and have secured contracts to manufacture components for the many ventilators that have been ordered by the UK government; I’m currently working on this project which makes a change from my usual day job, as the parts we are currently working with are nylon, whereas our business is used to machining metals!

Photo of David Treleaven

Can you remember when you first thought about becoming an engineer and what sparked your interest?

I originally wanted to become a British Engines apprentice as I didn’t feel that Sixth Form was for me, though I enjoyed school and was doing well in STEM subjects. When I found out that British Engines were advertising for apprentices on their website I was really drawn to the idea of working for a well-established, local, family run company which had a promising apprenticeship scheme, so I decided to apply!

After two interviews and various aptitude tests, I was offered a place; I spent my first 3 months learning basic Turning, Milling and Fitting at what was then called the Engineering Training Centre North East – located on Scotswood Road in Newcastle. I now work within the business, with one day a week spent at TDR College to complete my academic studies. My apprenticeship also includes membership to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers!

What excited you most about working with the Common Room?

I was really excited to get involved in a new project, and when I heard about the plans for The Common Room, I thought it would be a great thing to offer the North East – a way to show our Industrial Heritage and that we are still a major player in engineering in the modern world!

Can you tell us a little bit about the role you play on the youth board?

So far on the Youth Board, I’ve supported The Common Room’s Graft and Glory Exhibition on its tour of the region, particularly at St. Hilda’s Colliery in South Shields and the service that was held for the 180th anniversary of the Pit Disaster. I’ve also enjoyed being part of the team that worked on the Programme Away Days at Redhills, Durham Miners Hall, and at Caterpillar’s Peterlee site, where I was able to build my skills with both the Youth Board as well as the main Board. By the time the building opens we’ll be able to work effectively together to support the smooth running of future projects.

What have you enjoyed most about working with The Common Room, any highlights so far?

I’ve had the privilege of attending talks from many inspiring engineering individuals at The Common Room events, and this has been a great learning opportunity, covering topics from engineering, to climate change and robotics!

What are you most looking forward to when the building opens?

I’m looking forward to stepping into the building for the first time, as this is something I’ve not yet had the chance to do; being surrounded by all of the historical engineering artefacts; I look forward to having a nice drink in the café, the 5|Quarter and to collaborating with the Youth and main Boards on what the next steps involve, as part of The Common Room’s future vision.

What are your ambitions for the future and what is the change you would most like to see in the world?

I would like to see manufacturing bounce back in the UK. I also would like to see further innovation and more refined, modern processes introduced in the new industrial revolution, led by the North East – where it all started back in the Victorian age.

What will be your beverage of choice in our new café/bar the 5|Quarter?

Depending on the time of day, I’d love a black Americano or a Jack Daniel’s Whiskey and Coke!

David is a valued member of the Youth Board; along with his continued enthusiasm, David offers a great deal in skills and knowledge that will help shape the future of The Common Room.

We recently recruited three new members to the board, to read more about it, click here.