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My job explained: David Hogan, BAE Systems

David HoganDavid Hogan works for the defence, security and aerospace company BAE Systems. Find out how the Royal Navy launched his engineering career.

Could you briefly explain your job?

I manage the engineering capability strategic change programme with a value of £4m across UK, Saudi Arabia and Australia impacting 21,000 engineers.

  • Directing the development of Strategic Workforce Planning across the UK businesses.
  • Led the Employer's Working Group within the Royal Academy of Engineering's Technician Council.
  • Created and managed the Engineering Capability Development Framework and associated L&D including Fellowship scheme, Engineering Excellence Awards and professional registration working with the major Institutions.
  • Delivered the overall engineering strategy refresh programme working with the University of Cambridge.
  • Delivered the 16 core engineering L&D interventions with over 1,200 delegates across the UK & Saudi Arabia businesses.
  • Created the Leadership Framework for engineers linking in with BAE Systems' global leadership development programme

When did you decide to become an engineer?

When I was about 13-14.

What's your educational background, and how did your career progress from there?

I failed my 11+ but passed the 14+ and went to Grammar School, and then into the Royal Navy as a Technician at 19. I was selected for promotion in 1979, and then onto the Navy's Engineering College where I got my BSc (Hons). Then followed a number of appointments ashore and at sea as a Weapon Engineer. I left the Navy and joined BAE Systems in 2002. Since then I have been an Engineer Manager, Chief Engineer and then Head of Engineering . I’m also a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the IET and a Fellow of the Institute for Leadership and Management.

What are the best and worst things about your job?

Recently, the best has been establishing a proper capability development framework including professional registration. Worst, how long some things take to move forward.

What personal qualities are important for your job?

Flexibility, being prepared to discuss and negotiate and go the extra mile but always keeping your word.

What have been the biggest challenges in getting to where you are now?

Recognising that when one door shuts another opens.

Where do you think you'll be in five years' time?

Engineering Director in or out of BAE Systems.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps?

Enjoy it! Remember there is a life outside the job, but have a career plan, get a good mentor and get professionally registered ASAP.

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