What does it take to be an engineer: Ray Latham

What does it take to be an engineer: Ray Latham

As we aim to inspire North East children about careers in STEM, with the help of STEM Ambassadors, we lift the curtain to explore what a job in engineering actually means, what it involves and the path youngster need to undertake if they want to become engineers too.

Meet Ray Latham, Product Safety and Compliance Manager at Caterpillar:


What sort of things do you do every day?

I make sure that our product is safe to use and that it complies with all the relevant regulation in every country we sell into. This involves reading and understanding a lot of Standards and Regulations and deciding which are relevant. I also give presentations to let others know what they need to do to comply with those Standards and Regulatuions.


Do you wear a lab coat? If not what do you wear?

No special clothing is required, as long as it is presentable. However, if I ever leave the office to visit the Shop-floor areas I always wear the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), such a , Safety Glasses, Safety Shoes, Ear Plugs, Gloves, etc.


What’s your favorite part of the job?

I’m lucky, I like all aspects of my Job. However, I particularly like giving Presentations, working in teams and communicating with others, particularly those in other countries. I also really enjoy my Role as a Business and STEM Ambassador as this give me the opportunity to let Students know how important their studies are and helping them as a STEM Mentor.


What subjects would I have to take in school to do your job?

As a minimum, Maths, English, a science subject and Technical Drawing. Then you would need to get a Degree in an Engineering-related Subject.


How much of your job is practical and how much is in the office?

Almost all of my job is in the office, but I do occasionally get to go off site to vist other Caterpillar Facilities and to vist Schools as a Business or STEM Ambassador.


Do you use all of the STEM subject in your job?

These are essential to my job.


What was your favorite subject in school?

Probably maths, I do have a logical brain.


What was you dream job when you were 10?

I wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force.


What’s your favourite word?