Meet Our Team
2021 Team Lead
Eamon Tarrant, EngTech RCP MIED
Eamon Tarrant is a 29-year-old draughtsman working within contractual HVAC ventilation systems for large contracts across UK.
He is also a student at the Open University and is studying towards MEng (Hons) in engineering design. His background is in manufacture engineering and has served 2 apprentices in advanced sheet metal crafting. Of which one excelled with a double distinction grade.
Over the 10 years, he has learnt the craft of sheet metal fabrication and all the skills needed to excel in the areas. After learning a lot of CAD skills throughout his apprenticeships in 2017 he decided to take the step to move to an office-based job and become a draughtsman.
He has now decided to be a part of the oUFO team for the IMechE UAS challenge to help him complete his CPD with the intention of becoming a chartered engineer.
2021 Deputy Team Lead
Mate Horvath, EngTech MIMechE
Aspiring engineer currently working for a structural frame manufacturer on the shop floor determined to move into mechanical design. Mate has attained experience operating heavy machinery as well as hand tools. He also possesses the skills necessary to read and produce engineering drawings for manufacture. He is interested in the additive manufacturing, design, modelling and finite element analysis. Besides studying full time (Stage 2) Bachelor of Engineering (design route) with The Open University Mate works full time, also in his free time he delves into learning industry relevant skills.
I am an aspiring junior mechanical engineer working for an electronics manufacturer. After a few years on the shop floor, I gained great understanding of manufacturing, confidently operating both heavy machinery as well as hand tools. Working on projects from concept to completion allows me to do what I enjoy, and with the use of CAD visualise and validate the ideas then to produce related engineering drawings. My duties also include communicating with customers and suppliers, as well as visiting the assembly line to troubleshoot manufacturing issues and design custom made tools and fixtures.
My main interests are additive manufacturing, space tech and finite element analysis. Trying to find time for these interests is proving to be challenging as I am studying full time at The Open University for my Meng in Materials and Design whilst having a fulltime job. But as I enjoy turning my ideas into physical objects and stay up to date with the latest tech, I always manage to find time for my hobbies. I am currently working on the EngTech application to IMechE, because I think that CPD is essential.
Also I am part of The Open University Team oUFO, we are competing with other university students from around the world in the IMechE UAS challenge.
Inspiring young people to enter STEM education and work in STEM is very important to me, therefore I am a proud STEM Ambassador.
Electronics/Software Team Lead
Ilaria Stocchi is an engineering student at the Open University currently studying Year 3 modules of Master of Engineering (MEng). Her main interests are energy and sustainability, and she intends to work towards chartered engineer status after graduation.
Along with her studies, she works remotely as a Quantitative Analyst. Her position involves processing data to build, develop, and maintain data models, as well as delivering full stack solutions.
She has been a CouchSurfing host/volunteer since 2015, and a student member of the Energy Institute since 2019. She is very passionate about languages: fluent in English, Italian (native), and Spanish, she hopes to become proficient in French within the next five years.
She joined the oUFO team after learning about the UAS challenge at the 2019 Women in Engineering Student Conference, and looks forward to tackling this year's challenge.
Xenia Kaldy, StMIEncSc
Xenia Kaldy is a third-year Environmental Science Student at the Open University. Her main interests are energy and sustainability and she is working towards becoming a chartered environmentalist.
Xeni works as a Sustainability Consultant in the building and construction sector, overseeing various projects both in the UK and internationally. Throughout her job she works with BREEAM and assesses, rates and certifies developments based on sustainability metrics and indices. She also carries out Life Cycle Assessments, measuring the environmental impact associated with a building, including its operational and embodied carbon emissions. She is interested in energy modelling (SAP and IES VE), Passive Haus Design and Low and Zero Carbon technologies.
The UAS challenge is a perfect opportunity for Xeni to use her skillset, and ensure we comply with the environmental requirements of the competition.
Chris Webster is a 32-year-old first-year engineering student with the Open University. He has a background in the Royal Air Force spending 10 years as a mechanical aircraft technician. While in the military he completed an advanced modern apprenticeship in mechanical aeronautical engineering.
He is currently employed as a development engineer for a design and development company specialising in the pharmaceutical industry. He builds, develops and commissions machines for some of the world’s largest multinational companies. He has years of CAD design and hands-on build experience.
In the future, he aspires to get involved in project management and would like to gain charted engineering status after the completion of his masters in engineering degree.
Lee James Cundall has, for the last 6 years, overseen software development and been involved with the design of air handling systems for schools, hospitals, stadiums, etc. across all stages of the engineering process, including but not limited to selection and layout, design, manufacturing, product development, electrical wiring, software design, networking and commissioning.
He is currently in his second stage of his studies with the Open University and is hoping to continue onto becoming a chartered engineer, with the intention of developing his own marketable products.
Lee hopes that by participating in the IMechE UAS team project he is able to develop his interpersonal skills, build upon previous project experience, fulfil criteria within UK-SPEC, learn new skills and technologies for continuing professional development, particularly (but not exclusively) in the field of avionics, and most importantly, to have fun while doing it.
Lee is able to offer electrical and software expertise and is keen to be on the winning team and represent the Open University to the best of his abilities.
Nathan Dicks, EngTech MIMechE
Nathan Dicks is a 33-year-old engineering student at the Open University who is currently studying both T194 and T271.
He is currently employed as an armament technician for DynCorp aviation where he maintains aircraft armament and electrical systems.
Nathan is a military veteran with twelve years military service as an avionics technician and supervisor and has also worked in the rail industry for Bombardier Transportation on the Victoria line project. Nathan has an advanced modern apprenticeship in aeronautical engineering and a BTEC in electrical engineering alongside a BTEC in learning and development and a vocational course in ISO auditing.
In the future he aspires to be in an engineering leadership position and wishes to complete a master’s degree in engineering as well as attaining chartered engineer status.
He brings fourteen years of experience in aviation and also organisational and leadership skills built up through a career in the armed forces and civilian sectors.
Nathan has a passion for learning and would like to use this opportunity to promote engineering as a career choice for young people.
He currently lives in Dublin with his wife Cliona and daughter Mollie who will soon be joined by twin siblings.
Ian Fleming is a 44-year-old engineer who has worked in the gas industry since leaving school in the early 1990’s and joined British Gas as an apprentice. He is currently involved with the training and assessment of gas installers as well as conducting both domestic and commercial gas safety audits for many different housing and care home providers. When required Ian also investigates fatal and non-fatal gas incidents specialising in the area of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In 2017 Ian decided to return to education and to study part-time towards MEng with the Open University. He is currently studying T272 and will start module T213 in October 2020 as he starts to study energy and sustainability as his specialist area. In 2018 Ian was honoured to be selected as a Horizons Bursary recipient for the duration of his studies by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and is currently starting the application process to become an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) through the IET.
Since 2018 Ian has enjoyed being a STEM ambassador working with both SETPOINT in Hertfordshire, the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Royal Institute. Ian has been involved in interactive career days for school leavers, open house tours and maths masterclasses for students approaching GCSE and A-level maths exams.
Ian has joined the oUFO team to broaden his understanding of different engineering disciplines and to be involved in a project outside of his normal scope of engineering knowledge and is looking forward to becoming a member of the team.
Eliza is a 46 year old student on the mechanical engineering path, currently studying T194 and T271. She hopes to eventually end up working flexibly in a biomedical engineering role where she can help improve on existing prosthetics and implants.
She has a broad background in various engineering roles, in both heavy machine maintenance and small parts manufacturing roles, time working in data cable assembly which involved quite complex looming and soldering procedures and working in a managerial capacity as a stock controller for a metal company.
She had to retire from work some 20 years ago because of a degenerative genetic condition, which is why the OU is so important to her. Being able to study from home at my own pace is a very freeing experience.