Didcot First

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Culham Centre for Fusion Energy

Tom West

Remote Handling Mechanical Technician

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What are your main responsibilities?

To carryout maintenance to Remote Handling equipment used here at Culham.

Supporting Remote Handling Operations if breakdowns occur and carrying out repairs.  During Remote Handling Operations I operate the servo manipulator, which is called MASCOT (What I can be seen operating in the portrait) to carryout installation tasks, removing and fitting new components into the JET Tokomak.  I can also be required to operate the Remote Handling Booms, these are articulated crane like machines which transport the MASCOT and components inside of the JET Tokomak.

What is a typical day for you?

Rarely are two days the same.  I could be in the remote handling control room working with a shift team to perform Remote Handling operations during a JET shutdown, or I could be working inside one of our specialist workshops doing maintenance work to a piece of Remote Handling equipment.

What science, technology, engineering and maths do you use in your role?

Science; Physics

Technology; CAD modelling, 3D virtual reality system, Bespoke force feedback Remote Handling system.

Engineering; Machining, Fabrication, Fitting, Installation, Calibration, Testing.

Maths; Trigonometry, Stress/Strain Calculations, Measurement Calculations

How did you get into this career?

When I left School I did a Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship here at Culham, since completing my apprenticeship I have been in my current role as a Remote Handling Technician for around 3 years now.

What do you enjoy the most in your role?

The Mascot is a smart piece of kit, and operating it can be quite fun and challenging at times.

Tell us a bit about yourself – family, hobbies, and interests?

I’m 23 years old. I’m a bit of a motorsport enthusiast, I’ve competed myself in various disciplines of clubman motorsports. I also enjoy socialising and going out with friends.  I’m also a Showman and during the summer months I assist in travelling and operating my families’ fairground equipment.

For more information on CCFE, please see their website http://www.ccfe.ac.uk/

  • Tom West, Remote Handler at CCFE
    Tom West, Remote Handler at CCFE
  • Tom working remotely from the chamber
    Tom working remotely from the chamber
  • The controls allow Tom to feel pressure being used
    The controls allow Tom to feel pressure being used
  • Linda in the background taking photos for the portrait
    Linda in the background taking photos for the portrait
  • This is the machine Tom is working on remotely that situated in the Chamber
    This is the machine Tom is working on remotely that situated in the Chamber
  • Tom West, Remote Handler at CCFE
  • Tom working remotely from the chamber
  • The controls allow Tom to feel pressure being used
  • Linda in the background taking photos for the portrait
  • This is the machine Tom is working on remotely that situated in the Chamber

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