Star student James is a prize recruit

New boy: James Hedley with Grundfos General Manager Lee Carlin (left) and engineering manager John Austin.
New boy: James Hedley with Grundfos General Manager Lee Carlin (left) and engineering manager John Austin.
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HIGH-FLYING James Hedley has landed his dream job.

Bosses at Wearside pump manufacturer Grundfos were so impressed with the student who won their University of Sunderland engineering award that they have decided to add him to the payroll.

James, 21, won the university’s inaugural Grundfos Engineering Prize for the best engineering project.

His work involved redesigning the front suspension of a TVR sports car.

After winning the prize, James met with John Austin, engineering manager at Grundfos, who invited him to the company’s Castletown plant for a tour.

James, who graduated with a first-class degree in automotive engineering and also won the David Crolla Memorial Prize for the best engineering student, was impressed by what he saw and the people he met.

“Everyone was really friendly, and it seemed like a very modern place to work,” he said James.

“A few weeks later I got a call to say there was a job going and I was invited in for an interview.

“I started here a week later as a technician engineer, and I’m really enjoying it,” he added.

He is enjoying the chance to get his hands dirty.

“As part of my ongoing induction, I’ve spent time in each area of the plant, especially on the shopfloor where I’ve seen the pumps being assembled,” he said.

“This has been really helpful from an engineering point of view as I now understand exactly how they’re put together.

“It’s all been great so far, everyone seems very interested in you – you’re not just a number, and everyone is treated with respect.”

John Austin said the company was delighted to have James on board: “He’s obviously very talented.

“His awards and First Class Degree are testament to that – but he’s also polite and friendly and has fitted in here very quickly.”

“He’s exactly the sort of person we like to employ and I’m sure he’ll do well at Grundfos,” added John.

Grundfos employs almost 200 people at its Castletown site, which opened in 1973, and employs more than 18,000 people globally.