Published: 12th September 2023
Pawel Dudziec, Mechanical Technician for National Express West Midlands, has been named Best Mechanical Engineer at a national IRTE Skills Challenge award ceremony which took place at Jaguar Experience in Birmingham on 7 September.
27-year-old Pawel, from the West Bromwich depot, secured the top spot by demonstrating his skills, knowledge and quick-thinking during the IRTE Skills Challenge competition in June. Over 60 qualified and apprentice PSV engineers from across the bus and coach industry competed in the awards this year and Pawel achieved the highest score in his category.
Pawel had to complete a number of tasks including; a DVSA inspection and fault categorisation, setting valve clearances, disassembling a cylinder head piston, inspecting for damage, reassembling to correct specifications, inspection of tyres and a multiple choice exam.
When asked about his award win, Pawel said:
“It feels great to win, one of the best feelings. Being a very young engineer I’m always keen to learn new skills and still have a long career ahead of myself. I would like to thank my team and mentors who helped me achieve the level of skills to win this award.”
National Express West Midlands’ Chris Little also competed in the Bodywork Technician category and Luke Gorton (runner up) in the Electrical Technician category. Two of the company’s apprentices also took part with Tom Lees awarded runner up in the Electrical Apprentice category, and Jasmin Diedrick in the Mechanical Apprentice category.
Craig Perkins, Engineering Apprenticeship Manager at National Express, said:
“I couldn’t be prouder of Pawel, Luke, Chris, Tom and Jasmin. Having taken part and won the Mechanical Technician category myself a couple of years ago, I know how tough it is. I’m over the moon for Pawel winning the top Mechanical Engineer - it’s very well deserved.
“The IRTE Skills Challenge shows the level required to be at the top of your trade. Apprentices can see areas that they may need to develop, and for experienced engineers it gets you thinking and working on things you may not have seen for some time.
“Being in the competition with people from different companies allows us to discuss different ways of working, share our knowledge and ideas, helping us to improve as people and help the companies we work for evolve and grow in the way they operate.”
The 12th IRTE Skills Challenge was held in Bristol earlier this year, with the award ceremony taking place at Jaguar Experience in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham on Friday 7 September 2023. The awards were presented by Will Dalrymple, Editor of Transport Engineer Magazine.
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