Graduate Apprentice, Darren Blair, joins Vector Photonics as Engineering Technician to help develop PCSEL test systems.

Darren Blair joins Vector Photonics as Engineering Technician, helping to design, develop and build test equipment that supports the commercialisation of the company’s PCSEL technology. Darren has a PDA in Marine Management and HND in Marine Engineering from the City of Glasgow College, which included spending eight months in a ship’s engine room at sea. Darren is now doing a Graduate Apprentice in Engineering whilst at Vector Photonics, which will lead to a degree from Heriot Watt University.

Dr. Calum Hill, Principal Development Engineer at Vector Photonics, said, “Darren joins Vector Photonics as a Graduate Apprentice. This is a new training route for the photonics industry, but one we hope unlocks a wider pool of available talent. Having had incredible responsibility at a young age, such as for the safe running of a ship alongside the duty engineer, the apprenticeship will help him develop his outstanding leadership and management skills.

“Darren learnt to operate and maintain onboard mechanical and electrical systems, including fault diagnosis, and produced scheduled maintenance reports for the chief engineer to log. He completed his Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) qualifications for sailing ocean-going vessels where he also learnt survival techniques for being lost at sea – putting the responsibility of his role into sharp perspective! We welcome Darren to the team.”

Darren endured six months of Chemo-therapy treatment to fight Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as a teenager. He is proud to have raised over £9,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust – helping build awareness of the condition.

When not at work, Darren is a keen rock climber. He also has a passion for model building, honing his problem-solving, design and engineering skills.

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