Simon Harp
Mechanical Design Engineer

I currently hold the position of Mechanical Design Engineer at Sycamore Process Engineering Ltd, and I’ve been part of the team since August 2023. In my capacity as a Mechanical Engineer, my primary responsibilities involve designing and developing individual product machinery or customized fluid handling systems to meet the specific requirements of our clients. Additionally, I oversee the work of designers and apprentices, ensuring a consistent quality of output while nurturing their growth and skills.Outside of work, I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree with a focus on mechanical engineering through the Open University. I actively seek out additional learning opportunities to expand and refine my skill set, complementing and advancing the expertise I bring to Sycamore.

As a Mechanical Engineer, my daily responsibilities undergo substantial variation, depending on the project’s current phase. In the project’s infancy, I am predominantly occupied with conceptualising design layouts.
It frequently necessitates site visits for assessing and measuring the installation area, a vital step towards tailoring the perfect installation solution for our clients. This transitions to crafting preliminary machinery designs, accompanied by early meetings and reviews aimed at capturing design specifications. This phase predominantly unfolds within the realm of design software, characterized by sustained periods of uninterrupted work.
The mid-term phase assumes a more technical role. It entails an expansion of team meetings and client interactions, encompassing the detailed scrutiny of designs through advanced techniques like Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and the application of risk assessments. We engage in peer reviews and harmonise modelling data from fellow mechanical designers to achieve a comprehensive collaborative assembly.
During the project’s final stages, our focus revolves around the meticulous finalisation of all technical documentation and client approval.

The design department is an exciting and engaging team to work in. Our roles bring us in close collaboration with various other teams and project partners, ensuring a perpetually busy schedule. It is a common occurrence to find ourselves engaged in multiple projects, either actively contributing or adopting a supervisory and advisory role. This inherent diversity in our roles tends to make the days pass quickly, and they do say time flies when you are having fun right?

The most rewarding aspect of working at Sycamore is undoubtedly the workforce. It might sound cliché, but our teams are composed of highly talented individuals who are not only proficient in their roles but also incredibly supportive of one another.

Let me take you on a trip down memory lane to my 16th birthday. I was all pumped up to build my very first gaming PC, and boy, it was a glorious moment. But here’s the twist – just two weeks in, it turned into a dazzling light show of blue sparks and billows of smoke. I was left utterly devastated.
My parents, fearing further pyrotechnics, promptly banned me from any PC-building escapades. So, I reluctantly bought a pre-made PC from PC World. Little did they know that my insatiable urge to tinker with tech couldn’t be contained. Within a month, that store-bought PC had undergone a complete transformation; not a single standard part remained. Surprisingly, it managed to survive my DIY experiments and became my trusty companion for a whopping eight years before finally retiring. Since that fiery incident on my 16th birthday, I’ve continued to build PCs, and I’m pleased to report that there haven’t been any more fireworks – at least not any that I’m aware of!