STG Bright Light Series: Dr Andy Hallett

In our Bright Lights series, we showcase some of our brilliant employees and their experience of working here at STG Aerospace. This time, we spoke to our Technical Manager, Dr Andy Hallett, about working at STG.

Dr Andy Hallett is the Technical Manager at STG, specialising in the science behind our emergency exit marking systems. With a wealth of experience and a background in chemistry, Andy brings a unique blend of technical expertise to his role and the wider STG team.

Joining in 2014, Andy has been an integral part of the company's growth and success over the last decade. Initially, his career journey began at Cardiff University, where he served as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, delving into the world of photoluminescent molecules for various applications, including cancer imaging agents and solar cells. Reflecting on his early career, Andy said:

I was at Cardiff University for seven years and the role involved several short-term contracts. I was interested in finding something more stable and someone happened show me a job advert for a role at an aerospace company, being set up in South Wales. When I read that they were looking for a chemist, to set up the lab to explore photoluminescent compounds for products, I thought the description had been written for me! My background meant I was perfectly suited.”

Andy was invited to an interview and the job was his. When he first started at STG, the whole STG Cwmbran team comprised of only four people, which is remarkable considering how much the company has grown over the last ten years.

Since 2014, Andy’s role has evolved significantly and he currently serves as the Technical Manager, overseeing the photoluminescent product line. His responsibilities include project management, team leadership, management of our intellectual property and patent portfolio, as well as the development of the extensive photoluminescent product range.

A highlight for Andy was playing a pivotal role in the creation of safTglo® Blu™, a patented blue-glowing product that is part of the floor path marking range and can be found on a popular low-cost carrier. He said:

“It's brilliant to see a product you have worked on from the very first step in the production process, right through to it being installed and experienced by passengers on-wing.”

Andy has three direct reports, ranging from designers to research and development scientists. The day-to-day tasks are always different which is one of Andy’s favourite things about the role. Outlining a typical schedule for the technical team, he says:

We have set goals and deliverables that shape our activities throughout the year. My  job is to ensure that we are adequately resourced so we can deliver all our projects on time, as this is a key differentiator for STG.

“We spend a lot of time in the lab, which involves testing and developing products. We do much of our testing inhouse to certify products, which then requires written overviews to highlight the results. I am always on hand to help the quality and production teams with operational tasks too, which adds another dimension to my role.

“An area I really enjoy is liaising with our customers. I am the technical lead for the OEMs we support, so I speak to the team at Boeing if they have any queries with our line-fit products, for example.”

Andy finds fulfilment in the ever-changing and dynamic nature of his job, including its challenges. Witnessing the tangible results of his work, such as seeing the products he and his team developed, in use on aircraft, always brings a sense of accomplishment. Managing time and resources efficiently to ensure customers are happy, will remain a key priority.

Reflecting on the culture at STG, Andy emphasises the friendly and close-knit environment fostered by the small team.

Collaboration and good communication are essential in a company where everyone knows each other. We are a strong team, with a wide range of expertise and that fuels STG’s continuous innovation.”

Looking ahead, Andy is excited about the future, especially for the new innovations and product launches around the corner. His involvement in developing new products keeps him at the forefront of the industry, and he looks forward to the opportunities for continued personal growth at STG, as the demands of the industry keep evolving.

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