Hi, I’m Dr Lynn Sandlands, Test Programme Manager at the Advanced Structural Testing Centre (ASTC).

I have only been in my current role a few months (since April 2015); previous to this I was the Quality Manager for the AMRC Testing Laboratories with 7 years of experience in implementing and managing quality management systems to ISO 17025, BS EN 9001 and AS9100. Before joining the AMRC with Boeing in 2008, I worked as a Research Associate in the Civil & Structural Engineering Department at the University of Sheffield. I have a PhD in Chemical Engineering and worked with the Pennine Water Group managing a series of projects focussing on sustainable urban drainage, wastewater treatment and sewerage systems.

The best thing about working as part of the structural testing team is the scope of the projects we get to work on. They’re all interesting and individual in their own way, so there’s no two days the same. Team ASTC is also a great bunch of people to work with, we’re able to have a laugh, whilst still working hard and getting the job done.

My role in the Whiffletree project is Director. It is my job to oversee the progress of the project, to ensure things are happening as they should be and assisting Steve Partoon in managing it when needed.  Steve however, is so efficient and geared up for this project that it’s not needed much of my involvement so far. My keen eye for detail will be required towards the closing stages of the project when I will review the test reports. I’ll also oversee the completion of the test documentation required by our quality management system, from contract to project closure, to ensure the end product is delivered correctly.

The part of the Whiffletree project that I’m most looking forward to is actually seeing the plane, out there on the strong floor, assembled and ready to test.

To date the proudest achievement of my career would be when the ASTC gained their flexible scope of accreditation as it’s something that no other university establishment has achieved. As Quality Manager I had the responsibility for co-ordinating the team and its activities in order to achieve this.

If I could fly any aircraft it would have to be the Hawk. It first flew in 1974, so we share the same year of birth. Also as I’m a bit of a daredevil, adrenalin and thrill seeker, I guess it would fulfil this part of me. The RAF Red Arrows fly the dual control BAE Systems Hawk T1 and it’s essentially the same aircraft as those flown by the Advanced Flying Training students at Royal Air Force Valley, with the exception of smoke generation modifications (which produce the colourful vapour trails that the Red Arrows are famous for) and a slightly uprated engine which gives a faster response time.