Apprentices set to fuel the green future at BAE Systems

Lancashire’s aerospace giant is set to do its bit to protect the world - with a new cohort of apprentices dedicated to helping the company go green.
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BAE Systems already has its own solar farm at Samlesbury to help power its buildings and has established the Factory of the Future at Warton to look at more efficient, lower energy consumption, methods of production.

As the world works to keep global temperature rises down after COP 26, it is starting an apprenticeships scheme in partnership with Cranfield University, to find more ways to cut its carbon emissions.

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It aims to increase the number and level of sustainability apprenticeships, opening them up to new starters in the future, as it recruits new talent.

Nikki Haymes of BAE SystemsNikki Haymes of BAE Systems
Nikki Haymes of BAE Systems

One of the new recruits is Nikki Haymes who works at Warton. Nikki joined BAE Systems’ Air sector as a Flight Systems Engineer in March 2020, after receiving a first-class degree in Motorsport Engineering.

In her role, she is investigating how to effectively integrate power and thermal energy systems on-board future combat air system Tempest for more sustainable operation.

With sustainability a passion of Nikki’s, she has integrated it into every aspect of her studies and career, her dissertation discussed how to retrofit hydrogen fuel cells into a rally car.

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She said: “When I was approached about the sustainability apprenticeship programme, I felt like the stars had aligned.”

BAE Systems Factory of the Future project at WartonBAE Systems Factory of the Future project at Warton
BAE Systems Factory of the Future project at Warton

As she progresses through the scheme, Nikki said she was looking forward to learning about the technologies that will lead BAE Systems towards net zero emissions, sharing her knowledge and becoming an ambassador for sustainability across the business.

Her aim is to build sustainable infrastructures, driven by technology, across the air sector and the entirety of BAE Systems.

Dr Kenisha Garnett, at Cranfield, said: “With the eyes of the world on the UK during COP 26, sustainability is at the forefront of the minds of government and business. We hear a lot about the technological gains we need to achieve net zero but equally important are the skills that we will need to get there.”