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Akintayo Fajimi – Journey to Assessment Manager

Akintayo Fajimi had an interesting career trajectory prior to joining the Engineering Section at UKAS as an Assessment Manager. With an educational background in Engineering, he completed his degree in Nigeria and his master’s degree in England at the University of Manchester.

In his first role as a graduate, Akintayo worked as a Technical Marketing Metallurgist in specialty alloy materials. He examined how these alloys behaved and performed in different environments, including oil and gas, chemical processing, high temperature applications and motorsports applications.  This would involve the testing of various alloys at a range of temperatures, from sub-zero all the way to very high temperatures, up to 1,200 degrees.  It was Akintayo’s job to understand how these materials performed in those environments and then perform application engineering to get those alloys into the marketplace. This was a highly commercial role taking Akintayo all over Europe and was very much enjoyable.

Akintayo is also a Chartered Engineer, and as part of his case study he completed some work which was to introduce a particular supplementary requirement into one of the international corrosion standards – ASTM A923. This piece of work helped him to change career, obtaining a job writing standards for the Galvanizer’s Association, following the market downturn in both the oil & gas and aerospace sectors between 2015 – 2017. The trade association were keen to work with someone as a Technical Manager, who could manage standards and represent the interests of their sector.

This new role was focused on developing ISO and EN standards that covered the galvanizing process and related to hot dip galvanised steel end use applications. Akintayo explained that developing standards is an ongoing ‘live’ process that involves participation in a committee, in which Akintayo represented the interests of galvanisers in the UK and Ireland.

The standards evolved alongside developing technologies, and Akintayo ensured the requirements of the galvanizing community were communicated to the wider committee, prior to being eventually signed-off by the ISO.

Akintayo spent about three years in this role, which like his previous role took him all over Europe, meaning he had effectively been on the road for nearly a decade. With a young family now needing his attention, it was time for another career change with more flexibility built into it.

“The remit of the UKAS role is much more UK centric, so I jumped at the chance to take a role that allowed me to participate more in family life. Of course, shortly after this COVID-19 hit, and no one was traveling anywhere, but that’s the way it goes sometimes!”

Akintayo explained that as well as being mainly restricted to UK travel, the UKAS role gives him much greater control over his diary, and he can plan around and anticipate his meeting requirements.

“This provides me with a much better quality of work-life balance, which suits me and my family a lot more.”

Akintayo also stated that he is pleased that his role as Assessment Manager at UKAS, which he has held for two years now, has also allowed him to keep involvement with the steel industry, keeping up with the technical aspects of Corrosion Engineering applications.