Sam Barlow: Inspecting the Underground

Having taken an apprenticeship aged 18, Sam began his career working on power stations before moving into heavy industries such as shipbuilding and the oil and gas industry, which took him to The Netherlands to work as a rope access welder.

A welder by trade, Sam noticed that the oil and gas industry was beginning to struggle so decided to move his career, taking a job with the London Underground. Relocating to London, Sam became a quality inspector while also operating in mechanical and coatings inspection, having recently acquired his Icorr coatings inspection qualification.

Given his welding experience, it was no surprise that Sam soon found himself undertaking welding inspection on rolling stock across the London Underground. He recently completed inspection work on the Bakerloo line and is set to start work inspecting stock on the Central Line. He has also been instrumental in developing welding processes for the London Underground.

While he has around 15 years of welding experience, Sam has also been updating and upgrading his skills, heading to TWI in Cambridge for his EWS Diploma. He hopes to go forward and complete his EWT and then gain Incorporated Engineer status, but in the meantime Sam is also working on an HNC with the Open University.

Sam understands that his training not only helps his employer but also provides him transferable skills should he need them later in his career.

With regards to TWI, Sam had previously trained at the Rotherham facility and visited the Cambridge office for seminars. He noted that TWI is an internationally renowned company and said that he found the lecturers to be brilliant at their job. Sam also explained how TWI bring in specialists to deliver on certain aspects of the training, ensuring that the best people are delivering the required knowledge to trainees.

Sam stayed on-site at TWI for the duration of his course in February, explaining that this made it easier to invoice his company for the cost of the training and his accommodation. However, by being on-site, Sam explained that he was able to take advantage of networking opportunities with other trainees and meet people from different fields.

Finally, outside of training, Sam noted that he was able to do extra research through the TWI website and library services as his employer is an Industrial Member of TWI, while also saying that he plans to become a Professional Member of too.

Find out about the International Welding Diplomas.

Sam Barlow: Inspecting the Underground