Dstl Careers: Soldier, Student to Engineering Scientist

Dstl is a place where everyone can thrive, succeed and achieve their ambitions, regardless of background, circumstances, experiences or characteristics.

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

23 July 2021

At Dstl we achieve amazing things when we work together, so we work hard to make sure everyone can be themselves, have their voice heard, and can reach their full potential. We do this by both proactively attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and being an inclusive employer where everyone feels they belong and comfortable to bring their whole self to work.

Meet Dstl’s Boniface Hima – born in East Africa, he came to the UK to study for a degree, but after six months he decided to join the British Army as specialist driver for Royal Engineers. After 5 years of service Boniface decided to go back to his dream and headed back to university take on a degree in Sound Engineering followed by a Master degree in Acoustics. After completing his degrees he went on to do an Engineering Doctorate (EngD), which is when he first joined Dstl on part time basis.

I worked as an acoustic consultant mainly dealing with building and environmental acoustics. The role involves taking various building and environment acoustics measurement according to the British/Europe standard and producing reports for the findings as well advising the client the necessary course action to take to improve the acoustics performance.

In the summer of 2019 landed myself a great role with the Underwater Group on part time basis so I was able to finish my degree and take up a full time contract in September 2020. It’s a fantastic role and gives me the opportunity to solve real life engineering problems for defence and security.

Boniface works on multiple projects for a range of Dstl programmes and their military customers. The projects allows collaboration work across industry giving individuals to travel within the UK and overseas. Dstl provides an array of opportunities to learn and develop, as well as fund and support individuals who want to gain professional memberships.

Working at Dstl is absolutely brilliant, I get to work with incredibly friendly and professional people. I have been here just short of 2 years with Dstl supporting me towards gaining my Chartered Engineering (CEng) and two professional membership, Institute of mechanical engineering (MIMechE) and Institute of Acoustics (MIOA). In addition I have being given time by my Team Leader to allow me to focus on writing my thesis, which is great and makes me feel really valued. Dstl is tremendous to work for – and I highly recommend those looking for an interesting role in science consider working here.

Boniface has officially submitted this thesis for his Engineering Doctorate (EngD) and hopes to gain his official EngD later this year (2021).

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