Will Rathbun


Mechanical Test Engineer


Bachelor of Engineering with Honours (Mechanical), University of Canterbury, 2005


I joined Tait Electronics in December 2005. At that stage I didn’t know a lot about the company, however Tait’s reputation drew me here and it seemed like a good opportunity to work within a large and well established R&D group.

The mechanical engineering team is responsible for ensuring the products that Tait produces are robust, reliable and will function correctly through the life of the product. To achieve these goals Tait implements several phases of development:

  • The mechanical design process at Tait initially begins on the computer, developing the CAD model using Pro/Engineer. During this phase, finite element analysis is performed using CFX and Mechanica to ensure adequate cooling and strength in the product.
  • After the parts have been completed and moulded, checks are performed using a 3D CNC optical measuring machine to verify that the parts have been created within specifications.
  • Finally the parts are subjected to various physical tests to simulate the use cases that the product might experience in the field; this can range from impact tests, to sealing tests, to accelerated life testing.

The results from this design and test work is exceptional, recent Tait hand portables can withstand multiple drops from 1.8m onto concrete without being damaged or compromising its sealing, try that with your cell phone!

As part of my job I am involved in the entire design process from start to finish, primarily in the test lab, however I get to oversee all other areas of design. From working in the test lab I have gained a lot of experience and knowledge about good engineering practises.

Tait holds an annual event called the Steven Bly awards, to reward the hard work of the staff during the year. I was fortunate enough to win the Steven Bly award for Junior Designer in 2006; this gained me more respect from my peers.

My hard work has been rewarded more recently, with a promotion from a junior designer to a design engineer. This new title will require more responsibility, however I am looking forward to the new challenges.

I have learnt a lot during my time at Tait: knowledge that has helped me develop into a confident engineer.