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Telecomms - looking for a change..
#1
Hello IRSEers , i was directed here by a friend who works on the railways - he thought this could be what i'm looking for.

I work at the moment for a Global Telecomms firm. I have done a few years of Voice switching ( Nortel and Ericsson international switches ) and years of transmission and DWDM - with a bit of IP thrown in.

I'm looking for a change for a number of reasons. I'd like something more to get my teeth into...But i also want to use what i've learnt over the last 20 years - not just discard it all.

Do you think it is possible to gain IRSE recognition without being in the industry? Can i learn via books and on-line tools perhaps?

If not - what sort of entry level would i be looking at within the rail industry?

I am 38 , have a BTEC in Telecomms and 20 years of Transmission and Switching experience.

Be blunt - i can take it ;-)
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#2
Not quite sure what you are asking. You mention IRSE recognition - is this to get into the industry or are you looking to pass the exam for fun!?!?!

Passing the exam can only really be achieved by someone with some industry experience simply because the examiners are looking for you to be able to apply sound engineering in the context of what the railway needs. The exam is not an entry level qualification for an engineering career on the railway.

As an employer, certainly an understanding of the context is going to be an advantage, but recognising transferability of skills is also important. There is a "conversion engineer" programme in parts of the industry where someone with relevant engineering expertise in a not necessarily related field is converted to a railway engineer. If you have technology skills that are directly relevant as well as an engineering mind, you are two steps there!

I would imagine that there are some of the IRSE exam questions on equipment that you could get good marks on, but would understandably struggle on some of the system safety parts because you have not been exposed to the context.

This site is primarily here for discussion of topics related to the exam, but hey, since we are quiet as this year's exam was October and people are waiting for results (out at Christmas), a bit of careers advice nearly fits the remit! Let us know what you are looking for and maybe someone has some answers.
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#3
Peter Wrote:Not quite sure what you are asking. You mention IRSE recognition - is this to get into the industry or are you looking to pass the exam for fun!?!?!

Passing the exam can only really be achieved by someone with some industry experience simply because the examiners are looking for you to be able to apply sound engineering in the context of what the railway needs. The exam is not an entry level qualification for an engineering career on the railway.

As an employer, certainly an understanding of the context is going to be an advantage, but recognising transferability of skills is also important. There is a "conversion engineer" programme in parts of the industry where someone with relevant engineering expertise in a not necessarily related field is converted to a railway engineer. If you have technology skills that are directly relevant as well as an engineering mind, you are two steps there!

I would imagine that there are some of the IRSE exam questions on equipment that you could get good marks on, but would understandably struggle on some of the system safety parts because you have not been exposed to the context.

This site is primarily here for discussion of topics related to the exam, but hey, since we are quiet as this year's exam was October and people are waiting for results (out at Christmas), a bit of careers advice nearly fits the remit! Let us know what you are looking for and maybe someone has some answers.

Thanks for the reply.
The 'conversion engineer' program seems the most appropriate for me.
Any links or details of how i could head in this direction - or at least read up on the pre-reqs etc.?

Tom
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#4
It is a Network Rail scheme. Not sure who runs it, but their man Chris Binns would be a good place to start via NR HQ at Melton Street. There may be stuff on NR's website. NR people on this forum may know more.
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#5
Peter Wrote:It is a Network Rail scheme. Not sure who runs it, but their man Chris Binns would be a good place to start via NR HQ at Melton Street. There may be stuff on NR's website. NR people on this forum may know more.

I am sure I could find it; however most of the conversion engineers are from oil, gas, nuclear industries- whereas it could be appropriate I do wonder whether the Telecomms experience is so directly relevant to railway Telecomms that no actual "conversion" would be needed. If you wanted to be more "Signalling" than "Comms" then certainly would be needed- the technologes however seem to be converging again and becoming more interlinked if not indistinguishable. NR's Professional Head of Signalling has been a Telecomms man for almost all his career and the IRSE Chief Executive I think did spells in each specialism. I'll try to see if I can collar a tame telecoms engineer (rare breed) at IRSE London meeting next week but otherwise I agree with Peter- check out website of NR and also a contractor such as Alcatel / Thales.

PJW
PJW
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#6
PJW Wrote:
Peter Wrote:It is a Network Rail scheme. Not sure who runs it, but their man Chris Binns would be a good place to start via NR HQ at Melton Street. There may be stuff on NR's website. NR people on this forum may know more.

I am sure I could find it; however most of the conversion engineers are from oil, gas, nuclear industries- whereas it could be appropriate I do wonder whether the Telecomms experience is so directly relevant to railway Telecomms that no actual "conversion" would be needed. If you wanted to be more "Signalling" than "Comms" then certainly would be needed- the technologes however seem to be converging again and becoming more interlinked if not indistinguishable. NR's Professional Head of Signalling has been a Telecomms man for almost all his career and the IRSE Chief Executive I think did spells in each specialism. I'll try to see if I can collar a tame telecoms engineer (rare breed) at IRSE London meeting next week but otherwise I agree with Peter- check out website of NR and also a contractor such as Alcatel / Thales.

PJW


That's encouraging! Thanks very much.

I'll check the site out and check back here again soon.

Thanks Peter/PJW.
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#7
A data modem takes groups of 4 binary digits and encodes each group into a unique phase
and amplitude of a carrier.
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