Senior Principal Systems Engineer

Holly Pattison

“Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine feels like a small company that has an international presence.” - Holly Pattison (Surrey, United Kingdom)


Beng Electronic Engineering (Hons) University of the West of England

Current Job:

Senior Principal Systems Engineer

Past Positions:

Electrician and Graduate Engineer

Working with Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine since:


What type of careers/jobs were you looking for when you graduated?

I wanted hands on experience working in the marine industry and decided to go and work in a local boat yard. I was an electrician and my main role was refurbishing military RIB's and luxury yachts. I fitted small radar systems, GPS and autopilots and learnt a huge amount about the common issues and difficulties faced when using these types of products.

How did you find out about Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine?

During my studies I spent 12 months working for VT Shipbuilding (now BAE Surface Ships) and was involved with a project where Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine was supplying the gyro compasses. This is how I first heard about the company and learned about the product line.

What made you decide to choose Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine?

I decided I wanted to work for Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine because it feels like a small company that has an international presence. I always knew I wanted to work in the marine industry as it runs in my family and I felt that Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine offered me a good mix of electrical design and marine experience.

How would you describe your career path within Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine?

I joined Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine as a graduate in 2011, became an engineer after 12 months and since July 2013 I am a senior engineer. During 2012 I was part of the Future Leaders Programme which is a training programme to develop leadership techniques and also to participate in management sponsored projects. I also completed a 12 month Systems Engineering course run by the University of California. In 2013 I was lucky enough to be awarded the President Leadership Award, which is a Northrop Grumman Division level award for my work on a project for a North Sea ferry.

Do you have any recommendations for new grads looking to progress in the company?

My recommendations for new graduates would be to work hard and make sure it is something you enjoy doing. I really enjoy my job and that makes me want to do the absolute best I can. It also think it is important to manage yourself and your time well, I currently work on 3 projects simultaneously which means I have to be able to tell the project managers my current workload and availability.