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5 minutes with... Tim Coogan

May 13. 2024 

Hi Tim! Can you please tell us about yourself?

I entered the working world in 2009 joining Thales on an industrial placement while at University. I studied Computer Network Technology which satisfied my love of Integration without a clear view on what I quite wanted to do after I graduated. During my placement, I quickly realised that a career in System Engineering was what I wanted to do. I re-joined Thales in 2011 on the Graduate Scheme working as part of the Sales and Marketing function integrating systems to show our customers what the art of the possible was. This continued after a move into the Thales Innovation Hub which was a part of Thales Research and Technology. This move allowed me to work across Thales supporting Rail, Cyber, Naval and finally Air Traffic Management Projects. 

In 2015, I was given the chance to work on a £1.5billion Air Traffic Management upgrade project for the UK MoD. This project allowed me to learn, grow and develop my skills, which resulted into a permanent move into AMS in 2017. From there I have changed roles a number of times from Systems Engineer to Project Design Authority until most recently where I have taken the role of Technical Director. AMS and Thales have always given me the chance to develop and provided the mentoring and support network to further my career. The range of projects, new opportunities and great team is what encourage me to join and stay in AMS UK. 

You are the youngest director in the UK, what is your role at Thales? In which activity?  

I am the Technical Director of the Airspace Mobility Solutions business line in the UK, working with both Civil and Military customers delivering Safe, Reliable and Effective Air Traffic Management solutions, from Radar and Displays systems, Aircraft landing aids and UTM solutions.  

Why did you choose to join Thales? Why the Airspace Mobility Solutions business?

I joined Thales when I was still studying at University as an intern during an Industrial year. When looking for an opportunity while still at university Thales offered the broadest number of challenges and interesting projects to work on. I joined AMS in 2017 from the Thales Innovation Hub were I had worked previously as there was a chance to work on one of Thales largest projects. This was something that I had highlighted to my team, and they helped me seek out a new role which allow me to continue to develop. 

What are your main challenges? (even technical) 

One of the main challenges I have come to face is that I have to let go of some of the detail, and that it is necessary to delegate to others within my team. On very large or complex projects, it is not possible to know every detail, and therefore building a trusted team around me has become really important. Building that trusted team takes time, but I have come to accept that not necessary knowing every detail is ok and that collectively as a team we can cover all aspects of a given project.  

Do you have any advice for people interested in joining Thales?  

If you want to work with a wide range of technologies for a diverse selection of customers then Thales is the place to work. No two days are the same and we have exceptional teams to work within. I have never looked back at my decision to join the Thales graduate scheme nearly 12 years ago. 

If you had to convince engineers to join the Airspace Mobility Solutions business line? What would you tell them? 

AMS offers opportunities to work with both Military and Civil customers across the UK and Europe. We integrate, develop and deliver new and novel solutions for our customers however big or small. Our small engineering team allows for new skills to be developed and true collaboration to be achieved where multi-skilled engineers can be developed and grown. As the AMS team continues to evolve in 2024 there a real opportunities to re-shape and transform the business for the future.  


Want to reach Tim? Contact him on LinkedIn