Sam Gumbley

R&D Technician, Belzona Polymerics

"The studies expanded my knowledge and awareness of what goes into creating a coating and what can affect the application or how the coating is applied."

Modules Undertaken
  • L2

    201 General Overview of Coatings

  • L2

    206 Surface Preparation

  • L3

    319 Evaluation of Paints – Physical Properties

  • L3

    320 Evaluation of Paints – Chemical and Environmental Properties

  • L3

    324 Paint Application – Spraying

  • L3

    329 Application – Metallic Substrates

  • L4

    409 Epoxies and Urethane Resins *

What made you want to study with the Coatings Training Institute? Where were you in your career when you began your studies?
I started my position at Belzona straight from school. I decided that I did not want to take on the debt of a degree course and looked around to see what opportunities were open to me. Belzona offered me a position in the R&D laboratory. In addition to providing on-the-job training, I was also offered the chance to undertake a BCF training course which I saw as a big positive as I could work towards a nationally-recognised qualification.

How did you find your experience studying through CTI? What were your main takeaways? What was the level of difficulty for you?
I worked in the laboratory for a year, gaining a basic understanding of safe working practices and maintaining equipment. What I learned from the CTI modules gave me the opportunity to implement what I had learnt into role-related tasks. It provides a perspective allowing me to understand why we do things a certain way.
The information provided became more detailed as the modules increased in difficulty. I began with Level 2 and progressed to a Level 4 module. This meant the topics covered became more specific and in-depth rather than a general overview of the topic. I am now undertaking more Level 5 modules and the difference in difficulty/detail is noticeable.

How did your studies help you in your career? Where are you now?
The studies expanded my knowledge and awareness of what goes into creating a coating and what can affect the application or how the coating is applied. I started the modules as a Laboratory Assistant, but on completion of the modules, I was promoted to Laboratory Technician.

What did winning BCF’s Student of the Year Award mean to you?
Winning the BCF’s Student of the Year came as a surprise to me. I was given time to revise for each exam and did my best on each module but did not expect to win Student of the Year. I think the biggest thing about winning was the boost to my confidence. I now have my own development projects and have taken the lead on the purchase of new testing equipment.

What would you say to someone looking to study through CTI?
Although some modules may not seem to have complete relevance to your industry or role, it is a good opportunity to learn and see the possible links between industries. In industry, things can change, and you never know when things you learned in the past may become useful. Each module is completed in your own time, so it can easily be fitted in and around busy times at work.