Meet Jon, from Brighton Eagle Lab

One Year as a Lab Technician

Wednesday 4 Jan is my birthday as a Lab Technician at Brighton Eagle Lab, and the year has been an awesome one of opportunities and excitement. But first, a bit about me: I'm the guy you see in the photos who stands out a bit, working for a bank with a Mohawk! I am a maker, hacker and an engineer - making things is in my blood and when I am not at work helping people make things I’m either at home doing the same or out and about making things, picking up broken things in the streets and making them into cool new things.

This time last year I walked into the Brighton Eagle Lab and was handed the keys to a new site belonging to Barclays. Yep, the crazy, mohawked Jon was now working for a bank but with one major difference… we were starting something really cool.

My first day meant I could see the lay of the land, get a sense of our new building and what we could make in it. Day two and the work started - the room at the back of the main space was going to be my Maker Space, my new home, and the place where dreams and ideas were going to be realised. Over the next couple of months I sanded, painted, and laid down the real roots of the building, meeting with the builders and being on site for the whole time they were there, making sure the space was going to be exactly what we wanted. I was ordering some really cool and exciting kit, such as Trotec laser cutters, Ultimaker 3D printers, bandsaws pillars drills and all the tools you could ever need. I also had to ensure we had a fully stocked building ready for businesses to walk in, work and grow.

On 10 March it was official, the work was finished and we welcomed the world to see the creation. Special guests Ashok Vaswani, CEO Barclays UK, and Martin Perry, Executive Director of Brighton and Hove Albion, along with 100's of colleagues, friends and interested parties were in attendance, each and every one amazed at this new offering.

Next to join the Lab family was Brian, a larger than life Eco Systems Manager. We both set to the challenge of filling the space: Brian began networking with businesses and showing them what the space had to offer, while I got out into the maker world telling everyone about the equipment we have. By August our Lab hit 100% capacity and we had filled our space with a variety of new businesses ranging from Teampro, where you can create bespoke team sheets for your local football team, to Burntaxe, a very cool business working on our laser cutter making custom-etched guitars and skateboards.

Throughout the year I have built a Tardis, three prosthetic hands for little children that were born without them, a beach hut, fixed multiple TVs, drones, a piano and many other things. I’ve helped make so many cool prototypes for various businesses and been all around the country helping out at our other fantastic Eagle Labs. 

So, all in all my first year as a Lab Technician has been eventful (to say the least!) and I would like to start a large round of applause for the wider Labs team around me and also to Barclays for starting the incredible Eagle Labs initiative.

Next year is almost here… I wonder, what are we going to do in 2017? 


Take a look at our 3D Inspiration Gallery

Brighton Eagle Lab

Barclays are investing in the future of the London Road area of Brighton & supporting businesses to embrace new and emerging technologies critical to the success of businesses in the UK.

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The outside of Brighton Eagle Lab

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