Rebecca Summers


What I do

I am a brazer at Brompton Bicycle, the UK’s largest bike manufacturers. Brompton make folding bicycles that are designed specifically for cities and my job is to help manufacture the bike. As a brazer I join the main metal objects of the bike at extremely high temperatures. When brazing these parts together I can be dealing with temperatures up to 1,500°C – that’s three times the heat of the hottest planet in the solar system! I’m the first ever female brazer here and I’m really proud of it.

How I got my job

Five years ago I started working at Brompton alongside two of my other family members. It was definitely helpful knowing my family were around. If I had any questions or was struggling with anything I could always ask them. When I passed my probation period, Brompton offered me a pre-assemble line position and since then I have carried on progressing within the company. I am always keen to better myself and I looked into engineering as a possible step forward. I wanted to be trained in brazing, as this is the most skilled process in the engineering of the Brompton bike and really interested me. Last July I started my training, which I passed with flying colours, and have been working hard to continue that training ever since.

What I love about my job

I love the fact that every part I braze is custom made and is part of the final product that goes out to our customers all around the world. I am now working on progressing into a section to make bikes in the Raw Lacquer finish. The Raw Lacquer bikes are sold in their raw state without paintwork, so each part is inspected to perfection, making the training a lot more intense. I want to make sure I am part of the elite group that can braze all of our bikes to the best of their ability.

What is difficult about my job

One of the biggest challenges of my job is the use of different sized materials and learning to adapt to the different temperatures and different types of material involved. It’s also important to inspect all tools and equipment before the start of the day as I work with highly toxic and flammable chemicals. I have to wear protective clothing and a safety helmet with an air vent, which can feel very heavy by the end of the day. My job takes lots of concentration and can be physically quite tough on a day-to-day basis.

Where to start

There are only a small number of people in the world that can actually call themselves brazers and I am extremely proud to be one of them. Having a job in engineering is great fun and to know that your work can be enjoyed and used by so many people is an honour.