2002-06, BEng Automotive engineering with design, University of Sunderland
I directed my studies towards engineering because I knew from the age of five that’s what I was going to do and particularly directed at motorsport – that’s what I saw as the pinnacle of automotive engineering. I completed my degree, aiming as many modules as possible towards motorsport and getting heavily involved in Formula Student.
2006-08, Application engineer, CADconnect
This was invaluable experience for me; it was a good grounding for using CAD and some of the best training you could get. I was able to get involved in a huge variety of projects.
2008-09, MSc Motorsport engineering, Oxford Brookes University
I chose Oxford Brookes because it’s got a great reputation for links with motorsport teams and helping its graduates into the industry. Using motorsport software like Adams and Matlab, as well as learning a lot about design work on my course that was applicable in the industry, took me another step forward. I got involved in Formula Student again, this time doing some of the suspension design on the car, resulting in winning the design competition. I met like-minded people so it was an atmosphere I thrived in – a lot of people who’d been in this position had gone on to work in Formula One so it suddenly became more attainable and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has ambitions to work in motorsport.
2009-11, Graduate design engineer, Lotus Renault GP
My main role was composite design – front wings, diffusers, panels, drag reduction systems – but I was doing a little bit of everything and that’s what you’d be expecting to do as a graduate. A lot of the tooling and adding detail to work. It was a great experience and really gives you a feel for what life is like as a design engineer in an F1 team but it can be hard to break into bigger projects. There are engineers there with a lot more experience and waiting for a position to become available can take a long time so I was on the look-out for a job where I could do my own designs from scratch.
2011-14, Design engineer, Caterham F1 Team
Moving to Caterham F1 into my first fully-fledged role as a design engineer for an F1 team meant I was able to start taking more ownership of projects. I began working on the braking system – the brake pedal and brake balance adjuster – so it was a great first project to get my teeth into. I was then able to start on the rear suspension outboard – uprights, wishbones etc. After doing that for a couple of years I started to lead the rear suspension, so a much wider responsibility, overseeing the work of other people too.
2014-17, Design engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
Working for an automotive OEM in the advanced product creations department meant being able to get involved in more niche projects in concept engines for future cars. I started working on valvetrain actuation systems and this resulted in one of a few patents from my design work there.
2017-PRESENT, Chief designer, JRM Group
Here I work on white-label projects for large OEMs who are looking to get ahead of the curve in new technology or new concepts that they’d like to implement in future road cars. If there’s something that they’d like to learn, test out and develop before it gets to the stage of using it in their production, we take that on for them. I work on the delivery of all the test stages of advanced manufacturing methodologies from concept through to build before testing too so the manufacturer can be confident if they decide to fully implement it. I’ve spent most of my time on a mule chassis development for this purpose while in my senior design engineer role.
I’ve recently been promoted to chief designer, and am now overseeing the whole design office at JRM’s HQ. This involves a lot more strategy and planning. Before I was focusing on my own work, meeting the task and all elements of the design work, but now I focus on making sure the team has the support they need as well. I’m using my experience to make sure projects are reaching or even exceeding their goals.
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