Nicholas Chamberlaine Secondary School, The Open University.
11 GCSE’s (1 A*, 7A’s, 3B’s), BTEC Level 3 in Engineering, HNC in General Engineering, BEng in Mechanical Engineering.
Costa Coffee, Starbucks, TATA Technologies, Polestar.
Product Development Engineer
From Nuneaton, Living in Leamington Spa. Trying to master running.
Born and raised in the West Midlands now living in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Currently studying a Mechanical Engineering bachelors whilst working full time!
Favourite pizza is goat’s cheese and walnut…. or something with chicken!
I enjoy being active – running, general exercise and hiking, photography, interior design and architecture.
I would love to learn another language – I need to find the time!
I am part of a team that designs and develops the interior of passenger cars for Polestar - an electric performance brand.
I am a product development engineer. The team I work in at Polestar designs and develops the whole vehicle interior of our current project. Here is a list of some interior components, some are shown in the image below; Steering wheel, dashboard, IP, front and rear seats, carpets, airbags, seatbelts and boot trim.
I use computer software such as CATIA to model parts shown in the image in 3D! This creates a virtual version of the car that we can then use to test and lead the manufacture of the vehicle.
We work….. in an office!! Normally, you would think engineers work in factories or with machines but our work is mostly done using computers for the first 2 years of the project.
An image of the first company I worked at. This was a great office space!
My Typical Day: I get to the office at 8am, we have a team meeting at 9am to talk about our top jobs for the week and what we would like to achieve before Friday. I then have cross functional meetings from 10am-12pm. This involves working with other areas of the business to find solutions to problems. I then have lunch with the team and go for a short walk as I am sat down all day! After lunch I use 1pm-4pm to do my personal work; answering emails, reading legal documents and modelling parts in 3D space. From 4-5pm I do some admin work - writing technical specifications for my components.
A typical Thursday – quarantine edition!
8am-9am – I get to my desk at 8am and use the first half an hour to prepare and set up my work station for our daily ‘start up’ meeting. Our team uses this half an hour to talk about the top issues of the day, how they are progressing and if we need assistance to solve any problems. It is also a great way to connect with my colleagues whilst we are working from home, as we speak to and see each other on video call every day.
9am-10am – next on my calendar is the ‘cross function group review’. In this review myself and my colleagues represent interiors. There are 10 function groups in our office. This review allows us to give our opinions on decisions being made in specific areas of the car and show the impact of the changes to our parts. Senior management will then make the final decision on what direction we will take, after listening to everyone’s opinion. This review requires good communication skills and the ability to think from another person’s perspective in order to reach the best solution.
10am-11:30am – Between 10am and 11:30am I have free time in my calendar. I use this to work on my top issues of the week. For example: if we have clashing components that need moving or if our current design needs changing; how are we going to change it? I utilise the software CATIA V5 to show 3D representations of proposals and powerpoint to create presentations explaining what changes I need to make to improve the design with short paragraphs containing technical information. These presentations are then presented in our Friday function group review or a wider forum if the change impacts other functions.
11:30am-1pm – My next meeting is a ‘design review’ with the studio team in Sweden. We work with lots of people from different countries. This requires excellent communication due to language barriers and time zone differences. Our studio team in Sweden works on the artistic vision of the car. They create models of the exterior and interior of the car to show how they want the style to look. This review is used by the engineering team to discuss what is feasible and what isn’t feasible regarding the desired style. Studio either agree on compromises or continue to work to achieve the given style. The image below is the Polestar Precept. This is an example of a studio engineers work.
1pm-2pm – I am very busy today! Straight after the studio review I run (virtually currently as I am working from home) to my next meeting – Pedestrian Protection. One of my components is called the frunk – or the front trunk. You may have seen them on some high profile electric cars such as the Tesla Model 3. I have popped an image below.
The frunk is great as it provides more storage space in an EV compared with in a conventional internal combustion engine car. However, is it right in the middle of the crash zone! Every week, we do CAE (computer aided engineering) to predict head and leg injury. There is a legal requirement on all vehicles to meet certain safety standards. We must design the front end of the car to meet these legal requirements for crash and pedestrian impact. This meeting helps the team understand if we are going in the right direction by analysing the results of the CAE and discussing where we can improve/what is causing a problem.
2pm-3pm – I take a late lunch on Thursday at 2pm. I use this time to step away from my desk and go for a walk. This is very important if you are sat down all day!
3pm-5pm – I use the last two hours of the day to complete admin work that is required in my role as a product development engineer. This includes writing technical regulations, continuing on with proposals, reading legal requirements, replying to emails and engaging with suppliers.
I am currently working from home! It really shows how little I need to do my job and engineer! A computer, some fancy software, a headset and a notepad!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
inquisitive, determined, empathetic.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Involvement in my first company's CSR commitee. I ran STEM/ engineering specific activity days in schools in Leamington Spa and Banbury that were a great success.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My biggest inspirations are my grandmother Aileen - who has always been ahead of her time and Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian actress who helped invent WIFI.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Science, English and History!
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Nope!! I was too scared to disappoint my gran!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would go into manufacturing engineering or research.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Lamb Sunday Roast
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Visited CERN in Switzerland!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Success, good health and great friends.
Tell us a joke.
To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.