GUEST BLOG: From University to Automative Industry

UoY Careers Rocket illy  Careers in the Automotive Industry

Guest blog written by: Adam Lister, Systems Engineer, Vehicle Dynamic Systems at Jaguar Land Rover and York alum

After leaving the University of York with a Masters in Electronics Engineering with Digital Media Systems, I joined the 2-year graduate training program with Jaguar Land Rover. I have recently completed the program and work in a team that look after the software for all of the Chassis Electronic Systems on Jaguar Land Rover products. My specific system is Active Roll Control, seen on the all new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models.

As the Systems Engineer it is my responsibility to look after the day to day running and management of the team of 6 people who work on ARC in various ways. I am also responsible for planning, creating and carrying out tuning, testing and releasing of the software both in a simulation and on physical vehicle environment.

What made you choose to work in the luxury car industry?

I have always held an interest in cars and the ability to combine this with world class engineering was too good an opportunity to turn down. Jaguar Land Rover is a leading manufacturer of luxury cars and invests heavily in pushing the boundaries of technology, for example, the lightweight aluminium architecture. It is also great to work for a British company steeped with heritage that continues to be at the forefront of engineering design and manufacture in the UK.

How did your time at York help you in your job role?

My degree at York certainly helped me settle into my role quickly and effectively. Many skills and lessons learnt in my degree are put to use in my every day work. I use a lot of software tools that were introduced to me at university, in particular, Matlab and Simulink. These two programs are used extensively here at Jaguar Land Rover, my familiarity helped me get straight into effective working. Controls engineering is also a major role in my department, the modules I completed while at University set me up well with a level of understanding required to come in and be an effective team member very quickly.

Some of the softer skills I have gained are also invaluable, working on projects in small and large teams, communicating effectively and presenting technical details well are all critical to my work. My degree prepared me extremely well and equipped me with the relevant skills and critical thinking processes.

What was your transition from University to work like?

My time at York set me in very good stead to join the working world when I joined the 2-year graduate training program at Jaguar Land Rover. It is a fantastic introduction to working in industry and pushes and facilitates you to expand your skills. There are many training modules aimed at guiding you through a smooth transition as well as actively encouraging you to undertake various placements around the business to see all aspects of Jaguar Land Rover.

What hints and tips would you give to someone looking to apply for a role in the industry?

Do not hesitate! The car industry is a fantastic place to work, Jaguar Land Rover in particular, as a leading company in the UK and world-wide. I would recommend having a good, well laid out CV with any relevant work and life experiences and also try to obtain some interview practice if you can. These will put you in the best light in the eyes of a recruiter when it comes to assessment time. Brush up on your basic engineering principles but do not necessarily worry if you have no specific automotive knowledge (I didn’t!).

Research is also key, read up on the latest industry news, what are the latest trends and technologies? Be able to have a discussion on some of the big current ideas in the automotive industry. What do you think will be the key to mass roll out of Electric Vehicles for example? For those not about to graduate, I would recommend trying to undertake a summer or year placement in industry, both of which Jaguar Land Rover also offer.

For Jaguar Land Rover Opportunities visit the careers website at: