Innovation in the automotive industry and opportunities for graduates

Innovation in the automotive industry and opportunities for graduates


I run the engineering department where I have
a 60-strong team of multi-disciplined engineers,
consisting of electronic hardware, mechanical
engineers and software engineers.
For graduates it’s a great time to be in
the electronics field on automotive, because
with the field advancing and higher technology
in vehicles, there’s lots of opportunities
for developing what engineers do best – and
that’s high technology electronics.
In terms of electronics though you’ve got
the autonomous systems, cameras, ADAS systems
coming into cars, all the infotainment – single
screens, touch screens that come into cars,
advanced climate control and connected car
systems that are coming in – so a car can
link to other cars or link to the home.
Generally if we’re looking at taking graduates
on at Pektron I’d be looking to see what
they’d done as a final year project; how
relevant it’d be and how much work they’d
put into it and whether they’d got any sort
of hobbies in electronics at home, whether
they’re doing work with Arduinos or Raspberry
Pi or any sort of proto board work at home.
One of the best personal attributes an engineer
can have in this landscape today is a thirst
for ever learning new things and striving
to stay with advancing technology.
In a small business, one of the best things
you can have is exposure to the full product
life-cycle. In a bigger company you might
only be doing part of a project or part of
a design, but here you’ve got everything
from the quotation through to the full design,
the manufacture, the validation, the testing
etcetera, and full customer interaction throughout.
For example, I’ve got teams of engineers
who go abroad testing cars at circuits.
I’d advise students who are looking for
opportunities in smaller businesses to look
at the IET (Institution of Engineering and
Technology – theiet.org) because they’ve
put partnerships in place with the Enterprise
Partnership Scheme with small, medium enterprise
businesses, and they have links with Nottingham
University.


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