Williams F1 – Junior Design Engineer, Mercedes AMG F1 team – R&D Design Engineer
I’m Katie, I’m 27 and from the Midlands. I work for a company that builds cars with robots.
I live in a tiny village called Bourton on Dunsmore, halfway between Rugby & Coventry. I live with my partner Tim and our cat called Bumble (who is always very hungry).
I love motorsport, so at the weekends you would probably find me racing at a go-kart track or watching the Formula One on TV. I also love computer & board games – we even converted a bedroom in our house to become a dedicated gaming room! I’m a big fan of escape rooms and have tested my escape skills all over Europe.
I help car companies to build their cars with robots – robots are much faster and more accurate than us humans!
Take a virtual tour of our office – can you spot me?! Comau Office
50 years ago we made everything by hand, but humans aren’t always as good at making things as robots are.
Robots don’t have to sleep at night or be fed every few hours and they won’t make a mistake once you’ve told them what to do.
Robots are excellent workers, so companies that make lots of things find it’s faster, more accurate and lower cost to have a robot put something together instead of a person.
My company is an expert in building cars. We help car companies like Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Bentley, McLaren and Ford work out the best way to put together their car.
I work in sales so it is my job to find out what the customer wants and to sell them the best type of robot for the job.
My Typical Day: On a typical day I might visit a customer in the morning to talk about a new car they want to make. In the afternoon I’ll head back to the office to catch up with the Project Managers to make sure all of our customers are happy with our service.
My Job is split into 2 parts:
In internal meetings I have to stand up for the customer. We have a team of people that design and build the robots and equipment to build a car automatically. It might be the best design in the world, but if the customer doesn’t want to spend that much money then we won’t be able to sell it. I have to make sure our design fits want the customer wants – different customers want different things. For some money is everything, for others they want the newest, fastest robots possible.
When I visit a customer I have to make sure I understand what they want to use a robot for. Some customers are very experienced and know every detail. Others have never seen a robot before – these are my favourite projects as we can come up with lots of new ideas!
What I'd do with the money
I want to spread the word about the different types of engineer you can be. You could work in a factory getting your hands dirty, in an office as a designer or travelling the world to manage engineering projects. There are so many possibilities.
I want to host a careers event at Comau.
I would invite our different engineering departments and some of our customers to set up an activity that can show everyone the skills they need for their job.
The idea is we will have 5 or 6 different zones, with different types of engineering. Every student will spend 30-45 mins on each activity:
Software Engineering: We have some demonstration robots, students can have a go at programming an industrial robot.
Sales Engineering: Students will need to sell a robot to customer! They will need to pick the robot that they think suits the customer best, then explain why, picking out the important information.
Manufacturing Engineering: Build a leaf blower powered hovercraft. If you build it well enough you should float!
Project Management: Build a lego car – the only trouble is, only one of your team can see the instructions and they are not allowed to touch the car. A real test of communication skills
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Determined, Competative and a Chocaholic
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I love seeing cars on the road that I know I helped to build
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No I was a Goody Two Shoes!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A Vet – I LOVE animals
Who is your favourite singer or band?
At the moment, Catfish and the Bottlemen
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I had a go in the Williams F1 team’s simulator – about as near to driving an F1 car as I’ll get
Tell us a joke.
What Cheese can you hide a horse in? Mascarpone!