Engineering, People

The real faces of JLR – Dr Simone Gemkow

What drew you to this career area?

I have always been curious about how things work and I was most interested by math and science subjects in school. Some might say that these were the earliest steps towards a successful career in engineering.

What’s the best thing about working in this area?

Engineering allows me to do things that matter. I enjoy finding creative solutions to real-world problems and see their implementation. The work tasks and environment change frequently and I have the change to collaborate with great people regularly.

What’s the most exciting development you’ve witnessed in your sector since you started working in it?

Right now the automotive industry is going through more change than it has in the last few decades altogether. The introduction of electrification, connected, shared and autonomous driving features requires all of us to rethink and redefine what the product is. The car’s impact and the customer experience will change a lot. This brings many opportunities and innovation, and I am happy to be part of it.

If you had the power to change anything within the STEM sector, what would that be?

I think that there is a need for adjustments in STEM education. I see a lot of bright people in engineering who struggle to communicate their ideas. Education could prepare us better for this by adding training on communication and persuasion skills.

Which of your personality traits makes you best suited to your job and this sector?

It is often noted by people I work with that I have an organised and pragmatic way to approach tasks. I see this as important for me to deliver consistently high-quality work. I also enjoy to learn new things allowing me to regularly take on new tasks.

Is there something in your personal life that helps you/has helped you in your job?

My family and partner are a great source of support. Often they have believed more in me than I did in myself. Their encouragement has enabled me to go further than I could have done it alone.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in your area?

Engineering is a rewarding profession and I feel that it opened many doors to my professional development. But it is also challenging. The education was often difficult and the day-to-day responsibilities can be so too. Be realistic about this.
Also don’t think that you have to solve every problem all by yourself. You can’t and you don’t need to. Ask for help and learn from the support you get for the next time.