Apprentice, Body Engineering, Early Careers, Featured, People, Who We Are

Make it yours. My first week at Jaguar Land Rover.

Whenever embarking on a new journey there is always excitement, there is always hope and there is always a little apprehension. Starting a new job is no different and that is exactly how I felt as I drove into car park B at the Ricoh Arena for my first day at Jaguar Land Rover.

Come the end of the week, the excitement was multiplied and the apprehension was quashed. As I drove back to Manchester after my first week in the Midlands, I thought about how lucky and proud I was to join this company, to meet all of my colleagues and to make all of the new friends I had.

The first three days of the induction week were held at the Ricoh Arena. We were told of the 35,000 applicants for the 500 odd apprentice and graduate roles and it reinforced the privilege of the position we were in. During the 3 days we would be addressed by key members of the business to teach us what it meant to be part of JLR. From inspiring talks from Dr Gillian Mara to charismatic presentations from lead designers, each session was insightful and engaging. We had the rare opportunity to question programme leader, Russ Varney, on the brand new I-PACE as well as learning more about the Motorsport side of the business, looking at Formula E and the I-PACE eTROPHY.

Beyond the presentations, we also had the opportunity to learn more about the business itself and the specific schemes in place, from learning how the company implements continuous improvement, to putting together a timeline of the rich history of Jaguar and Land Rover. The induction was extremely well run and thanks goes to all of the organisers, everyone who gave presentations and the apprentice team. It was a start that I’m sure we will never forget.

Beyond the general induction for all apprentices and graduates, we spent 2 days on site at Gaydon in our departments. I am in the body engineering department and it seems like it was the best choice for me. Including me there were 28 people welcomed into the department with engaging and educational activities which gave us many key messages. From ice breakers which showed us that by working as a team we could improve performance by over 50%, to presentations which showed us that customers are the main driver of change, it was a great 2 days of meeting everyone we will be working with for the next 6 years. It was clear each activity was extremely well planned which was evident during my favourite activity of the 2 days – static vehicle benchmarking. Waiting for us in the car park were 8 different vehicles which we could play with: what could be better? By comparing our products with our competitors, we gained an appreciation for the market and the interesting obstacles we will be working to overcome as part of JLR. Thanks goes to Ajmeer, Rumon, Jack and everyone from the body engineering department for their hospitality and work they put in to welcome us to the team.

It’s safe to say that the first week at JLR exceeded all expectations. The key message from the event was to “make it yours”, and as we start on this journey, this week empowered me to try my best to make it mine.

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Autonomous, Electrical Engineering, Engineering, Featured, People, Shannon, Software, Technology, Who We Are


Why did you choose to apply for your role at Jaguar Land Rover?

I suppose it’s to move up a level and get the full vehicle infrastructure view. Working for a component supplier it’s interesting but you’re not aware of the wider ecosystem of what happens in the car, moving up into an OEM you see all of that cool stuff that’s happening. We’re doing all sorts of things here like blockchain and cloud computing.

The work that Jaguar Land Rover are doing here is so exciting and cutting edge that across all sorts of software industries news spread quickly.

Do you feel like you’re part of a transformation?

Absolutely! Within JLR there is a move to develop more cutting edge software but also within the industry it’s the move to autonomous driving. It’s on multiple levels.

Describe the culture here in the West of Ireland software hub.

The culture is very supportive of creativity and taking ownership of tasks yourself. Innovation is also a big thing and also process is a big one. With good process that empowers engineers to make their own decisions and steer their own path but also set clear gates maintain quality, safety and reliability

What type of person will succeed here?

If you’re creative and can act and push things forward yourself without waiting to be told you’ll succeed here.

Were you a car person before you came here?

Not a car person at all actually, purely into the image analysis and signal processing analytics side. I get asked that a lot actually.

Have you become one?

Absolutely, it’s hard not to when you see some of the vehicles JLR have.

Featured, People, Research

The real faces of JLR – Ayse Crossland

What drew you to this career area?

I first got introduced to Human Factors as I was doing my undergraduate degree in Manufacturing Engineering. I then followed onto do an MSc in Human Factors at the University of Nottingham and completed my project on Automotive Human Factors in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover. That’s when I knew I wanted to further my career in this area.

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

Probably the developments in Automated Driving. Working in Research I’m lucky enough to witness some really cool technologies around Automated Driving that most probably a lot of people will not get to experience until these technologies become available to the public. It is definitely something I underestimate some days, the amount of exciting technologies we get to encounter on a regular basis that lots of other people don’t.

What aspect of your job did you struggle/have you struggled to get to grips with?

Working with different teams who have different expectations has definitely been the most challenging part of my job. When engaging with stakeholders one of the important things is managing people’s expectations. This is something I definitely appreciate more and more over time.


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

More women in higher positions in companies! People always say that there aren’t as many women in certain industries compared to the number of men as there aren’t as many women who come from a STEM background. I think this is definitely changing and this can be reflected more in industry.

I would also get rid of the look of surprise on people’s faces when I tell them I’m an engineer which I still get from time to time to this day (sometimes even accompanied by “but you don’t look like an engineer”!).

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

I believe I’m in a very lucky position having completed a Human Factors degree after an Engineering degree. An Engineering degree isn’t just about learning all the technical elements but I believe it teaches you a really useful way of thinking and approaching problem solving. I find this helps me communicate with the engineers in the company easily and also helps me with being able to bridge the gap between Human Factors and Engineering.

As a Human Factors specialist in the Human Machine Interaction team it’s my job to create the best user experience possible for our customers when they are interacting with the technologies in the vehicle. I like making the lives of the people around me easier in general and enjoy the fact that the focus of my job is people.

How do you make connections with others in the STEM community?

I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors and try to sustain connections with colleagues in this area through this. I also find conferences are a useful way to make new connections.



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Featured, People, Who We Are

Jaguar Land Rover Challenge 2018

The UK’s largest and longest-running team-building competition, saw the teams tackle a number of different activities along the designated route, which they needed to complete within 11 hours. Tasks included small boat building, mountain biking, a driving challenge, abseiling and 54km of walking routes across the Welsh countryside.

Ian Cooper, captain of the winning team, said: “Teamwork was vital to our success from scouting the terrain to planning our route. We’ve all had a brilliant time and think it’s great Jaguar Land Rover gives us such an amazing opportunity to develop our skills outside work.”

The outward bound team-building challenge promotes teamwork, leadership and confidence, and was supported by 50 employee and retiree volunteers.