Meet Zubair, an ADAS(Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) engineer who has been a part of the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) family for several years. Through his journey, Zubair has not only grown as a professional but has also witnessed the flourishing of a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion. As a result, he has found a workplace where he feels safe, confident and excited to be himself.
If you want to delve deeper into Zubair’s experiences at JLR and discover how the company has fostered an environment where diverse minds can thrive, I encourage you to read his blog and see it for yourself.
What position did you start in and what is your position now? Please describe your current responsibilities.
I joined JLR In 2013 as an experienced hire after working in the Defence industry for over four years. Although transitioning into the Automotive industry posed a challenge at first, I quickly adapted to the faster pace of the work. My first role was in the Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (AME) department based in Solihull, Birmingham where the Range Rovers and Defender (at that time) were being built. Witnessing these incredible vehicles roll off the production line and past my office window every day was a highlight of my time there.
In 2015, I received a promotion and relocated to a position within International Manufacturing Operations (IMO) to launch the brand-new Jaguar E-Pace and all-electric Jaguar I-Pace in Graz, Austria. What I enjoyed most about this role was the opportunity to work abroad and immerse myself in a different culture. The food in Austria was also particularly enjoyable!
After successfully launching those vehicles in 2018, I made the decision to return to Engineering and was fortunate enough to secure a position in the Assisted & Automated Driving (AAD) department. Initially, my role was as a System Lead where I oversaw the delivery of a range of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) onto a new electrical architecture. A couple of years later, I was given the added responsibility of team leader.
Last year, as part of JLR’s transformation into an Agile organisation, I became a Product Owner within a new project and worked closely with NVIDIA as a technology partner. My focus is on delivering ADAS products using a Modelled Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach with a globally dispersed squad of 11 engineers. My primary objective is to ensure we build the right product in the right way and with the right quality, with a particular emphasis on customer use cases. A significant aspect of my role involves working with stakeholders and customers to ensure that the product we are developing meets their needs while balancing any technical constraints.
Are you involved in any other projects / networks? If so, please describe what they are and what your contributions are.
I am currently involved in two employee-led networks within JLR, namely the Islamic Society (ISoc) and REACH, which stands for Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Heritage.
I joined the ISoc network when I first started working at JLR. On my first day in Solihull, I was looking for a place to offer my afternoon prayer. In my previous company, I would usually find a quiet meeting room to do this. However, at JLR, I was pleasantly surprised to find a multi-faith room in the building! It was then that I realised how supportive the company is of employees who wish to practice their faith. As a member of the ISoc network, I want to play a part in promoting this supportive environment.
I became involved in the REACH network since its inception in 2018. The aim of the network, to create an encouraging environment where diverse minds thrive and everyone feels safe, confident and excited to bring their whole selves to work, appealed to me the most. At that time, I had just started my new role based at Gaydon, so I volunteered to be a champion for the site to promote the network’s activities. More recently, I have been leading an initiative called the “Name Campaign” with other members of the network. The campaign aims to educate people on the importance and benefits of getting someone’s name right. Over the last 12 months, we have done this through Lunch & Learns on various name-related topics, a monthly column about the meanings and history of names from around the world and driven positive actions within the business. In November 2022, the campaign was given an award for the meaningful impact it has had within JLR. This was one of the proudest moments of my career so far. Over the next year, we have set out our vision and key workstreams to build on what we achieved last year.
One other project I have been involved in is the virtual Coffee Roulette within my department (AAD). I initially established this during the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to keep colleagues feeling connected while working from home. This initiative has continued as our department has expanded globally and has helped colleagues’ network and build new connections. The feedback has been great, and the best thing for me has been learning more about my colleagues beyond just the work stuff.
What do you like about working here?
There are several things that I like about working for JLR. My top five are:
- The ability to practice my faith without compromising my identity.
- The brand and products – it goes without saying that our cars are impressive!
- The wide variety of roles available, making it easy to move within the company and look for that next challenge.
- Collaboration – while the team culture varies, I have always experienced a strong sense of collaboration in each of my roles.
- Lastly, the shift to hybrid working has allowed me to have a better work/life balance.
What are your career aspirations? Do you feel that you get the necessary support from your management / department to help achieve your learning & development goal?
I am always keen to continuously develop myself and advance within the company – I do feel I have the support of management in my professional growth. Additionally, I am currently pursuing registration as a Chartered Engineer through the IET.
Describe your team / department, and what makes it stand out from our competition?
The diversity of our department’s teams, both in terms of culture and location, is immediately noticeable. This has become even more prominent in the last 2-3 years due to remote working, which has allowed us to attract talent in mainland Europe and expand in the US, China and India.
This is what I believe sets us apart from our competitors – the abundance of creative ideas that stem from the diverse range of minds in our department. As a result, we have created an environment that is forward-thinking, positive, and proactive in our approach to work.
Tell us 3 interesting facts about yourself.
Firstly, I am proud to be a STEM Ambassador. As part of this role, I engage with young students, delivering talks in schools and mentoring individuals through the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship programme. My main motivation is to give back to the community; I wouldn’t have pursued my current career path if someone hadn’t inspired me when I was younger, and I hope to be that inspiration for the next generation of Engineers.
Secondly, I am passionate about fundraising for charity, and I usually do so by undertaking extreme challenges. In the past, I have completed the Paris Marathon, conquered the 3 peaks challenge, and cycled over 100 miles from Leicester to London in a day. In June, I will be participating in another cycling challenge, riding over 400 miles from Amsterdam to Copenhagen within 5 days to raise money for the Help the Homeless charity in Leicester.
Lastly, I am a sports fanatic – especially football, Formula E and Formula 1. In fact, I am a qualified FA youth football coach and have been coaching a team for the past 6 years at a local football club in Leicester called Community Football Academy (CFA). My love for football inspired me to take up coaching and help encourage youngsters to stay active and fit, rather than staying at home playing video games.
What hints and tips can you share with the potential candidates who are going through the application / interview process?
As a STEM ambassador, I often get asked for tips on applications and interview process. Here are five that I always suggest:
- Do your research on the company. Find out about their products, business strategy, and any challenges they’re facing.
- Structure your answers to competency questions around your experiences, and make sure to highlight the role you played in achieving positive outcomes.
- Remember that you won’t just be assessed on technical skills; your behaviour matters too.
- Prepare a few thoughtful questions to ask at the end of the interview.
- Most importantly – be yourself! It will make the whole process smoother and less stressful.
Find out more about our latest ADAS opportunities: click here