Glasgow University student Lewis Campbell won the Autocar Next Generation competition, sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover, in November last year for his innovative anti-cloning car identification device to stop motorists unwittingly buying stolen vehicles. His prize was placement at various automotive companies including Nissan, McLaren, Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover.
Lewis recently completed his final placement at Jaguar Land Rover. He explained: “I’ve worked on a huge variety of projects. They’ve mainly been based around vehicle autonomy and electrification – two areas I have huge interest in. One such project is called Cortex, a project aimed at developing sensing technology capable of supporting autonomous driving on and off highway in all weather conditions.”
Campbell also took a trip to the Castle Bromwich assembly facility: “It was awe-inspiring to take a real peak behind the automotive curtain to see how Jaguar Land Rover assembles vehicles and to compare it to the manufacturing plants I’ve experienced at my previous placements.”
But it’s at the National Automotive Innovation Centre where Campbell has spent most of his time with JLR: “The NAIC is an amazing place,” he says. “It’s an incubator for fantastic new ideas and it stands as a testament to JLR’s commitment to solidifying the UK as a real industry leader in the electric revolution.”
Campbell’s fondest memory of his placement was spending time with the Panasonic Jaguar Racing Formula E team. “It was incredible,” says Campbell. “Not only was it interesting to experience the fast-paced energy of the team but also to witness first-hand some of the technology in Formula E that is making a direct impact on electric road cars.”
As well as the futuristic tech and fast cars, the company’s dedication to taking on and nurturing young talent also struck a chord with our award winner. “JLR’s commitment to not only solidifying the UK as a global hub of the automotive industry but also to helping aspiring engineers at all levels is something I really admire,” Campbell says.
“Jaguar Land Rover sees innovation as our future, and apprentices, undergraduates and other young people are our future talent pool – it’s really important that we bring through the next generation,” says Lewis’ mentor, Innovation Partnership Manager Anthony Jones.
“We require such a breadth of skill these days that it’s hard for young people to gain the right experience. Therefore, we believe it’s entirely right that people should be taken straight from academia as and when it’s appropriate and shown real-life industry skills.”