Luke Thompson, 29, studied mechanical engineering at the University of Manchester, and did a PhD in composite materials. He explains how he is now part of the “family” at Lotus, a British manufacturer of sports and racing cars.
After applying for Lotus’ graduate scheme, Luke is still there, working in the Vehicle Attributes Department. He explains that the main focus of his job is “vehicle dynamics CAE (Computer Aided Engineering), which involves looking at our current and future cars and modelling the complete suspension system”.
He adds: “I am also involved in looking at competitive brands, and assessing how they build their cars so that we can ensure our vehicles are the best on the market.”
One of the main reasons that Luke applied to Lotus was to work with the products. However, he says that on top of this, the size of the company means that you get a bit more of a family atmosphere, and everyone knows each other.
“Lotus provides a great opportunity to experience different parts of the business and even in my role at the moment, I still get to touch on different areas of work,” says Luke.
This is great for graduates. “A lot of graduates come out of university saying they want to work with cars, but the scheme at Lotus will really allow you to figure out exactly what you are interested in within this field.”
Luke also loves his job because he was able to fulfil his dream. He says: “It offers hands-on experience with cars. I got to work on and drive sports cars and this had always been my dream. We get to test drive the cars, just to check everything is running smoothly, and this is definitely a huge perk of the job.
“We are the final sign-off in the handling and attributes process, so we get a large say in how the car feels. This is an extremely satisfying role to have.”
He adds: “The products we make are well respected and once people find out you work for Lotus they are always really interested in what you do.
“I have friends that are working in the oil industry, or are investment bankers, and when I go and meet up with them they are always asking me what I am doing, as opposed to talking about what they do. It’s a great feeling.”