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Patrick Irvine

Patrick Irvine

Graduate Engineer, Smart, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

What attracted you to the scheme?

The scheme was (and still is) really attractive for me because it allows a clear path for professional development. I felt quite naive as an engineering graduate coming into the scheme but knew there was a clear path ahead of me, giving me an opportunity to find the niche that I fit into and providing a whole bunch of support in place for me should I need it.

A typical day as a Graduate Engineer

At the moment I’m working with the validation and verification team of the Intelligent Vehicles group. A typical day for me can involve independent research to inform the language that I’m leading the development of, with the close support of my colleagues, as well as partaking in meetings with the international standardisation group ASAM, as I contribute to the standardisation work in the field. Day to day work really can vary a lot though and the fast pace environment is something I’ve adapted to and really appreciate now.

What projects have you worked on?

Throughout the scheme I’ve worked on a real variety of projects. The first being the writing of teaching slides for part of a master’s programme that WMG run about RADAR sensor emulation. The second really suited a lot of the skills that I developed in my degree; it was the design and development of a mobile roadside sensor unit. This project was followed by the coronavirus outbreak and a software development project that I could do from home. After this I started work on a project surrounding language development for describing a vehicles ODD (operational design domain), I’ve really found my footing in this project and have managed to extend it into a six month placement as part of my second year of the scheme.

Why should someone apply?

Someone should apply for the scheme and the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles pathway, if they know they’d like to work in Automotive Engineering but haven’t quite figured out what their focus area is yet. The scheme gives you a unique opportunity to explore what you enjoy in the field. Also if you’re interested being involved in one of the growth areas in engineering in Britain then smart, connected and autonomous vehicle development is definitely the area for you.

What are the best parts of the Scheme?

The best part of the scheme for me has been the exposure to so many different areas of the research industry and different approaches to working, it’s really allowed me the space to grow and develop my skills quickly; I am so much more confident an engineer as a result.