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In The Driving Seat: At the forefront of a revolution in the automotive industry

In The Driving Seat: at the forefront of a revolution in the automotive industry

As a lead engineer for Lotus Cars, Apollin is at the forefront of a revolution in the automotive industry – namely the switch from fossil fuel to electric vehicles. With the impact of Covid-19 added to the mix, his job comes with huge responsibility to deliver solutions in challenging times.

However, this graduate knows just how to get the best from his team. Apollin puts this down to the leadership skills that he learned during his studies at WMG, where he gained an MSc in Sustainable Automotive Engineering (the course is now called MSc Sustainable Automotive Electrification).

“My job is to ensure everyone is working together towards a shared goal,” says Apollin, who has even found time to publish a guide to electric vehicles. “For me, communication is essential and it's something I have instilled in my team. As well as technical understanding, at WMG I learned so much about leadership and how to keep a team engaged. How to listen to people before expressing your views and also asking them how they feel about what they’re doing. It’s about being understanding and empathetic – whilst also empowering them.”

Apollin's engineering career was already established when he joined WMG, which included several years in a senior role at Lear Corporation. But, as someone continually seeking self-improvement, he had his sights set on consolidating his professional experience with an MSc, and also becoming a chartered engineer. To achieve this goal, he needed to go back to university. For this engineer, WMG was the ideal fit because it equipped him with the practical knowledge necessary to progress in a dynamic industry.

From developing battery packs to project planning, Apollin says he gained all the vital expertise sought after by employers in the sector at WMG.

“As I had been working for many years, I knew that I needed a course that would provide teaching which is embedded in industry and which would get to grips with the challenges faced by the automotive sector. SAE at WMG was the perfect option and the industry links and knowledge is impressive".

A major challenge in automotive vehicle development is detecting faults in batteries. Seeking to positively contribute to this challenge, Apollin chose for his thesis to develop a tool that could check for changes. If a fault is detected, the device then sends out a signal to tell the engineer the exact location of the discrepancy.

The father-of-two, who lives in Coventry, has now been awarded chartered engineer status and is still looking to continue his professional education, whilst putting his learning into practice at Lotus.

There’s one task he has to complete in his personal life, says Apollin: "I now need to switch my family car for a more sustainable (electric) vehicle". Then he’ll really be in the driving seat.