Biographies for Engineers Careers Seminar on 17 June 2020
Caroline Zyla (Saint Martin’s, 1986 - 2000 Helmets) has a MEng in Manufacturing Engineering and Management from Warwick University and is now the New Product Development Process Manager for IMI Precision, part of IMI plc.
Following internships with Land Rover and IMI, Caroline took up a full time graduate programme at IMI plc, working out of the UK first, then Belgium, then Switzerland, then Germany, the USA where she spent 8 years, and finally moved back to the UK 7 years ago, and back to a job in Solihull.
Caroline has now worked for IMI for 15 years and spent her time working within Supply chain (Procurement) and Operations Project Management and over the last few years focussing on the development of new products for her division of IMI – IMI Precision Engineering.
Caroline’s current role supports projects to support IMI Precisions’ business units. This can range from supporting projects for truck applications to help trucks to be more energy efficient, factory automation requirements to support our customer’s needs, and highly relevant projects at the moment in the medical sector like the development of some of the smallest and most accurate valves for medical products including ventilators. The projects that Caroline are supporting are clearly in line with IMI’s strategy which is defined as “Breakthrough engineering for a better world”
Caroline is also passionate about Diversity and inclusion in the Engineering area. She currently is the Diversity and Inclusion champion in her division and is driving activities to challenge and drive improvement in this area from supporting Mentoring, the new graduates joining the company and also working with local schools and colleges.
Andrew Blasdale (Fetherston, 1991 - 2002) was on the Engineering Education scheme at Solihull before leaving to read Engineering Science at Worcester College, Oxford. This is a fairly unique course that covers structural, mechanical and electrical engineering with fluid mechanics and much more. In 2012 he became a Chartered Member of the Institute of Structural Engineers.
Andrew has worked all over the world including Australia and Switzerland. He works for Eckersley O'Callaghan in London. They are structural and facade engineers working on projects all over the world. Their most notable collaborator is Apple, for whom they provide specialist glass engineering services.
Andrew has worked on a range of projects from private residential, schools, commercial offices, towers and bridges and all in different materials. In 2017 he completed a glass and steel pavilion in Covent Garden, now opened as a Sushi Samba restaurant. Given its prominent position this was one of his career highlights. He is now working on a 200m tall tower in Sydney and also a new wholly timber frame building in London.
Steph Hines (Saint Martin’s, 2005 – 2012) attended Liverpool John Moores University where she gained an MEng in Mechanical Engineering with an industrial placement. The placement year was with McLaren as a vehicle dynamics engineer. This led onto her master’s thesis being written on a piece of vehicle dynamics software that McLaren now use in their road vehicles. Her BEng thesis was for Gulf GT Racing to develop a code to analyse the driving style of their drivers during a race.
After university Steph went to work at Honda UK as the UK’s suspension engineer for the Honda Civic and Honda Civic Type R. This involved overseeing the suspension system from design stage by working with the designers in Japan, to prototype testing and then final production. My other role at Honda was as team manager for their endurance racing team, Synchro. On race weekends she was the person on the pit wall talking to the drivers. The one summoned to race control if there were any issues and usually the person the media interviewed if something was going wrong.
Steph is now a project manager for Williams Advanced Engineering (part of Williams Grand Prix). She has a variety of projects in the automotive sector and aerospace industry.