I was lucky enough to be given a lot of responsibility on real projects & it was cool to turn on the TV & watch cars racing using parts I’d worked on

Jack Willis
Jack Willis
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Company: Multimatic
Jack Willis is studying Mechanical Engineering with a Year in Industry and is currently the Technical Director at Sheffield Eco Motorsport team. The team competes in the annual competition run by Shell which sees students from multidisciplinary backgrounds compete to design a car that can travel the longest distance on the least amount of fuel.

For his year in industry Jack worked at Multimatic which is a global company who provide products and services to the automotive industry which include the engineering and manufacture of automotive complex mechanisms, suspension systems, body hardware and structures, as well as lightweight carbon fibre composite systems.

Why did you decide to do a year in industry?

The current engineering jobs market is swamped by 1000's of graduates, all with solid engineering degrees from top class Universities. Therefore, I decided to do a Year in Industry as a way of standing out amongst the crowd and adding some real-world experience to my CV to help differentiate myself from other graduates.

How did you find your year in industry opportunity?

I first heard of Multimatic’s placements through Motorsport Jobs (an online job listing site for roles in the high end automotive & motorsport sector).

Tell us about project(s) which you have been most involved with whilst on year in industry?

Throughout my placement I was responsible for running FE simulations on safety critical components for a wide range of vehicles, including Formula 1, Formula E, WEC, fast road & hyper car projects.

I also ran a number of load case cascades and step-wise simulations to help derive load cases to feed these analyses to develop a robust component fit for its required lifespan.

What do you like about the company you have done your year in industry with?

Multimatic, and more specifically the Analysis Department in which I was placed, was a great location for a placement student as you weren’t treated as an intern there to just make cups of tea. I was lucky enough to be given a lot of responsibility on real world projects from day one and it was very cool to be able to turn on the TV and watch cars racing using parts I’d worked on, if a little stressful at times!

What has been the most challenging aspect to undertake a year in industry?

I’d say the most challenging aspect was the steep initial learning curve when adapting to the software, practices and modes of operation of a real engineering firm. However, Multimatic were fantastic in offering standardised training courses to all employees so this initial challenge was quickly overcome.

What has been your favourite part of completing a year in industry?

My favourite part of my Year in Industry would be without a doubt having the chance to take on responsibility and accountability for my work. This helped me develop my confidence as an engineer, and in my ability to apply my knowledge and stand by my work whilst taking criticism and learning from some of the best engineers in the industry.

Which part of your degree has helped you with undertaking a year in industry the most?

Conducting structural FE simulations on safety critical components, the solid mechanics and stress fundamentals learned through Uni were critical in doing this job and I definitely don’t think I would have been able to do it without that firm base of understanding.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I hope to be able to continue to apply the broad knowledge base gained in my Mechanical Engineering degree in a way that helps accelerate the world to a carbon neutral future.

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