SAVE in the UK
The UK Business Tour
In the first week of September 2019, we, eighteen Vehicle Engineering students, went on the UK Business Tour. We went through the Eurotunnel to enter the land of the Beatles, Fish and Chips, and of course the many car manufacturers, of which five were chosen to be visited. Our main destination: Oxford, the city that is home to the historic Oxford university and known for its characteristic buildings that might remind us of the Harry Potter films. From Oxford, we travelled across England to visit Williams, Arrival, Aston Martin, Mini and Rolls Royce.
Our journey began at Williams. When we arrived there, we got a history tour through the Formula 1 heritage exposition hall. In the hall, all the Williams Formula 1 car models were displayed since they started manufacturing them. After the tour, we were guided through the Williams wind tunnel installation, followed by a lecture about the aerodynamics of the formula 1 vehicles. The visit was closed with a networking session where some inspiring junior Engineers, that started their careers at Williams, told their stories.
For more information about Williams, visit their website to search for open job positions.
Williams was followed by Arrival. Arrival is a pioneering company that aspires to craft the world’s first Generation 2 electric vehicle. This is an electric vehicle that has the price of a fossil fuel one. The company designs and builds from scratch, allowing them to simplify and rebuild electric cars, trucks and buses. As a result, their designs are minimalistic and easy-to-assemble, saving a lot of manufacturing money in the process.
To summarize our visit, it started with an exploration through their factory, followed by an inspirational presentation by Joe Griston about the ideals and aspirations of Arrival and their working environment. Thereafter, we got a tour around the Roborace factory. Roborace is a partner organization of Arrival that organizes a racing series for autonomous electric racing cars in order to accelerate the development of autonomous software.
Visit their websites to find out more about Arrival and the Roborace.
On the second day, we resumed the tour at Aston Martin. There, we got to inspect some Aston Martin cars from up close. By trying out the seats while holding the steering wheels we could experience the view through the front window of the vehicles. This was followed by a presentation about Aston Martin and the career opportunities that they provide. After the presentation, we got a tour through their factory, starting at the hall of history, were their heritage was displayed in a timeline of live Aston Martin cars up until James Bonds’ DB10. We continued through the manufacturing site where we observed the whole building process of their latest cars from painting the shell to the driving test. The visit ended with a Q&A by some of the design engineers.
For more information about Aston Martin and their career opportunities, visit their website.
The next stop was at Mini. We visited the Mini Plant in Oxford where we got a tour at the factory, which was split up into two parts. The first part was the autonomous part in which there were robot arms as far as the eyes could see. These robots assembled the whole shell of the Minis, so they were ready to go to the second part of the factory. There, the motor and the interior of the Mini were assembled by human employees. Every 68 seconds, a new Mini was created and ready for export.
Find out more about Mini through their website.
We closed the day at a café in Oxford, where an alumni event was organized. TU Delft alumni from all over England visited the event to socialize and network and to hear about each other’s stories. Many of them worked at (vehicle) engineering companies, others did research at the university of Oxford.
Last, but not least, we visited the Goodwood Rolls Royce plant. There, we got to experience the luxury of sitting in a Roll Royce and enjoying the many possibilities that will make life easier. Thereafter, we got a presentation about the history and vision of Rolls Royce and about the Goodwood plant. This was followed by a Q&A, after which we continued the Rolls Royce experience with a tour through the plant. During the tour, we were shown the passion and dedication that the diligent employees put into the design and manufacturing of the Rolls Royce cars. Every part of a Rolls Royce is handmade. For instance, Embroidered ceilings, engraved wooden dashboards, and artistic shell paintings were all made at the plant. As a result, this artistry and passion could be felt through the whole plant’s ambiance.
For information about careers at Rolls Royce, visit their website.
Hereby, the amazing UK business tour of 2019 ended on a high note. Our thanks go to the people of Williams, Arrival, Aston Martin, Mini and Rolls Royce for giving us incredible and varied tours and insights into the organization and engineering of your companies. Also, we thank the SAVE 3 board for organizing this memorable event.
Head of Internal Affairs
SAVE Board 4