Explore: Engineering

Manager of Engineering
Lola Cars

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Sharon H

00.00.03 My name is Sharon H. I work as a Manager of the engineering group and I work at Lola Composites. I manage a team of six engineers, three of them are CAD engineers and three are manufacturing engineers. I also schedule all of the work for them within our department and for the rest of the engineering within the factory.

00.00.29 I wanted to work in the sports industry. I was always a good all rounder sports and basically that’s all I ever wanted to do and I went and did an HND in business and finance and then it had bolt-on parts for recreational management. So I basically did that but I came and worked at Lola Composites in 1992 at a kit-cutter because I needed some money. Obviously being a poor student I needed some money and that’s how it all started off.

00.00.58 I then graduated and still really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I thought I still wanted to work in the recreation side of things. Applied for lots of jobs but there wasn’t really a lot out there and after doing all the lifeguard training and working in a sports centre, I then decided it really wasn’t what I wanted to do. It was a lot of hard work for not a lot of gain back was what I felt at the time. So it didn’t give me a challenge.

00.01.33 I think it was at that point that I found out that I was actually quite good at organising things and I found I was very quick at typing out all of the processes of manufacture for tooling. And it was in 1995, I thought well we get new project managers in who have probably been working in different industries, doing a similar job but working doing different things. So I decided to write a project department manual which covered all of the theory of tool making, a glossary of terms, how to choose what particular tool to manufacture for particular components and so on and set it all out.

00.02.09 And after I wrote that I handed it in to the project managers at the time and they thought it was great. And basically, they offered the position of being a project engineer which I took up with open arms. And I’ve never looked back since. I’ve had a few knock backs during my career. Basically, after the birth of my son Jamie in 2001, I was a project engineer before I went away on maternity leave and came back four months later and was offered a different job as a business development manager. Because it was felt by the management at the time that I wouldn’t be able to be a project engineer on a four-day week because I wanted to have Fridays off to be able to spend a long weekend with my son.

00.02.58 I proved the company wrong a year later on that after being a business development manager for a year we had a change in the management structure. And because through being the business development manager I’d brought on a number of new customers who wanted me to project manager their projects within the industry. And so I did that from 2002 until currently, we’ve had another new management come into place and they’ve recognised my skills and have basically promoted me to being the manager of the engineering group.

00.03.33 The one single event that’s been the biggest impact on my life was the birth of my son Jamie. He obviously plays a huge part in my husband’s and my life and also he gets involved with some of the parts that we make here. He wants us to make him a satellite dish but he doesn’t quite understand the concept of how big a job it is to actually make a satellite dish. But he thinks it’s cool because mummy and daddy work there to be able to make it for him.

00.04.05 End

Sharon H is Manager of the Engineering Group at Lola Composites. She says “I wanted to work in the sports industry but as I needed money as a student I did a job in Lola. I found I was actually quite good at organising things and Lola they offered the position of being a project engineer which I took up with open arms… New management recognised my skills and promoted me to manager of the engineering group.”

More information about Mechanical engineers

average salary

The UK average salary is ÂŁ29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

93%  male 
7%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Mechanical engineers undertake research and design, direct the manufacture and manage the operation and maintenance of engines, machines, aircraft, vehicle and ships’ structures, building services and other mechanical items.
Mechanical engineers usually possess an accredited university degree. After qualifying, periods of appropriate training and experience are required before membership of a chartered engineering institution is attainable. Incorporated engineers possess an accredited university degree, BTEC/SQA award or an apprenticeship leading to an NVQ/SVQ at Level 4, followed by periods of training and relevant experience.
  • Undertakes research and advises on energy use, materials handling, thermodynamic processes, fluid mechanics, vehicles and environmental controls;
  • Determines materials, equipment, piping, capacities, layout of plant or system and specification for manufacture;
  • Designs mechanical equipment, such as steam, internal combustion and other non-electrical motors for railway locomotives, road vehicles, aeroplanes and other machinery;
  • Ensures that equipment, operation and maintenance comply with design specifications and safety standards;
  • Organises and establishes control systems to monitor operational efficiency and performance of materials and systems.
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Employment status

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