Ford provides unique insights as part of Girls Takeover

A student has been given unparalleled insights into the skills required for EV development at Ford as part of Girls Takeover, an initiative putting girls and young women into leadership positions.

Tatiana and Andrew Brumley
Tatiana and Andrew Brumley - Ford

For one day, Tatiana, an Imperial College London student, stepped into the shoes of Andrew Brumley, chief engineer for vehicle hardware engineering and head of Ford’s Dunton product development centre in Essex.

Leading the integration of physical and digital attributes on future Transit and Tourneo vehicles, Andrew heads up Dunton Campus which employs over 3,200 engineers and other commercial vehicle specialists.

Electrification and the addition of new software and services to vehicles involve new skills and engineering specialisms that allow, for instance, ‘intelligent EVs’ to utilise data exchanged between vehicle, operator and Ford.

“Today, mechanical engineering graduates like me remain part of Ford product development recruits but are now among programmers and software specialists, data engineers and other skills required for future innovative Transits,” Andrew said, in a statement. “Tatiana brought a glimpse of how my role is emerging, with the valuable insights fresh eyes always bring.”

Tatiana took Andrew’s chair to explore Ford Pro ecosystem, visiting the Ford Liive Centre to understand how data from vehicles on the road is analysed to maximise their productivity, before recommending deeper data use.

Tatiana said: “I was very impressed by the quest to achieve complete autonomy in vehicle feedback, notifying Ford Pro proactively of any minor issue and intervening with next-to-no inconvenience to the consumer.”

Tomorrow’s skills       

Ford joined Plan International UK’s ‘Girl’s Takeover’ initiative for the second time in eight months to promote the STEM subjects required for careers in the automotive industry.

The company has partnered Greenpower for almost 20 years, running this month’s Girl’s Takeover in the run up to the East Anglia 2024 Greenpower heat held at Ford Dunton. This initiative saw schools teams race electric cars they had built for a place in the international finals at Goodwood.

Greenpower, along with Code First GirlsPrimary Engineer and International Women in Engineering Day, are Ford’s major UK outreach programmes to help introduce the company to the new skills and talent it requires among around 15 education partnerships in total.

Research by Plan International, the charity championing children and girl’s equality, found that young women experience barriers pursuing leadership roles in STEM. Almost half (49 per cent) of 1,000 girls and young women aged 18 to 24 did do not feel that a senior leadership position in STEM was within their future reach, and 39 per cent felt they would not be taken seriously if they were to pursue a career in this sector.

Last year, Ford UK’s managing director and human-centred design director roles were taken over by a 19- and 18-year-old respectively, with their advice implemented on Ford Transit Nugget campervan’s social campaign and presenting Ford at the Global Innovation Forum in London.