Bloodhound car team scents success

2 min read

Mark ChapmanChief Engineer - Bloodhound SSC ProjectMark Chapman graduated from Bath University in 1992 with a BEng in Aeronautical Engineering.Having worked for Babcock, Ricardo Aerospace, Boeing and Rolls Royce Chapman joined the Bloodhound car project full-time in 2008. He took on the chief engineer position in 2010

An “Engineering Adventure”, perhaps I should have checked the dictionary a bit more closely.  “Adventure” can be described as an “Exciting or unusual experience, it may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome”.

I must admit three years ago it all did seem pretty uncertain, a small group of very passionate, enthusiastic individuals based in a small room at the University of the West of England, wondering how we would be received when we went public, and whether we’d bitten off more than we could chew.

Three years on and much has changed, we’re no longer based in a small room at UWE, we have been very fortunate in the support we have received for both the engineering and educational aspirations of the project, and there’s now a certainty within the team that we are designing the worlds first 1000mph car.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is the passion and enthusiasm, the only difference is there are more of us now!

As for a risky undertaking, I used to be asked for the “list of things that keep me awake at night”, and it was filled with an awful lot of “Hows”; How do we keep the car on the ground, how do we keep it going in a straight line and how do we stop the wheels exploding.

I’m hoping in this series of blogs you’ll get a feel for what it’s like to be part of the team, and you can follow the engineering challenges that still remain as they unfold.

The project has moved on massively in the last couple years and that list of uncertainties has been replaced by perhaps an even greater challenge, how do we deliver the car.  I am always amazed by the level of support we are offered and in particular to those companies who’ve stuck with us over the years through the uncertainty to now, where the car is in manufacture and the confidence that we will be delivering the world’s fastest car to the desert in South Africa in 2013.

It has certainly been an Adventure, and will be all the way to when Andy comes back through the measured mile to claim the 1000mph land speed record.  I’m hoping in this series of blogs you’ll get a feel for what it’s like to be part of the team, and you can follow the engineering challenges that still remain as they unfold.

This is also an Adventure you can be part of, not just through the membership of the 1K Supporters Club or paying £10 to add your name to the tail fin or following our progress online.  We are now in the most exciting phase of the project: actually making it happen, and in order to deliver a car to South Africa in 2013 we need to expand the team, and expand it now.

We are looking specifically for support in mechanical and composite design, stress analysis and detailing.  Now before my inbox fills up, I’d better give you the good news, and the bad news.  The good news is, that I have never worked on such a rewarding project, to work with such a group of talented people, the satisfaction you feel when you come up with a solution for a problem that’s never existed before, and the view from the office overlooking Bristol Harbour is also pretty good too!  The bad news is, there is no safety net, you need to have the confidence and ability to know you can deliver – this isn’t an offer for an internship or a training programme, no-one is going to be looking over your shoulder.

If you do feel you have the skills to join us I look forward to hearing from you, all I ask is that you have the ability, passion and enthusiasm to be a part of this certainly “Exciting” experience. Please send a CV and covering letter to: