World power

Global automotive companies with a UK presence are looking to recruit engineers at all levels of their business

Opportunity knocks: The vehicle sector continues to offer many openings

An unquenchable thirst for technical innovation among the world’s major vehicle manufacturers ensures that the automotive sector continues to offer plenty of opportunities for experienced engineers and new graduates alike.

Many of those career openings will come from global businesses with a presence in the UK. Cummins, a major US-based supplier of engines and related power technologies to customers around the world, is a prime example of this trend.

The company is currently recruiting at its turbocharger operation in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, home to its global engineering centre for turbo technology, as well as its UK turbocharger manufacturing site. Cummins also has UK technical centres in Darlington, Stamford, Daventry and Kent.

Doug Cartwright, leader of technical functional excellence at Cummins Turbo Technologies, said the division is enjoying robust growth.

’Turbochargers are seen as an enabling device for meeting future emissions and fuel consumption regulations, allowing engines to be downsized,’ he explained.

Cummins is looking for engineers at all levels to work in the engineering operation at Huddersfield. Cartwright said people with two or three years’ experience through to mid-career stage are needed to fill a variety of roles. These range across design and development, electronics, controls, mechatronics and service engineering. Project-management experience is also increasingly sought after by Cummins as that element of its business is expanding.

According to Cartwright, successful applicants will find plenty of options to advance their careers in a global organisation that takes professional development seriously. For example, Cummins actively supports new entrants in achieving Chartered Engineer status.

’For an engineer who wants a variety of opportunities in the UK and around the world, I would say we are second to none. The world really is your oyster,’ said Cartwright. The company has also maintained its graduate recruitment programme.

AVL Powertrain UK is another example of a business that is growing thanks to the sector’s need for technical innovation.

The UK operation is part of AVL, a global group based in Austria with major OEMs as customers in areas that include powertrain systems, instrumentation and test. AVL Powertrain UK is currently looking for engineers in several key areas to support burgeoning demand.

“A research-oriented business has now exploded in terms of product development”


Dr Alan Walker, department leader for the Hybrid Transmission Department, said the company had seen ’massive growth’ in activity as OEMs prepare to bring hybrid vehicles to the marketplace. ’What a few years ago was a research-oriented business has now exploded in terms of product development,’ said Walker.

To help underpin this expansion, Walker’s department is looking for engineers in three main areas. The first is systems engineering, with Walker keen to stress that suitable candidates could well come from beyond automotive, for example from the aerospace and defence sectors.

The hybrid team is also keen to recruit electrical engineers with experience in areas such as hardware development, power electronics and batteries. Controls engineering is the third area of interest to the Hybrid Transmission Department, which Walker said is looking for a mixture of experienced engineers and new graduates to fill its various posts.

Alongside its hybrid work, AVL Powertrain UK is also seeking new recruits to join its calibration team. Managing director Matthias Wellers said calibration has become an increasingly important area of activity for the company, as it helps its customers to meet increasingly stringent emissions and fuel-performance targets while maintaining and improving the all-important ’driveability’ of new vehicles.

Wellers said ideal candidates would have expertise in control theory and combustion alongside core mechanical skills. ’It can be hard to find people with the range of abilities we need to achieve the standards we look to fulfil,’ said Wellers.

Those who join AVL will probably be based in Essex or the Midlands, and will have the chance to make their mark from day one in a fast-growing UK business.