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Claire Lucas

I hadn’t ever thought about becoming an Engineer despite being good at maths. I went to a law open day at Oxford but (finding it dull) somehow ended up in the Engineering building learning about what Engineering actually was! Having grown up in a farming community I had experience of everyday ingenuity but had only heard of Engineers fixing things not addressing grand challenges like climate change, health and energy. I used to read articles about ‘scientists inventing cures’ and the open day at Oxford presented the way Engineer’s take some of these discoveries and actually make them usable and useful to society.

I studied General Engineering at the University of Oxford followed by a DPhil (PhD) in Biomedical Engineering. I balanced my studies with rowing for the University and getting married. Unfortunately I didn’t complete the trinity of ‘a first, a blue and a spouse’ getting a 2.i but I believe this was a suitable reflection of my ability. At Oxford I learned that maths and programming can be the key to unlocking understanding, whether you approach a problem from first principles or from data.

After Oxford, I joined Jaguar Land Rover as a mathematical modeller working on everything from modelling of hot-desk usage to analysis of customer surveys to creating a custom model of an air-spring to embed into a full-vehicle model. As a team we created models for the rest of the business to use. I found that high-level mathematical skills often aren’t taught at Universities. Luckily, at Warwick, students are become highly adept at mathematical analysis of systems, especially those doing Systems Engineering. I decided to move back to academia to provide an industry-led curriculum alongside the more famous research-led teaching ethos. I am a chartered Engineer which means I have recognised Professional Engineering status.

I am the Discipline Degree Leader for Systems Engineering as well as General and Biomedical Engineering meaning I ‘own’ curriculum for these degrees. I also teach a variety of modules including an MEng module on Vehicle Dynamics and Control. I started at Warwick in 2015 and within two years have acquired a post-graduate certificate in academic practice and senior fellowship of the HEA. Warwick has given me excellent opportunities to combine a love of explanation and my experience of both Biomedical and Systems Engineering.