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Emma Atkins MChem Chemistry with year long industrial experience, 2016

Project Engineer at Jaguar Landrover

Emma Atkins's Photo

In September 2016 I joined Jaguar Land Rover on their Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Scheme. My role is within the Material Planning team of Tooling and Pressed Parts (T&PPG). As a group, we are responsible for pressing shaped parts from sheet aluminium or steel, which requires large volumes of coil or processed material. I use the knowledge I gained through my degree to investigate the chemistry of different alloys, their mechanical properties and how this influences the shapes we can engineer in a part. I work on large scale production issues, often conducting root-cause analysis exercises. The approach we take to these seemingly daunting problems is similar in mind-set to how I would approach a small-scale problem in the lab. In this respect, my degree gave me fantastic training for the role I now work in.

I'm still using chemistry every day. My degree at Southampton gave me the knowledge, training and confidence to push the boundaries of where and how chemistry is used to develop new technologies.

An important aspect of my job is to always be looking into ways to increase our sustainability. Aluminium is expensive and energy intensive to produce, however it can be recycled with relative ease. At Jaguar Land Rover, we are investing heavily into closing the loop within our press shops - recycling all of the scrap we produce when making a part back into sheet metal. Aluminium itself has massive advantages in terms of light-weighting vehicles and reducing CO2 emissions. I find it very rewarding knowing that we are helping to improve the sustainability of the vehicles we produce.

I love the role I'm working in, and despite technically being called an engineer, I'm still using chemistry every day. My degree at Southampton gave me the knowledge, training and confidence to push the boundaries of where and how chemistry is used to develop new technologies.

*Course formerly titled MChem with one year placement

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