Jack Simmons

Graduate Design Engineer, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Jack Simmons

Job title:
Graduate Design Engineer – Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Job summary:
My job role can be split into 3 main areas:

1) Mechanical design – designing components for both this years and next year car
2) Fault resolution – implementing solutions to problems that are found at the track
3) Race Support – supporting race engineering during race weekends from the factory race support room in Brackley

What did you want to be growing up:
A Formula 1 Driver

When did you know you wanted to work in motorsport:
My family has always been heavily involved in racing and so from a young age I can remember watching the F1 races and wanting to be a part of it. As soon as I realised I lacked both the skill and finances to become an F1 driver I had to work out another way to get involved… this was through engineering.

Best thing about your job:
The best thing about my job is the fast paced environment. This is one of the unique things about the F1 industry and is unparalleled in other engineering sectors. The fact the a part can go from a design on my screen to a fully manufactured component in weeks is exciting.

GCSE/ALevel subject:
Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
Additional Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
Fine Art
Engineering (Double GCSE)
Religious Studies (Compulsory at my school)
English Language
Media Studies
(1/2 more but I can’t remember)

Fine Art (Shock I know!)

University course:
MEng Automotive Engineering – Loughborough University

Work experience:
I was lucky enough to get a work experience week at Force India when I was still in school (year 10) where I spent the week manufacturing a carbon fibre steering wheel, this was my first exposure to the world of F1 and really inspired me to study hard to ensure I would be able to return in the future.

Fast forward to university and between my first and second years I got a summer job at a local construction company in their drawing office to get experience using CAD (computer aided design). This wasn’t a motorsport job but it’s all I could get and proved to be very important going forward.

Between my first and second years at university I got a year long work placement at Williams Advanced Engineering where I was working on the rear end of a formula 1 car, designing components and managing the BOM (bill of materials). I’m sure their decision to employ me was heavily influenced by my desire to work in motorsport and my previous (although unrelated) experience at the construction company.

I impressed my managers at Williams and was invited to return the following summer where I worked on the current F1 gearbox.

This all lead to me being able to get my job at Mercedes F1 upon graduation.

Biggest challenge:
My biggest challenge so far has been getting through university. Getting a degree is not easy, and especially a degree in engineering. It was such a challenge to get through, both mentally and physically, but it was well worth my time in the end.

Best thing you did:
The best thing I have done so far was the work experience year at Williams. I applied to more than 20 companies for my placement year and got rejected from all of them, but I kept applying and kept motivated until I heard that I had an interview with Williams. The rest is history.

Words of inspiration:
Never give up, if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen through hard work and determination.

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