The best of the best (III)
Tercer testimonio de los 5 grandes profesionales, todos ellos Alumni Tecnun y líderes en compañías a la vanguardia de los sectores en los que trabajan. Esta nueva entrega responde a los ámbitos que mayor desarrollo van a tener en el sector del Automóvil y aquellas capacidades imprescindibles para poder liderarlos.
Xabier Carrera Akutain, Ph.D. (Tecnun´02)
Vehicle Performance Expert of TOYOTA MOTOR EUROPE
There are many different areas and stages included in the development of a new automobile, from early conceptual designs to long durability tests, therefore automotive engineers are necessarily classified into different groups.
Most of the systems on a vehicle have become commodities but, the advent of advanced control systems, the surge of total vehicle electrification and the path to artificial intelligence and autonomous driving with the promise of radical changes in the concept of mobility has opened technically challenging areas, with plenty of new research involved.
There are some common skills which are desired in a potential automotive R&D engineer, being the fundamental one an analytic mindset for problem solving: data and evidences are often incomplete, pushing the engineer to make educated assumptions and prepare additional experiments to clarify the issue, either virtually by simulation or with real prototypes and test benches.
Solid principles of mechanics, both structural and dynamics are the traditional backbone of a good chassis engineer, as much as thermodynamics and engine applied material science are typically for a powertrain engineer.
Familiarity with testing procedures, signal acquisition and processing, together with control systems operation and design can be useful in several calibration/evaluation departments.
The usage of simulation for model based development is expanding, therefore familiarity with at least one of the major packages (Simpack, Dymola, Adams…) is a great asset. Linked to that, scripting capability with at least one of the major languages to process data output into metrics is desirable.
A good driving record and a sensitivity to “feel” the car can help to round the profile.
As electrification and autonomous driving developments are becoming in vogue, several news capabilities are sought: high voltage electronics, sensor development and fusion, network connectivity, image recognition by machine learning and so on.
Specialization is often a more direct way to get new opportunities, as proven experience in certain domains such as finite elements, aerodynamics, tyre mechanics, etc. can fit direct needs of the companies.