McLaren Inspires Students and Visitors at UCM

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A team from supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive visited University College Isle of Man (UCM) to inspire young people about STEM careers. 

Robert Yates, Ella Podmore MBE and Beth Elliot from McLaren Automotive delivered two sessions which included an inspiring presentation about their experiences in engineering, followed by opportunity to walkaround an Artura supercar and meet with local industry experts. The first event was for UCM’s Engineering and Motor Vehicle students, with the second event being open to the public.

Across the two events 80 young people aged 14+ attended.

The McLaren team brought with them an Artura, which is McLaren’s first-ever series-production High-Performance Hybrid supercar. Underpinned by the McLaren philosophy of super-lightweight engineering, the Artura is the distillation of every attribute inherent in a McLaren – distinctive design, unrivalled performance, dynamic excellence and engineering innovation – with electrification now bringing the additional benefits of even faster throttle response, lower emissions and being able to run in pure EV mode for emissions-free journeys of up to 31km.

Robert is a Body Engineering Project Manager at McLaren Automotive who originally hails from the Isle of Man. Having completed his secondary education at St Ninian’s High School, Robert completed a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Automotive Engineering at Huddersfield University before working for car brand Vauxhall. Having worked for McLaren since 2012, Robert is passionate about cars and is proud to work for a company which makes some of the most exciting and technologically advanced cars in the world.

Ella, who is a Senior Materials engineer at McLaren Automotive, has been at the company for nearly 6 years, and has a Masters of Materials Engineering at University of Manchester, has won IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year 2020, been named Surrey’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2022 and more recently received an MBE in Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for contributions to engineering, innovation and diversity. On top of her usual duties Ella is an advocate for women in engineering and frequently talks to students about the career opportunities in STEM. Her aim is to inspire the next generation to make an impact whilst showcasing that science and engineering is for everyone.

Beth is a Graduate Engineer at McLaren Automotive in the powertrain department. She studied General Engineering (Mechanical) at the University of Sheffield for 5 years, finishing with a Masters. This included a year in industry at Parker Hannifin Ltd as a design engineer, helping to design new products, make prototypes, and test parts in the laboratory. She joined the Graduate Scheme at McLaren Automotive straight from University, and has been with the company for more than a year.

Sam Warren, Head of Faculty for Environment and Sustainability said: ‘We’re extremely grateful to Robert, Ella and Beth for coming across to the Island to share their experiences and inspire the next generation of Engineers. We also want to thank Love Tech, the Department of Enterprise (DFE) and the Awareness of Careers in Engineering team (ACE) who have made this visit possible. Not only was this a great opportunity for our students but we were pleased to welcome in other young people who might be interested in a career in Engineering.’

Robert added: ‘It’s been wonderful to come back to the Island, this time being able to promote STEM and the wide range of exciting careers that come from these subjects. I am very fortunate to work in such a fantastic industry, doing something I love and working for a company which makes some of the most exciting and technologically advanced cars in the world, and I want to inspire others to do something they love.’

The event was planned to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week.


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