Senior R&D and Systems Engineer Geoff Cholmeley joined Xtrac in 2012 and has a master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
We spoke to him about what lead him to his choice of career. “I’ve always had an interest in the inner workings of machinery and equipment. I like to get into the nitty gritty of how a product functions, right down to the lowest level. Over time this passion has tuned into a career and working at Xtrac allows me to not only improve my own understanding, but also apply my skill set to improving Xtrac’s new EV and Hybrid transmissions”.
So what does a typical day involve for Xtrac’s Senior R&D and Systems Engineer?
“I work in the Research and Development department as part of the Advanced Engineering group. I need to be very flexible in my job, often working under high pressure and reacting to changing priorities. I spend a lot of my time integrating new electrical or electronic hardware with our gearboxes or test equipment or diagnosing issues when they arise. Our move into the High Performance Automotive sector means I need to understand how a transmission and its control hardware interface with our internal systems”.
So it’s quite a varied role then?
“Yes, Xtrac is a high paced engineering environment which brings with it incredible variety and it’s that variety that is very appealing to me – no two days are the same. On any given day I will be working on Xtrac’s in-house loaded full transmission test rigs, problem solving a gear change actuator, or integrating a new sensor with our data logging equipment. Every day is different, and I really enjoy being such an integral part of bringing a high quality product to our customers. Xtrac traditionally has a strong mechanical engineering background, but the future of electrification and increased vehicle communication systems has meant that more recently I have become involved with an even wider range of projects”.
Which of your career achievements are you most proud of?
“I was one of the lead engineers on Xtrac’s range of pneumatic integrated valve actuator (IVA) gear change systems and produced Xtrac’s first production populated circuit board. The IVA used a novel mechanism which consumed less energy that other pneumatic gear change systems, resulting in improved performance and efficiency overall for the car. The project was very challenging at times, with the need to integrate Xtrac mechanical and electronic systems with the car and engine control units, but to have been such a big part of a new area of the business, and Xtrac’s highest volume product, has been very rewarding”.
If you too are interested in being at the forefront of motorsport and automotive’s high-performance, low-carbon future, take a look at our Graduate R&D Systems Engineer vacancy – a rare opportunity to join Xtrac’s fast paced, leading edge R&D department.