Nick UpJohn

Senior Design Engineer

Nick originally joined Xtrac in 2015 as a placement student and is now one of our key principal design engineers in the motorsports division in the engineering department. Nick works on challenging projects and is responsible for the design and detail of gearbox components and complete transmission systems.

Why did you choose to apply for the Xtrac undergraduate scheme?
I applied to the undergraduate scheme in 2015, as I was keen to shift from the heavy-duty automotive into the motorsport sector and gain relevant experience to assist my degree. After my 12-month placement, I returned to Bath university to complete my studies and soon after received an offer of graduate employment.

What is your career path since you started the scheme?
In August 2015, I started as a Trainee Design Engineer, completing a year-long placement. I worked on LMP1 projects, while also working closely with the sportscar, R&D and manufacturing departments. I returned as a Graduate Design Engineer in September 2018, continuing to work in the motorsport group. I was working on a range of projects, across Formula e, WRC, sportscar and touring cars. In 2020, I was promoted to Design Engineer and took up the role of BTCC track support engineer, then in 2022 was promoted to Senior Design Engineer.

What is the most rewarding part of your current role?
I find track side support the most rewarding element, to see a product that you have taken from 2D design scheme, through modelling, drawing, manufacture support to running in a car is incredibly satisfying and rewarding. 

How has the graduate scheme helped you to develop?
The industrial placement was an incredibly steep learning curve, whilst challenging, I was very quickly brought up to a standard at which I could contribute to an advanced and effective engineering team. This prepared me for my return as a graduate, where I was able to quickly re-establish myself in my role, continue to learn through on the job and formal training, and progress well through the early stages of my career to find myself in a place where I can make a lasting and notable impact.

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