- Current role: CEO of Xtrac Ltd
- Year of graduation: 1988
- Degree course: Mechanical Engineering
We asked Adrian...
What is your current role and how did you get to this point in your career?
I am the CEO of Xtrac and we design and manufacture innovative transmission systems for motorsport and high performance automotive applications. I have spent most of my career as an engineer, and worked previously at two F1 teams before becoming technical director and now CEO of Xtrac. I am responsible for our whole global business which employs over 340 staff in our UK Headquarters and our technical support office in Indianapolis.
How did your studies at the University of Hertfordshire help shape your career?
The course gave me a broad understanding of mechanical engineering, in particular mechanical design and materials technology, which have both been areas that have frequently figured in my career.
What made you decide to study at this University?
I was interested in automotive and aerospace technology from an early age, and Hatfield Polytechnic (as it was then) had a strong reputation and close links to those industries. I was sponsored by Rolls-Royce for my whole degree course and Hatfield was a college that they already had a relationship with.
What was the best or most useful thing about your course?
Gaining a solid grounding in mechanical engineering, in particular design and materials science.
What is your stand out memory from your time at the University?
The enthusiastic teaching staff, living in terrible accommodation (it was the 1980s...), having great friends, and events run by the motorclub!
Are you still in contact with friends you met at the University of Hertfordshire?
You make lifelong friends when you are in your late teens and early twenties, and even though over time you spread around the country and the rest of the world you always keep a common bond with the close friends you made at college.
What advice would you give your younger self if you were starting at the University tomorrow?
Work harder and always hand your coursework in on time!
Do you have any advice for University of Hertfordshire graduates who are considering a career in your industry?
The high performance automotive industry is going through a huge period of rapid change with the introduction of new technologies for the electrification of road vehicles. With that uncertainty comes opportunity. It is a fast changing industry for hard working, dedicated and innovative thinkers and it is shaping the future of our world.
What are your future career plans/ ambitions?
Xtrac is on a major growth path with considerable investment in a new facility, new machinery and new staff - including a large number of apprentices and undergraduates. My role is to oversee and steer the business through this period of rapid growth and innovation as we help deliver the electric future for high performance vehicles.