Even before graduation, Ross Barrow was thinking about his career path. 'I felt that it was vital for my future prospects to work for an OEM. After a few interviews I decided that my best career option was with Ford, and I started work with them through the consultancy, engineering and recruitment agency RLE International.'
By working through RLE International, Ross was able to work on a number of large scale projects with Ford and Nissan. His initial role at Ford was as a Component Design Engineer in body structures, working on completing a commercial vehicle program, now the all new Ford Transit Custom. He then progressed to Platform Launch Leader before moving to Nissan.
'With my first role at Nissan, I was responsible for delivery of the Body Sides of the new Nissan Leaf. I then moved onto a new vehicle program, where I was responsible for the design and delivery of the vehicle platform though production.'
As the Lead Engineer in the Body Engineering team at Jaguar Land Rover, Ross now concentrates on strategic planning. This includes developing ways to apply new body structures technology into future vehicle programs and resolving cross-vehicle key engineering issues.
'I made the decision to leave RLE International after three years, in order to work as a permanent member of staff at a major OEM. As a result, I'll have a constant role in developing the vehicles of the future within a single organisation.'
Ross credits his placement year in the R&D department of Sabic Innovative Plastics as being vital to his current success, not least as it gave him international experience. 'My placement was in Bergen Op Zoom in the Netherlands. It was an amazing and life-changing experience to work abroad and something which really matured me.'
His role focused on quality improvement and design ideas, also using Six Sigma and becoming certified in the processes. The benefits also supported his final year of study. 'My placement also gave me an opportunity to continue to work with Sabic Innovative Plastics through my final year project, which I delivered on a subject agreed with them. Based on my research, I created a new portfolio of materials and the information is still used by the company today.'