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Principal Studio Engineer

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Principal Studio Engineer

Posted 11 March 2024
Salary Negotiable
Job type Contract
Discipline Design Studio
Contact NameCathy Erzen

Job description

Position Title: Principal Studio Engineering

Duration: Contract

Location: Hybrid Woking - 2 Days on site in Surrey

Division: Design

Purpose of the role

  • As Principal Studio Engineer you will take responsibility to deliver a set of surface models that define an exterior or interior of a vehicle that meets all attribute & feasibility targets including cost & weight considerations.
  • Oversee & supply all necessary information for the surface modelling & clay development teams to meet their targets.
  • Deliver to engineering the surfaces required to construct the production parts through each stage of the surface release process as set out in the program High Level timing plan

The Opportunity

  • This position relates to the Studio Engineering team who will ensure that the integrity of the design is maintained whilst delivering a vehicle which meets or exceeds all targets.
  • This position makes up part of a Series Team within Studio Engineering with primary responsibility for delivering a feasible vehicle by managing activity through the processes available at each stage of the vehicle development.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Using your personal knowledge and experience while also reaching out to stakeholders you will resolve issues through Programme Gateways from Pre KO to Production Surfacing
  • You will track and resolve disconnects through weekly Feasibility Meetings and maintain weekly status reports which identify where issues require escalation for resolution in a timely manner appropriate to current gateways and requirements
  • Liaise closely with Concept Engineering, Function Groups and Attribute owners to ensure own understanding of assumptions, engineering standards and requirements.
  • Also ensure the other teams understanding of the Design Intent and process creating inclusive and transparent working relationships

Key Accountabilities and Responsibilities

  • Typically work with, but not limited to, the studio engineering activities for a full-scale interior/exterior programme for a single or multiple vehicle product range
  • Work closely with Concept Engineering, Function Groups and Attribute owners to ensure input to the development of the design aesthetic is interrogated
  • Review the generation and development of feasible engineering schemes in Computer Assisted Design (CAD) to deliver aesthetic designs
  • Generation of creative alternatives where necessary to meet the Design Intent which challenge assumptions, propose alternative attribute balances and are capable of delivering high quality results
  • Using your knowledge and by reaching out to stakeholders you will resolve issues through Design and Programme Gateways from Pre KO to Production Surfacing handover during the Delivery and Surface Change Request (SCR) phases
  • Assess compatibility of Design Intent against Programme Assumptions and Attribute Targets as described in the Product Brief & PMXU
  • Manage results against the Design Feasibility Gateway deliverables (aligned engineering freeze)
  • Responsible for the adherence of the design themes to legal requirements, programme assumptions, internal standards (e.g., MAL Standards) and attribute requirements
  • Set and lead the prioritisation the activities and escalation routes / forums for design issue resolution (Zone Reviews and Design Delivery Meeting)
  • Present issues and feasibility solutions to series Manager
  • Contact External customers to initiate and lead discussion around disconnects for a given vehicle(s)
  • Prioritise issues and set the agenda for weekly Design Delivery Meetings to discuss and resolve issues between internal and external customers
  • Create weekly programme status reports and issues resolution planning and execution then review with Series Manager
  • Be responsible for creating & maintaining the Surface Release part numbers & structuring them in VPN
  • Take ownership of the Box filing structure for the transfer of inputs into Design & forwarding surface models to the engineering community
  • Review inputs into Design with the designers and CAS team to ensure understanding of each and then approve or reject according to the SAP/ER process
  • Maintain the Vehicle Definition Geometry Tracker (VDGT) for input status & Design compliance
  • Undertake any other work as directed by their Series or line manager in connection with their job as may be requested

Key Interactions

  • Creative Designers
  • 3D Modelling Teams (Clay, CAS, ICEM)
  • Product Engineering Teams (Concept and Function Group)
  • Manufacturing (virtual builds)
  • Vehicle Attribute Teams / Engineers
  • Perceived Quality (including dimensional management for setting targets)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Broad understanding of Exterior Body and Structures, Exterior Trim engineering, Exterior Lighting systems, Occupant & Pedestrian Safety, Closures, Manufacturing and Assembly, Interior Instrument Panel, Console, Seat and Door Trim engineering
  • People skills - a critical element of the role is the resolution of difficult feasibility issues therefore the ability to work in a cross functional team is key
  • The highest level of communication & arbitration skills both verbally & using all Microsoft applications will be needed every day, the ability to interact at all staff levels from executive to intern in a manner that can be easily understood will be necessary.
  • The ability to balance Design & engineering requirements without prejudice while meeting attribute, feasibility, cost & weight considerations through a sound knowledge of the latest techniques & materials. Be a natural problem solver
  • Demonstrates the ability to think creatively to solve feasibility issues
  • Ability to think creatively to solve 3Dimensional (3D) technical issues
  • Apply business acumen and a customer driven mind-set to deliver designs
  • Relevant degree or equivalent experience preferred
  • Expert CAD drafting knowledge
  • Knowledge of the Design Department Process
  • Proven ability to work to deadlines and prioritise your own workload
  • Microsoft Office applications; notably Excel, Word, PowerPoint
  • Experience of working within the Design Studio environment


  • Experience of PPS / Agile engineering delivery processes
  • Use of SAP in an Automotive Design Environment an advantage (Training can be given)
  • Role may be tailored for applicants with either Interior or Exterior Engineering experience

Personal Profile


  • An individual with a customer first mindset who is easy to do business with and makes people feel special, driven to deliver experiences that are personalised, transparent and dependable
  • An individual who is results driven, demonstrates, tenacity, drive, and perseverance, with the ability to deliver in a complex, highly demanding environment.
  • An individual with the ability to combine a short term, pragmatic focus with longer term planning
  • An individual who is resilient, energetic, and enthusiastic, able to deliver results under pressure, whilst responding constructively to challenging new ideas and inputs
  • An individual who can challenge existing thinking in a positive way whilst building credibility and trust through experience and personal style
  • An excellent communicator who can relay and understand complex ideas
  • An effective team player and supports other team members
  • An individual with the ability to prioritise their own workload
  • A proactive team player who supports team members, who is happy to be hands on and build cross-functional relationships


  • A passion for the automotive industry and the potential of automotive technology
  • Resilient and enthusiastic, an individual able to deliver results under pressure, whilst responding constructively to challenging new ideas and inputs