Ryan Bakewell



Systems Engineering MEng from Loughborough University


A Levels in Maths, Physics and Music Technology

Work History:

BAE Systems as a sponsored undergraduate until 2012, then Jaguar Land Rover

Current Job:

Lead System Design Engineer for Electric Propulsion


Jaguar Land Rover

Me and my work

I design the powertrains (i.e. what used to be the engine..) for electric vehicles!

I graduated from Loughborough University in 2010 with a degree in Systems Engineering. Since then I spent two years at BAE Systems working on unmanned aircraft before joining Jaguar Land Rover in November 2012.

I work to design features at what we call call the ‘System-level’ in the company. This basically means we take the customer requirements (e.g. ‘needs to go 0 – 60 in 5 seconds’ or ‘should have 3 different modes: Comfort, Sport and Insane’) and work out how to make the car achieve these things. This means I do a lot of thinking and innovating to ‘engineer’ new things – be it in software or a physical user interface.

Quite often I’ll sit down with a sheet of paper and think “How could this work then…?” and then consider all the ways it might go wrong and make sure it doesn’t! This is the really exciting thing about my work.


My Typical Day

Half designing, half leading the team and the other half making sure everything happens when it should.

I lead a small team of engineers; so I hold the design responsibility for the vehicle I work on (unfortunately I can’t say which!). This means I tend to spend a lot of time reviewing other people’s designs and challenging them (asking really hard questions!) to make sure the designs are good.

I also design my own features. This involved working our how bits of software hosted in different areas of the car (i.e. in the battery or in the brakes system) work together to achieve the desired effect.

I do lots of design but once that’s done the fun really starts! Going in to this year we begin to test the designs in the car under many different operating conditions – hot / cold / fast / really fast / slow etc. I will spend a few months out in the car ‘signing off’ my features to make sure they’re ready to sell.

What I'd do with the money

Start an Engineering academy in the local area to inspire Primary School children.

My vision is to start some after school clubs and summer camps focused on Engineering to inspire young people.

This would include:

  • 2 hours per week for ~8 weeks
  • 30 mins tutorial, 1.5h practical work in Electronics / software / 3D printing / programming / design.
  • A run through the full engineering lifecycle from understanding Customer needs to testing the end product.
  • Working together as a team to engineer a real product over the 8 weeks.
  • A lot of fun, hands on, eye-opening activities!

My wife is a primary school teacher and I’m a qualified engineer – so our ambition is to join forces and inspire the young engineers of the future!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Ambitious, Technical, Enthusiastic

Who is your favourite singer or band?


What's your favourite food?

Homemade Nandos chicken

What is the most fun thing you've done?


What did you want to be after you left school?

A Formula 1 driver

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Not at school. but within my 1st year at work I caused a fire with a battery… The whole building was evacuated for a day.

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?

Designed and tested a feature which is now part of every car JLR sell

If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?

A Forumla 1 driver!

Tell us a joke.

There are 10 types of people. Those that understand binary and those that do not understand binary.

Other stuff

Work photos: