General information

Job Title
Principal Lead Engineer
Ref #
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
United Kingdom
Business area
Product Development
Body & Chassis - Exteriors
Position level
F - Principal / Senior
Working time
Full Time
Contract type
Working pattern
8:30am - 5:30pm Monday to Friday

Description & Requirements


No restraints. No limitations. We don’t simply push boundaries. We completely rethink them. McLaren Automotive exists to create breath-taking performance road cars.

With innovation at the core of all we do, every challenge starts with the same question. How can we do it better? This restless spirit runs right through McLaren Automotive. And the search for perfection is evident in everything we do.

Purpose of Role

As the Principal Lead Engineer within the Body Exterior team, you will work with cutting edge products having opportunity to create, deliver and introduce your own ideas without limitations of benchmarks.

  • Reporting to the Senior Engineering Manager (Body Exterior), be the Body Exterior Engineering lead and first ‘point of contact’ for all Body Exterior and Body Systems ‘cradle to grave’ technical aspects at component, sub-system and system level for the Vehicle Line/Platform
  • Represent the functional department and supporting the Body Manager and Vehicle Line Manager in delivering against Project Objectives and MDPII Gateway Milestones and Deliverables.
  • As part of the whole Body Engineering Team promote, implement and support a simultaneous approach to vehicle development cross functionally with internal and external partners.

This is a role that will push you to develop your engineering capability with a major influence on the product with direct input into the design and delivery of all exterior componentry. The expectation is that you will push the boundaries of design, manufacture processes and materials to create a truly cutting-edge product.

Principal Accountabilities
  • Lead the Body Exterior engineering team and/or assigned external partner, and working within a cross-functional team, support delivery of all vehicle specification, performance, cost, quality and timing targets at all stages from R & D, through concept definition, design development, design release, pre-production, launch builds, and series production.
  • Reporting to the Senior Engineering Manager, working on all aspects of technical and programme delivery, summarise and prepare the performance report of the operations /project flow and share the same with the Engineering Managers
  • Supporting programme team, styling, and concept team with DFM, feasibility, and cost evaluation of concepts and ensuring the documentation is accurate and reported correctly to reflect the feature content of the vehicle
  • Responsible for the accurate management, control and reporting, internal within Body Exterior, and external to the wider project team, the following:
    • a)      Bill Of Materials management (part numbering, structuring, design change)
    • b)      Weight management through correct management of the BOM
    • c)      Costs (including spend forecast, risks and opportunities at component, system and vehicle level)
    • d)      Project status reporting
  • Support the preparation of material to support external and internal project reviews, including to Internal Customers, VLDs, other Managers / Directors and the Executive, including presenting when required.
  • Responsible for leading and co-ordinating Problem Solving for concerns raised; from problem avoidance at the early stages of new projects (Risk Assessments, FMEA, Lessons learnt) to practical problem solving at prototype stage, pre-production and in series production.
  • First Point of Contact and liaison between external partners, internal partners and customers, Project Management team, Manufacturing and Engineering.
  • Support a cross-functional team to support a simultaneous engineering to releasing with a right first time (RFT) philosophy. Including external suppliers, quality, logistics, concept, vehicle development, purchasing and manufacturing engineers
  • Lead and manage the workload of the project and design engineers allocated to the vehicle project.
  • Lead and manage the Body Exterior project team in the delivery of component and sub-system BOM, specifications, FMEAs, DVP, DFA and DFM and, also cost, timing and quality targets.
  • Guarantee delivery of Body Exterior responsibilities for all projects in line with MDPII (McLaren Development Process) and ensure Project Management KPIs are in control and on track for each Gateway, raising any risks in a timely manner to the Body Engineering Management team
  • Establish and control design release in line with ETRS requirements
  • Ensure there is Simultaneous Engineering approach to Body Styling, Design and Engineering where early engagement from all stakeholders is maximised in order to avoid late changes and delays in the overall process. This is including internal stakeholders like Quality, Manufacturing Engineering, SQA other Vehicle Engineering teams, Service/After sales, marketing, etc. and external stakeholders like suppliers, outsourced resource partners, etc.
  • Support the vehicle and project attribute owners with respect to development and reporting
  • Facilitate and lead internal Design Reviews, inviting affected or impacted/supporting parties to ensure risk is minimised / eliminated before initial design release and any subsequent design changes
  • Review design with the technical experts to ensure there are no breach of local and international Copyright, Design and Patent Acts.
  • Including Lessons Learnt identify and evaluate risk in terms of project delivery and brand image in the market, including but not limited in terms of cost, quality and timing but to deliver zero warranty and potential liability issues in the field.
  • Lead and manage the closure of QNs/QCRs promptly and in line with McLaren Quality Concern Management system [PPS] including a robust understanding of the root cause, robust containment and countermeasure (including validation) and dissemination of lesson learnt that are aimed at avoiding problem repetition and continuous improvement
  • On a platform / vehicle level lead the technical assessment, integration and application of new and existing technologies on new project and where appropriate existing series vehicles
  • Lead the Body Exterior project team in the execution and evaluation of results of component testing and to support all associated vehicle development, testing, manufacturing, launch & planning activities
  • Manage the efficient and effective use of physical and financial resources to support activities and achieve the overall project plan
Knowledge, Skills and Experience
  • Technical knowledge & experience of body exterior component, system design, development, manufacturing and testing                       
  • CATIA 2D/3D skills preferred, with strong understanding of GD&T application
  • PC literate and at ease with MS Office
  • Component & system design within an APQP or similar framework including FMEA, DVP, component planning and P
  • Robust, proven feasibility assessment skills including design for manufacture and DFMEA input


Qualifications and Training:

·       Engineering Degree 2:1 or equivalent relevant training and experience

Personal Attributes
  • A passion for high performance / supercar engineering.
  • A creative & thoughtful approach to concept design and solving engineering problems with good attention to detail.
  • A positive, proactive attitude with a high level of self-motivation to deliver excellence.
  • Well organised and independent – able to work constructively with minimal supervision.
  • An engaging mind, open to new problems outside their normal comfort zone.
  • A willingness to engage in debate and discussion, acknowledging other’s points of view.
  • Ability to communicate clearly with design and development groups and to lead a focused team
  • Ambitious, and self-reliant - intrinsically self-motivated.
  • Good team skills, willingness to work cross-functionally.                                 
  • Well organised and delivery focused – with demonstrable track record of on-time delivery.
  • Capable of representing a world class automotive brand
  • Able to remain focused under pressure

We recognise that we can only achieve our vision with the dedication and collaboration of our world class employees.  It is our aim to become the employer of choice within the global automotive industry.

At McLaren Automotive we are constantly looking to improve. To become the employer of choice we are always looking to develop our employee offerings. We currently offer a range of benefits to employees at all levels of the business including Private Healthcare, Contributory Pension Scheme, Life Assurance and Personal Lease Car Scheme. We also offer a range of discounts with our partner organisations.