Self-proclaimed motorsport enthusiast, Kevin Brigden, chose to study MEng Motorsport Engineering at the University of Central Lancashire.
Talking about his degree choice, Kevin said: “The balance of industrially relevant knowledge amongst the faculty, well-run extra-curricular activities such as Formula Ford racing, a well kitted out machine shop, as well as excellent campus facilities, made UCLan the obvious choice for a motorsport enthusiast.“
Kevin joined UCLan as a mature student in his mid-twenties, having previously worked as a guitar instructor, warehouse operative and a care assistant. Reflecting on his reason for choosing Motorsports Engineering, Kevin said: “I have always had an interest in how and why things work. Having been an avid motor racing fan since I was a small boy the logical thing to do was re-train in a field as interesting and challenging as engineering.”
After graduation, Kevin secured a role as an Applications Engineer at Renishaw, at the Additive Manufacturing (AM) facility in Staffordshire. Talking about his role, Kevin said: “As an Applications Engineer I utilised the knowledge, skills and experience I developed at UCLan to develop Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) principles at Renishaw. Since 2018, I have been working at Renishaw’s North American HQ in Chicago, Illinois.”
Kevin admits the proudest, albeit nerve-wrecking, moment of his career so far was watching Ben Ainslee skipper his twin-hulled catamaran in Bermuda during the America’s Cup. The catamaran was fitted out with several 3D printed titanium, hydraulic manifolds of Kevin’s design, something that could not have been achieved without his degree.
"The best thing about an engineering education at UCLan is how multi-faceted it is. There is a real focus during the course on industrially relevant subjects that can be applied as soon as you land a job."— Kevin Brigden, MEng Motorsport Engineering Alumnus
Talking about how his experience at UCLan has had a positive impact on his employment, Kevin commented: "Projects such as Formula Student help sharpen the project management skills you will need in industry and the no-nonsense, straight-talking approach of the industrially experienced staff produces engineers who can get on with the job without a fuss. What else could an employer ask for?”
Reflecting on his lasting memories at UCLan, Kevin said: “Whether trying to sleep in a freezing cold garage on an event with the Formula Ford Team, or grafting with mates on a particularly tricky aspect of an assignment, my time at UCLan was an awful lot of hard work but extremely satisfying. If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment!”
When asked about what advice he would give to those wanting to do something similar, Kevin said: “The content of the course is only the start. Be curious and dig into topics that interest you. Realise that the skills you develop during your degree are usually transferable, or at least relatable, to other fields and that can broaden your horizons dramatically. I had no idea I’d end up working in 3D printing but that’s where I ended up!”