My Journey to IAAPS Ltd Principal Engineer – Powertrain

By Dr Andy Lewis, IAAPS Principal Engineer – Powertrain

Photo of Dr Andrew Lewis at the new IAAPS R&I facility

I’m delighted to have recently been appointed as Principal Engineer – Powertrain at IAAPS. In my new role,  I am responsible for all engineering and research activities conducted on the powertrain test facilities. I will be working closely with collaborators and customers to deliver cutting edge research and development programmes. 

I’ve joined the IAAPS Ltd team at a really exciting phase in the expansion of the team and our research and development capabilities. With the new R&I facility opening at the Bristol and Bath Science Park in under five months, we’re currently entering the equipment commissioning phase. As part of that, I will be coordinating the delivery of this programme from the perspective of IAAPS, working closely with the main equipment supplier, AVL. I am also aiming to support the development of all the areas within the facility, as part of this I will be building a strong team of engineers who are focussed on accuracy and delivery in preparation for the facility opening in June. Once our state-of-the-art new building is operational, my focus will be to maintain a high performing research facility, remaining at the forefront of automotive propulsion technology so that we are capable of delivering our customer and collaborators’ requirements. 

My journey to this point in my career has enabled me to broaden and deepen my automotive engineering knowledge and skills, with the University of Bath at the centre of my career throughout. I graduated from the University of Bath in 2008 with a Masters in Automotive Engineering, in which, Professor Chris Brace was my final year project supervisor and made me aware of a research assistant position on a thermal management project within the PVRC. Subsequently, I have been involved in a number of research projects over the years but the most notable would be the “Ultraboost” programme with Jaguar Land Rover, which delivered a highly downsized gasoline engine delivering 35bar BMEP. During this time, I completed a part-time PhD and authored a number of papers which allowed me to attend conferences around the world and collaborate with some inspiring people. 

Throughout my time at the University I have been involved in extremely interesting projects, and I have found that every day I have learnt something new or developed my knowledge.  My career path has evolved naturally as I have learnt and developed my skills.  I always strive to develop myself and being part of the IAAPS team has allowed that.  

Looking forward, there are a number of things that excite me about the Principal Engineer – Powertrain role. My previous focus had been predominantly on the internal combustion engine  so I am now keen to learn and develop a greater understanding of the full powertrain system.  The current industry trend towards more complex systems and integration of electric machines means that the opportunities for variations on these hybrid powertrains is quite large and being part of the research and development process is a great opportunity.

I see a number of interesting trends and opportunities taking place in our industry that IAAPS will be pivotal in supporting. I think the move towards more virtual development processes and the integration of these with the physical experimental process is a really exciting area.  The ability to simulate components and environments, and subsequently measure the physical responses within an experimental facility to these is a big challenge and one that I am really looking forward to.

As a I look forward to the journey that the IAAPS team and I are about to undertake with the launch of our fantastic new R&I facility, the future looks really exciting. Success for me will be enjoying going to work each day, to feel that I am continuing to learn and develop myself whilst delivering high quality results and data to our collaborators.  I think this is similar for IAAPS, success is about having a truly motivated team who are passionate about delivering cutting edge research, maintaining strong relationships with customers and developing new ones by showcasing the high quality service that we provide. I’m looking forward to playing a key role in supporting our partners across the automotive industry in the development of clean vehicle technologies and sustainable propulsion systems to accelerate the transition to ultra-low and zero emission vehicles.