Design Engineering Leader (Woking, GB)

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Practitioner / consultant

Design Engineering Leader

Purpose of the Role

The Design Engineering Leader (DEL) is the most senior Design Engineering role in the business supporting the Chief Design Engineer. The DEL is responsible for the ideas, the innovation, the design feasibility and delivery of new technologies to define and deliver the strategic technical business plan. Their leading-edge knowledge and ground breaking work will produce engineering solutions forming the cornerstone of the performance of our vehicles and therefore fundamental to the growth of the McLaren automotive brand.

DELs have line management responsibility within the Design Engineering department and direct “matrix” technical leadership, mentoring and resource management over the Studio, Design Office, Function Groups, Manufacturing, Quality etc. including managing resource and deliverables from on and off-site third party Design Engineers.

The DEL role will be the stepping stone from a Principal Design Engineer to Chief Design Engineer having proven sufficient capability both technically across all zones of the vehicle and managerially through efficient and effective cross-functional matrix management.

The DEL will lead and promote Design Engineering activities internally and externally and deliver associated vehicle programme deliverables across all disciplines and technologies.

The DEL will provide “clean sheet” concept packaging and detailed design solutions compatible with Design Studio and Vehicle Engineering requirements in accordance with the Project timing and Spec Book targets.

DELs are expected to be educated to degree level (minimum 2:1) or equivalent and have demonstrated working at a Principal Design Engineer level for a significant period.

Role Dimensions

40 hrs/wk, occasional travel may be required.

Principal Accountabilities

  • Support (and be accountable to) the Head of Concept Design in terms of operation, Chief Design Engineer in terms of Engineering integrity and design solutions on a given Programme and to the Vehicle Line Director in terms of strategic development of innovative Engineering solutions fulfilling Programme deliverables.
  • Line manage a team of Design Engineers from all lower bands e.g. Principal, Senior and Design Engineers including graduates, including provision of technical mentorship and career progression monitoring.
  • Manage both on and off-site individuals and personalities to effectively introduce new innovations and technologies and deliver Series Production standard drawings to drive the strategic direction of the business.
  • Support the Chief Design Engineer in leading all Design Engineering activities relating to defined technology areas and systems on new vehicles by vehicle zone. Typically responsible for all design activities in front, mid or rear zones.
  • Be capable of moving between technologies and disciplines with minimum impact to performance.
  • Design leadership of specified systems. Responsible for overseeing and approving the Engineering integrity and design quality of specified systems through to production release in accordance with all project requirements.
  • Lead and collaborate with all disciplines across the business (e.g. Design Studio, CAE, Engineering, Purchasing, Vehicle Development, Quality) to ensure a holistic approach to vehicle design covering all vehicle attributes.
  • Work with Project Team, Supply Chain and Research teams to identify future technologies to apply to future vehicles.
  • Work with Project Team to develop, maintain and apply Component Road Maps.
  • Contribute to product benchmarking activities.
  • Work with the wider business to develop Project Spec Book content.
  • Identify opportunities to aggressively reduce weight on all projects, including new and current technology. Pursue these design solutions through to successful adoption.
  • Work with Project Team to support BoM, Risk Assessment, Tech Specs, DVPs and DFMEAs for Body and Vehicle systems.
  • Responsible for identifying and developing processes, systems and tools specific to improving Design Engineering efficiency.
  • Proxy for Chief Engineer as required
  • Mentor & develop all members of the Design Engineering team.
  • Support ad hoc requests in line with programme requirements.

Knowledge, skills and experience for position

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent (2:1 preferred)
  • Relevant Automotive experience of high-end or niche vehicles preferred. Other engineering disciplines will be considered if the candidate can demonstrate an appropriate level of expertise in similar component design.
  • Proficient in solid modelling and surfacing using a 3D CAD system – CATIA V5 preferred
  • Ability to support design decisions with appropriate hand calculations
  • Ability to create full detailed design drawings in accordance with BS 8888, including geometric tolerancing.
  • Great attention to detail and an attitude to produce ‘right first time’ quality work
  • Good understanding of mechanical design requirements for typical automotive applications e.g. fastening systems, sealing solutions, manufacturing techniques.
  • Understanding of DFMEA and risk assessment techniques in automotive environment
  • PC literate and at ease with MS Office products
  • Experience of composite component & body pressing design

Personal attributes / behavioural skills for position

  • Ability to communicate and lead at a Senior Management standard and ability
  • Ability to use own initiative when working under pressure
  • Flexibility and adaptability are key attributes
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ambitious and self reliant. Intrinsically self motivated.

More Information

Posted on


Practitioner / consultant


Chertsey Rd, Woking GU21 4YH, UK

Woking , United Kingdom