Isabel Ashworth

I started my career in science studying a Masters in Physics at the University of Manchester and now I’m an engineer using technology in the form of virtual simulations to predict the climate performance of future products.

I joined Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) through the “Women in Engineering Undergraduate Sponsorship Scheme” in 2012. Through the early years of my career I undertook placements in various departments, developing skills in aerodynamics, simulation, coding and market research. Now I test the climate systems on future JLR products whilst they are in the development stages, by using computational fluid dynamics to look at the aerodynamic and thermal performances of the system. Together with my colleagues, I change the system designs to create a product that meets the requirements of the customer. This is an iterative process of change and re-testing until it is successfully made into a practical part to test in the “real-world”, at which point I can confirm and correlate the virtual analysis. Techniques I learnt through Green Belt accreditation and on-going Black Belt development enable me to critique the virtual modelling methods and suggest improvements to the sensitivity and robustness. The automotive industry is increasingly reliant on virtual analysis in order to develop products quickly. Not only must the current techniques be robust, but we must also expand our capabilities. Currently I am working on integrating a new method of understanding the customer’s thermal comfort into programme delivery. The latest challenge with electric vehicles is the limited amount of energy to be shared between systems, as it is predominantly needed for range. The methods to predict customer comfort, enable us to trial new methods of providing comfort that use the limited energy available more efficiently. I love my job because of its deep rooting in scientific principles and because I can see how this directly benefits the customers that will ultimately enjoy our products.