Principal Engineer - Plastics

Location: Woking, GB

When our founder Bruce McLaren passed away at the age of 32 he left behind a legacy that has shaped who we are today. We have an unrivalled heritage which has its roots in racing; but McLaren Automotive is now creating a story of its own and we want you to be a part of it.


As part of our Track25 business plan we will launch 18 new models or derivatives of our vehicles and look to expand our retailer network into new markets with an aim of having 100 retailers globally.  

Track 25 and McLaren Automotive’ s growing reputation is testament to our world class employees. To ensure McLaren Automotive continues to be at the forefront of the Automotive market, we are looking for a Principal Engineer to join our Body Exteriors Team.


Purpose of the role:


As Principal Engineer, you will be responsible for managing a team of Project & Design Engineers assuming technical ownership of Body Exterior Plastics across multiple vehicle development projects

Reporting directly to the Engineering Manager, Body Systems, you will work within a matrix organisation ensuring project based goals set by Vehicle Line Management Teams, including performance, cost, quality and timing targets, are met.

In parallel you will also be responsible for the continuous management of the technology roadmaps for Body Exterior Plastics on future vehicle projects, ensuring McLaren are the benchmark.

In summary, this is a role that will require you to push and develop not just yourself, but your teams engineering capability, influencing future system design with a direct impact on vehicle performance and perceived quality in the market.


Principal accountabilities:

  • Lead and develop your team to deliver Body Exterior plastic components and systems in line with targets, KPI’s and milestones set by the McLaren Development Process and Vehicle Line Management team, on multiple projects.
  • Working closely with the Engineering Manager for Body Systems, Vehicle Line Leadership and other relevant stakeholders support the definition and implementation of targets and goals for all projects, responsible systems and components.
  • Ensure design and engineering integrity to exceed performance, quality and commercial targets, utilising a rigorous engineering approach to develop right first time design.
  • Providing technical leadership to the project cross functional teams, as well as being the subject matter expert within the body exterior function group.
  • Promote, implement and support a Simultaneous 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, other Vehicle Engineering teams, Service/After sales, marketing, etc. and external stakeholders like suppliers, outsourced resource partners, etc.
  • Influence and actively participate in the selection of business partners, including suppliers.
  • Robust logical problem solving skills including root cause analysis, idea generation and countermeasure evaluation techniques.
  • Maximize your performance and development as an individual as well as that of all individuals within your team.


Knowledge, skills & experience:

  • An experienced leader of direct and indirect teams, ideally in the automotive industry.
  • Design and development experience of Body Exterior Plastics in an OEM, or in a tier 1 supplier, with a high level of technical knowledge.
  • Proven ability and understanding of latest automotive manufacture processes, feasibility and technology, including development tools.
  • Experience in lightweight body design and materials technology.
  • Robust understanding of the complete product lifecycle, from ‘cradle’ to ‘grave’.
  • Sound commercial and financial awareness.
  • CAD knowledge for assembly and part interrogation.  Design experience advantageous.
  • Good understanding of GD&T.
  • Ideally, educated to Degree level in suitable Engineering discipline.


Personal attributes:

  • A great team worker who is driven to support their team to success.
  • A confident, engaging communicator able to influence and lead meetings.
  • Strong interpersonal skills – ability to communicate to all levels of the business including external partners.
  • An ability to motivate others, teams and work cross-functionally effectively.
  • A creative and thoughtful approach to concept design and solving engineering challenges and problems, with an excellent attention to detail.
  • An engaging mindset, open to new challenges and working where necessary outside their comfort zone to push innovation and challenge the norm.
  • Logical approach to problem solving and work in a methodical manner.
  • Ability to deliver in fast paced and dynamic environment.

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.