Principal Studio Engineer

Location: Woking

Principal Studio Engineer


No restraints. No limitations. We don’t simply push boundaries. We completely rethink them. McLaren Automotive exists to create breath-taking performance road cars.

With innovation at the core of all we do, every challenge starts with the same question. How can we do it better? This restless spirit runs right through McLaren Automotive. And the search for perfection is evident in everything we do.

To ensure McLaren Automotive continues its desire to be “the sportscar company”, we are looking for a Principal Studio Engineer to join our team.

Purpose of the role:
As Principal Studio Engineer you will take ultimate responsibility to deliver a set of surface models that define an exterior & interior of a vehicle that meet all attribute & feasibility targets including cost & weight considerations. Oversee & supply all necessary information for the surface modelling & clay development teams to meet their targets.

Principal accountabilities:

  • The main purpose of the role is to support the Chief Engineer & Senior Designer develop the surfaces that define the visible areas.
  • Responsible for overseeing the integrity of the surface delivery and accuracy of the full size & clay models, ensuring that quality & craftsmanship considerations are fully integrated in the design. 
  • Support and be accountable to the Concept Team Manager for manpower, and timing, to the Chief Engineer for vehicle integrity, and Senior Designer for overall design. 
  • Coordinate the requirements of all attribute owners to meet the selected theme including the use of new technologies. Working with the colour & materials team ensure that the colour scheme meets cost targets & jointly investigate the possibilities of new opportunities.
  • Up to G3 liaise with other concept principals to ensure to accuracy of all studies relating to vehicle development where it has a bearing on styling & offer comments where appropriate on improvements to the process of these deliveries.
  • Post G3 work with the FGM’s, Project Leads & Senior Product Engineers to inject the supplier feedback into the design as swiftly & accurately as possible, where necessary chair multi-functional meetings to reduce multiple releases surface data.
  • Work with the Chief Designer, FGM’s & Attribute Managers to develop a design that delivers to all targets of the exterior & interior systems. Work closely with the other principles to ensure a holistic approach to the overall vehicle design. 
  • Engage with marketing & Project Management to ensure that all expectations are met for the vehicle content, the project leads for section book content, quality team for gap & flush targets & FGM’s for cost, weight & feasibility. Take a leading role in the engineering design reviews & risk register reviews following up not only items directly related to styling to ensure that items are resolved. 
  • Organise, set agenda’s & take minutes of styling design reviews (or delegate), support studio activities relating to executive reviews & attend where necessary.
  • To support clay reviews & general development by liaising with suppliers to ensure the on-time delivery of foams & RP’s sometimes required to enhance to clay models.
  • Support where required the development of mules & bucks by utilising studio resources.
  • Assist the concept team & Studio Managers in reporting to the project meetings the progress of the surface development, also the distribution of manpower & help to set priorities.
  • Ensure that ECN approvals are attended to using proxy’s & where necessary work with PDM to change signatories.


Knowledge, skills & experience:

  • Educated to degree level is preferred but a proven track record is paramount, an advanced understanding of vehicle design to chief engineer standard for niche/supercars is a requirement.
  • The highest level of communication & arbitration skills both verbally & using all Microsoft applications will be needed every day, the ability to interact at all staff levels from executive to intern in a manner that can be easily understood will be necessary.
  • The ability to balance styling & engineering requirements without prejudice while meeting attribute, feasibility, cost & weight considerations through a sound knowledge of the latest techniques & materials. Be a natural problem solver.
  • Catia proficiency to interrogate & create schemes, make drawings to support non-CAD activities. An understanding of Alias & Icem surfacing tools will aid working with the surface modellers.
  • Attention to detail & the ability to understand at a glance complex design issues, work under the pressure of multiple deliveries across all the studio disciplines. Ensure the appropriate resources are in place to meet deadlines especially by working closely surface modeller leads


Personal attributes:

  • Intrinsically self-motivated & the ability to motivate others, maintain a very high level of professionalism, be a natural leader & instil trust.
  • Be the voice of reason when resolving issues under pressure to ensure a balanced outcome.
  • Extremely reliable & provide a stabilising influence during periods of change & intensive activity.
  • Always be available for advising the studio engineering staff and help develop the team’s skills.

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.