Steve Simmonds – Product Development Director, AEM￼
Steve Simmonds – Product Development Director, AEM￼
Q: How long have you worked at Advanced Electric Machines?
SS: I’ve been working for AEM for 15 months now. I was lucky to be given the opportunity to come and work with such a new and rapidly growing business.
I previously had a lot of experience developing high-performance and complex powertrains and joining AEM allowed me to diversify into a different technical field – looking at electric motors and electrical engineering in general.
Q: Can you tell us about your job role?
SS: My role here at Advanced Electric Machines is two-fold – primarily leading the product development team, and that means growing that team within the business and its capacity and capability.
The primary aim of that is my main responsibility, which is to develop our products
Q: What would you say is your proudest professional achievement so far?
SS: By far, my proudest moment at Advanced Electric Machines has been supporting the business and watching it grow, by changing the way the business is thinking – on the journey from a start-up business to a renowned tier one manufacturer.
I’ve supported this transition through the restructuring of the business – by implementing a matrix-style restructure within the Engineering department. AEM provided me with the opportunity to help make this happen, and it’s allowed me to use my 20-plus years’ worth of experience to its full potential.
As a result, I’ve been able to pass on this knowledge and experience down to the very roots of the business. And we haven’t stopped growing since.
Q: What excites you about working at AEM?
SS: There is no question that AEM is a very exciting business to work for. The novel technologies that the company has in their portfolio have always been one of the reasons why I love working here. Other products in the same class don’t always share the same advantages as our products do.
But it’s mostly down to the team here at AEM. They have an incredibly comprehensive understanding of these technologies, and I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with them in helping to make our products commercially viable.
Being presented with the opportunity to be so tightly involved with the direction of the business has made me realise how big of a name AEM could become over time – not just in the UK, but on a global scale too.
Q: What is the biggest challenge facing PMD at the moment, and how is AEM trying to solve this?
SS: The problem is that there is a lot of divergence in the technologies that are being investigated. The electric vehicle market is under especially high pressure for managing costs – and that’s where the advantages of our products really shine through.
The second very important challenge to address is sustainability and really making electric vehicles truly sustainable over their life cycle. Our technology is class-leading in this field, and it is our mission to maximise sustainability.
Q: Why do you think engineers should choose to work at Advanced Electric Machines?
SS: AEM is a brilliant place for engineers to come to work – especially for new engineers looking to take their first steps into the industry. We work with new technology, which is complemented by a huge amount of expertise around us. We maintain a focus on developing learning for engineers, which is supported by the structure of the business. This continues to enhance the development of new products.
The diversity of challenges around us are quite significant, and the chance to work in lots of different areas in a short amount of time is one of the most valuable ways to learn for an early-career engineer.
Our new recruits are crucial on our path to success and growth.
Q: How does AEM support the professional development of its people, and what opportunities does the company provide to help people grow?
SS: It goes without saying that AEM is the perfect place for young engineers to come and learn their way in the engineering environment. We are a team made up of people with a great background in electric motors, electronics, mechanical engineering, and mechanical design.
From a mentoring perspective, there is limitless knowledge to be learned under the support and guidance of the team here. Culture is also embedded into the daily life here at AEM – we have a willingness to teach, which is proven through our weekly seminar sessions that are delivered by our more experienced team members.
Q: What impact could more senior people coming into the business have?
SS: For senior professionals looking to join us, there are plenty of opportunities to make really big impacts – especially when it comes to achieving our objectives.
Our business is growing rapidly, the structures are growing rapidly, and there are lots of opportunities for team leadership and technical leadership as we continue to grow. This directly creates an environment for learning and involvement, which is such an important process here at AEM.
Q: What qualities do you look for in new recruits?
SS: For prospective senior recruits, we’re looking for proactive people who are willing to step forward and make a difference and lead their tasks with confidence. That is an opportunity for them to express themselves, and to have an influence on the business. We love candidates to have a real technical interest in what we’re doing, and the unique and novel products that we’ve got – along with the impacts that they will make around the world.
As for younger engineers, we are looking for keen and enthusiastic individuals who are ready to learn about all aspects of the business. A creative and proactive approach to working with our products will really stand out to us.
Q: How would you describe the culture here at AEM?
SS: The culture here is just as you’d expect from a family-style environment. Everyone is familiar with each other, and the communication is incredibly good between us all, from the management down to everybody else. There is a genuine interest shown by our staff in making our products create a difference in the world we live in, and everyone here at AEM shares this passion.
Q: What would you say are the most important values at AEM?
SS: Core to AEM is sustainability, especially in the technologies that we are developing. We see it as a powerful way to make a change.