Autonomous car engineer Amy Rimmer has been named as the overall winner of the Autocar Great British Women in the Car Industry - Rising Stars accolade.
Rimmer, who works for Jaguar Land Rover, stood out from hundreds of nominations because of her focused ambition to become a leading expert on autonomous vehicles. To date, she has played an instrumental role in developing Jaguar Land Rover’s autonomous vehicle technology, and taken the lead in demonstrating autonomous cars to the UK Government for the firm.
Drawing on a strong academic background, Rimmer studied at Cambridge, gaining a master’s degree in mechanical engineering before going on to complete a PhD in vehicle dynamics.
Rimmer’s automotive career began with internships with the McLaren F1 team and Volvo trucks, before she eventually headed to Jaguar Land Rover in 2015. Today her job title is Research Engineer – Autonomous Vehicle Control.
Commenting on her achievement, Rimmer said: “Working on autonomous vehicles has been a hugely rewarding dimension to my career as an engineer, so to be formally recognised by the Great British Women initiative is a great honour.
“I hope that my story will motivate young women to pursue a career in automotive, and to reap the rewards that the industry can offer. It’s slightly surreal watching the car of the future unfold today, and being part of the team behind it never fails to inspire on a daily basis.”
Mark Tisshaw, Autocar editor, commented: “Amy stood out to us as being a driving force behind one of the most significant automotive developments in a generation.
“Her dedication and talent has made a huge contribution to positioning these iconic brands at the forefront of autonomy, ensuring we’ll see self-driving British cars on our roads in just a few short years.”
SMMT CEO Mike Hawes added: "The development of connected and autonomous vehicles presents a huge opportunity for our industry and for society as a whole - potentially contributing £51 billion to the UK economy and helping society be safer and more mobile.
“It's terrific to see this award going to such an inspirational figure in this exciting field, and we hope this award will inspire others to follow her."
Rimmer topped a list of 100 rising stars from diverse backgrounds within the car industry, reflecting the wide scope of opportunity for careers within it. Categories included vehicle development, executives, manufacturing, retail, marketing, communications, design and apprenticeships and interns.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Vehicle Development: Amy Rimmer, Research Engineer – Autonomous Vehicle Control, Jaguar Land Rover
Manufacturing: Leah Bruce, Diesel Manufacturing Strategy Manager, Ford
Retail/Sales: Lucy Curtis, General Manager, TrustFord
Marketing: Charlotte Twigg, Services Manager, North America, Audi
Communications: Laura King, Senior Manager, Brand PR, Hyundai
Apprentices/ Interns: Chloe Crutchlow, Emissions Measurement Technologies Support Engineer, Degree Apprentice, Jaguar Land Rover
Design: Jo Lewis, Senior Colour and Materials Designer, McLaren
Executive: Nikki Rimmington, Director of Corporate Finance and Planning, Aston Martin
Human Resources and Training: Donna Chambers, Group Learning & Development Manager, IM Group
Tisshaw added: “This year’s Top 100 Rising Stars event is testament to the breadth and diversity of skills among the female workforce in the global automotive industry, and we warmly congratulate all of them on their achievements.
“Behind every vehicle on the road today, there is a team of people striving to make motoring more desirable, safe and environmentally friendly, as well as those behind the scenes, managing, selling and promoting to keep the industry in rude health.
“In times of change and ground-breaking electric, connected and autonomous technology, it is crucial that the industry continues to attract the brightest and best candidates to maintain momentum. Underrepresentation of women in the industry is something it has begun to tackle head-on, and the response to this year’s event to highlight its rising stars has been hugely encouraging.”
The 2017 judging panel for the top 100 British women in the industry included specialists from Autocar’s editorial team as well as SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes and Director of Communications and International, Tamzen Isacsson.
The Great British Women in the Car Industry event is in partnership with the SMMT and sponsored by Direct Line Group, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover. It is further supported by Ennis & Co and KPMG.