Kameswarie, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team
Kamewarie Nunna is a Simulation Engineer–Real Time in the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team.
Having completed both an MSc and PhD in Control Engineering, she decided that she wanted to apply what she’d learned to help solve real industry problems.
She never dreamed that that would involve the technical challenge of pushing boundaries and getting the most out of a car in the high-octane world of Formula 1.
"My dad is an engineer, and my earliest memory is constantly questioning my parents about how things worked. I didn’t do much tinkering then, I was just fascinated to know the theory. I was worried that if I took things apart I wouldn’t be able to put them back together again. That came later."
What’s your role at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing?
I am a member of the Vehicle Dynamics Group and work on the driver-in-loop simulator.
The aim is to make the simulator as close to the real race car as possible.
It is used to improve the performance of the car by testing design changes, and also to help drivers practise.
I find it very exciting when the drivers come to the factory between races to gear up for the next race on the simulator!
What sort of work does your job involve?
I make simulation models, design controllers, carry out data analysis, and test ideas to improve the simulator.
The biggest challenge in Formula 1 is that it is fast-paced.
To add to that, you're working with leading edge technology, make it both a challenging and an interesting place to work.
I often use model-based design approach to save time and prove concepts with fewer prototypes.
How did you find yourself at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing?
I ended up at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing by chance.
I found the job advert on LinkedIn, thought it was a really interesting job and I applied.
The sport is exciting to watch, but for me it is more the technical challenge of pushing boundaries and getting the most out of the car.
What attracted you to an engineering career?
My dad is an engineer, and my earliest memory is constantly questioning my parents about how things worked.
I didn’t do much tinkering then, I was just fascinated to know the theory. I was worried that if I took things apart I wouldn’t be able to put them back together again. That came later. But I always loved the idea of finding out how I could make things work the way I wanted.
When I was older, I wanted to do research and become a professor.
I applied to Imperial because it was one of the top five colleges in the world for Engineering in 2009, and my supervisor was a well-known name in the field of Control Systems.
I did both my Master’s and PhD in control engineering, as I wanted to learn how to control systems to achieve a desired target.
How did you find Imperial as an experience?
Having come to London from India, Imperial was a dream come true.
The professors and members of staff were helpful and kind, making you feel at home.
In addition, the professors who taught our courses are well known in their fields of interest. This combination created the perfect environment for me to learn, grow and develop as an engineer, and later on as a researcher.
Apart from my research and studies, I enjoyed getting to know different cultures, thanks to the diverse mix of students. It made my years at Imperial a really memorable time for me.
At the end of my PhD, I decided that I wanted to apply what I’d learned to help solve industrial problems.
Imperial conducts a range of events such as career fairs, motivational talks by Nobel laurates, Women in Engineering talks, to name just a few. These events, coupled with a great careers service, helped me find my first job.
Imperial continues to support you even after you graduate through an active alumni group and by maintain a directory of professionals that you can use to contact fellow alumni for professional advice.
What are your ambitions for your career?
I want to lead technical teams to find ways of applying technology to build a better future, and to make a positive change in society.
I strongly believe that technology can make a real difference in the world. Whether it's using artificial intelligence to predict cancer or kidney failure, designing electric vehicles or finding renewable sources of energy. I've seen tech make a difference in India, where it helps people out of poverty.
Personally, I would love to find more effective ways to store renewable energy, such as solar power in batteries, or dispose of plastics.
Do you have any advice for female students who are considering studying science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM)?
Having an awareness of the impact of technology helps put your day-to-day challenges in perspective.
There's a lot of support and encouragement, especially for female students in STEM. It may not be easy but it's certainly worth it.
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