Mark Cordner first worked with electric cars through Imperial’s Racing Green project and built this passion into a career with GKN driveline where he now works as a mechanical engineer.

What did you learn at Imperial, in class and out?

"I was involved in Imperial Racing Green, which was very interesting. It was a chance to work with companies and put together electric cars. This led directly on to what I do at work so it provided a really good background for me."

What is your fondest memory of your time here?

 "It was great meeting interesting people and living in London for the first time. The summer ball in the first year is a lasting memory."

What jobs have you done since graduation?

 "I started as a mechanical engineer for an Imperial spin out (it was a couple of PhD projects) that developed hybrid car systems. I have stayed with them ever since. We formed a joint venture with a much bigger company and eventually got bought out by GKN driveline. I’ve worked up from doing component design and bits of analysis to running a chunk of the team and working on lots of car, truck, bus and racing projects. I also look at power generation."

Please give some details of the sort of activities involved.

"I do system design for electric cars as well as other applications where motors and generators are used. We’re doing lots of integration where we have to make other components such as clutches fit in the vehicle. I go out and sort out parts from suppliers all over the world so I travel quite a lot with the job. In addition o this I’m responsible for all the projects we do with external companies. This means that I build up contacts with the sales professionals and explain why our technology is interesting. Then I get the project and deliver it with a team of our guys."

How has what you learnt at Imperial helped you in your career so far?

"All of the theory has been really useful as it gives you all the technical detail you need. I also gained a range of applied experience for example with trying to specify existing components."

What have been your career highlights?

 "I would say setting up a production line in Italy and seeing it through from start to finish."

What are your plans for the future?

"At the moment the team is growing and we’re taking on new projects. I’d like to use this as an opportunity to develop in the role I’m in. I enjoy what I’m doing and look forward to taking on more responsibility and developing the applications that we’ve got waiting for production."

What would be your advice for current students?

 "Make the most out of all the connections and facilities that Imperial offers. There is a wide range of things that you can get involved in before later on specializing. Take the opportunity to get exposure and make the most out of being in London."