Amaury De Bock completed the MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering in 2017.Amaury De Bock

Why did you choose the AME course and what was your background before it?

Ever since I was young, I have always had a keen interest in cars, racing and engines. It all started with my driving and off-roading passion. This was also the reason why I started studying mechanical engineering. As I was proceeding through university, it only became more and more clear to me that I wanted to work for a high-end automotive manufacturer or even a top racing team. In order to pursue of this dream, I knew I had to perform well during university and follow a path that would lead me to this ‘goal’. 

Imperial College London for me was the way to go. Marked as one of the top universities in Europe and even the world, meant that this could be a good ticket to a job in the automotive industry. During my bachelors, I had interaction with several persons that did exchange programs at Imperial and all of them looked back with nostalgia to the time that they spend there. After I had a look to the offered courses and lectures, I found a interesting package of courses related to automotive with a major in engine development. On top of that, being located in the centre of one of the greatest cities in Europe, made it only look more attractive. Applying for Imperial College London was an easy choice.  

How was your time on the course? What did you learn and what did you most enjoy about it? 

My time during the course consisted of a balance between hard work and enjoying my time at university. I definitely learned how to organize work in a way that you still have some free time to practice sports, enjoy London and the great Imperial facilities. I enjoyed activities, but on the other hand I also worked long hours with my fellow AME students on group projects or courses. Luckily, we had nice facilities at our disposal and the so-called AME room was always a nice place to be. Still to this day, I kept a lot of good friends from this experience. 

Looking back at the course, a positive point for me was the fact that you could choose your own combination of courses. This allows you to build a package according to your desires. In my case this was automotive, choosing some main courses directly linked to engines and some supportive courses to extend the general knowledge that could be applied to my field. The combination of these specific courses then gave you a broad overall package.

How has what you learned on the AME course helped you in your career so far?

The big variety of nationalities and cultures at the AME course made it very easy for me to move across Europe for my current job. The group projects with my fellow students made it easy for me to interact at work with my colleagues and distribute work to achieve the best possible result. Another thing that definitely helped me during my career was my master thesis on the simulation of an internal combustion engine in GT-Power. This project taught me a lot about how to organize work but also specifically about internal combustion engines, the development of an engine and the importance and influence of performance parameters. This helped me a lot to understand more easily the development path during my current job. I would like to specifically thank again Professor Alex Taylor for his guidance and mentoring.

What kind of work are you doing now? What are your plans for the future?

At the moment, I am part of the Ferrari Formula 1 Team in Maranello, Italy. Within the team, I work in the power unit department and specifically the engine development team. On a daily basis, I am responsible for the mechanical development of the engine and its auxiliaries. As a test and development engineer, I am un charge of the mechanical test rigs and auxiliary test rig. The tasks mainly include: organizing the tests, setting up a test plan, develop experimental techniques to sufficiently characterize the various parts of the corresponding systems and to replicate and predict their behavior in their normal engine environment, execute the tests and finally data analysis and reporting. 

For the future, my short-term plan would be to grow within the company/industry and to extend my expertise. Using this built expertise later to execute a managerial function within this field would definitely be a goal. On the longer term, as I still consider myself entrepreneurially minded, I keep the possibility open of starting something on my own.

"A positive point for me was the fact that you could choose your own combination of courses. This allows you to build a package according to your desires. "