Peter Rawlinson (Mechanical Engineering 1979), CEO & CTO of electric car company Lucid Motors, visited the campus earlier this year.
Mr Rawlinson returned to Imperial for the first time since graduating and spent an entire afternoon in June touring the spaces and facilities in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He was guided on the tour by Professor Mike Lowe, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Ms Shona Aitken, Head of Development (North America) at Imperial.
The route of the visit included both teaching and research spaces, from the Student Teaching Workshop to the Pit Garage. Peter Rawlinson talked to staff and students and had a look at Design, Make and Test projects and student motorsport projects, including electric vehicles. He also visited the Student Teaching Workshop and the laboratories of the Tribology, Metal forming and Battery research groups, to discuss current research.
Professor Daniele Dini (Tribology) said: “We had the pleasure to host Peter in our laboratories and to witness his enthusiasm for science and research as well as his great capacity to engage with students and researchers. His interaction with us was inspiring and we very much hope to be able to host him again soon to share exciting ideas and plans to boost e-mobility”.
In a later talk for Imperial’s Alumni Spotlight series, Mr Rawlinson said of the visit: “Professor Mike Lowe was such as gracious host, as was Shona Aitken. […] [The department] looked very vibrant, there was a lot of energy and brilliance, and a lot of research which really fascinated me in its relevance to the huge challenge that mankind faces today, which is the environment.”
Discussing with Professor Mary Ryan his initial choice to study Mechanical Engineering, Mr Rawlinson said he didn’t know what he wanted to do initially, but his studies equipped him with the fundamentals which he could deploy to do what would eventually become his passion: “I wanted to be someone who designed things and made things and created things”.
Peter Rawlinson graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial in 1979. He worked in the motor industry at Jaguar, Lotus and Tesla before joining a small company called Atieva, which later became Lucid Motors. Lucid have become a publicly traded company and launched their first electric car, the Lucid Air, in summer 2021.
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Department of Mechanical Engineering