Dr Neil Ashton
I like to call myself a research engineer because I pride myself that I work on real-life engineering projects e.g Bloodhound SSC or Formula 1 but I also try to undertake novel research to bring new methods and ideas to the engineering design process. I did all my studies at the University of Manchester (undergrad and PhD) but then left to go work in Formula 1 at what is now the Renault F1 team. I learnt a lot in Formula 1 – in particular about the aerodynamic design process and what all those bits on the car actually do! I realised however that my passion was about working on a wide variety of engineering projects and not just on Formula 1 cars. I went back to doing a post-doc at Manchester University before then realising my dream of working at NASA – where I lived out in Silicon Valley for 6 months working at NASA Ames Research Centre. I was tempted to go back to the UK to come and work at Oxford University and now I think I have one of the coolest jobs working on fast cars and planes in between the beautiful buildings of Oxford.
You can see a recent talk I gave at TedX Oxford which explains the sort of research I do.
TEDX video here: