Club G40 Forum

Club G40 => General Chat => Topic started by: physicsfool on August 04, 2016, 04:33:06 pm

Title: Job prospects
Post by: physicsfool on August 04, 2016, 04:33:06 pm
Like most of my unsolveable problems i either go for a bike or tinker with the polo. this one is proving trickier then most

The issue of career choice is one I have given little thought about until now, trying to wrap my head around what i want to do.

I like physics, engineering and cars. I want to keep a research and development aspect as well. I am currently in the last year of my PhD which is interesting enough (industrial applications of plasma's). I am finding most companies like to steer me towards graduate schemes, but dont have a definite entry route into industry as my education doesn't match up to their required experience.

So i need an industry that wants my technical approach and isnt going to start me on peanuts for lack of experience.

I know a few of you are in the R&D automotive industry, any chance you could throw a few pointers at me

Title: Re: Job prospects
Post by: Yoof on August 08, 2016, 07:37:53 am
What's you degree/PhD in?

If the research side appeals, then a role within a University with good Automotive links wouldn't be a bad place to start gaining experience, although academia and industry do collaborate,  but they're two very different work environments.

Some reading here for academic institutes with industrial partners:

Automotive industry is currently booming, and there's a skills shortage. However I'd not expect your starting wage to be much higher than a graduate scheme (if any) because of the PhD.

Have you been able to link your thesis to an industrial application/product? Perhaps contact a company who it would be relevant to, cylinder liners for example:

Hope this helps

Title: Re: Job prospects
Post by: physicsfool on August 08, 2016, 10:57:19 am
Hi Pete,

Cheers for the reply, my degrees are in Physics (BSc, MSc) and my project is based in the low temperature plasma group here at York. My thesis is based around diagnostics (mainly optical) used in the etaching of semiconductors.  So examining electron properties and tailoring the ion energies for maximum etching efficiency. And then backing all the experimental work up with a hybrid model to help simulate plasma environment. My main industrial partner is Intel, but i understand the manufacture process and not so much the auto electrical side, so not really a link there.

I think my patience for academia is nearly over, becomes very political as the university have so many different hoops to jump through (obviously funding dependent). 

Thanks for the links, yeah i sometimes question my decision to do one, but really enjoy the research side. And also the physical development of my experimental set up.

Will have read of the links and see what comes up

Title: Re: Job prospects
Post by: SamG40 on August 09, 2016, 10:20:48 pm
I'm sure I've told you that my wifes PHD was in this field. Her thesis is entitled "A novel plasma source for surface chemical patterning and spatial control of cell adhesion". Snappy title. Anyway, if you fancied a move to Adelaide she could put you in touch with some people out there. She is starting a lab up here but its nothing to do with plasma unfortunately.
Title: Re: Job prospects
Post by: physicsfool on August 10, 2016, 12:00:08 pm
Cheers for the heads up Sam, just got your email. Will reply to that 
Title: Re: Job prospects
Post by: Andy on August 24, 2016, 08:04:28 am
I think if you wanted to link your PhD and automotive interests, then you'd struggle. There are plenty of semiconductor manufacturers who supply into the automotive industry, but I doubt you'd see much (if anything!) of a car in the role. I started my career in automotive electronic hardware design, but quickly switched into automotive Electrical Systems Integration as the hardware stuff was predominantly lab/office based - and I may as well have been working on bits for washing machines.

If it's the money right now you're interested in, then I'd be sniffing around Intel to see what doors you've got open there.

If the automotive side is really important to you, I think you'll have to suck it up and join a graduate scheme with pay to suit. If your PhD was more relevant then you'd have a chance of getting direct entry into a higher grade role. I've just recruited someone who's just finished their PhD into one of my teams at Senior Engineer level (typically 5ish years experience post-undergrad degree), but he'd spent 5 years doing his PhD with an automotive OEM in a field directly relevant to the role I was recruiting for. He's not paid any more than his colleagues with ~5 years experience and no PhD though!

Having said all of that, automotive graduate scheme pay is an awful lot better than it was 10 years ago - at least £10k pa higher than it was back then, so £30-£33k ish isn't unusual. The industry is still booming at the moment, and there's a massive labour shortage - so salaries are higher than they've ever been.
Title: Re: Job prospects
Post by: physicsfool on August 24, 2016, 08:21:50 pm
Cheers Andy, yeah I would rather do something interesting and automotive based over a bigger pay check.

Came across a 4 month "phd internship" that mclaren do in CFD (comp fluid dynamics). But 4 months doesn't feel like a decent enough time to get to grips with the work.

Going to try brush up on a few languages such as C++ and some java based ones. Maybe that will help. And scope some grad schemes as suggested.

Yeah 30k is a set up from the 14k I am on at the moment. Needs fund to paint the mk1