Kieran Reeves, director of the National Motorsport Academy, has been named as The Manufacturer’s Employee of the Month April 2016.
What is your role and what are your main responsibilities?
My main role is to develop the Motorsport Degree programme to remain at the cutting edge of technology, both with our content and our online delivery styles.
I manage the lecturing team and maintain an overview of student achievement. I am a module convenor and a student supervisor on several of our modules, as well as, the team manager for our student based GT Race Team.
I carry out research based on Hybrid Technologies and their control and implementation into race vehicles.
What are the key technical skills you use?
Thanks to my 20 years’ experience in the automotive industry, alongside 17 years working in motorsport, I believe the key technical skills I use are precision and critical analysis.
Research studies require strong technical and mathematical abilities. I like to believe I am quite academic, but with the added bonus of being practical and very much hands-on.
What personal characteristics help you in your role?
I have a sound understanding of engine development and vehicle dynamics, and I am able to communicate this knowledge in a highly engaging way. I like to see individuals develop and improve, whether this be my academic team or the students.
I am good at balancing being pro-active and reactive at the same time. It may sound contradictory to say that I am both, but in academia it helps to be proactive with development and new strategies or policies, whereas at the race track anything can happen and you have to respond to those circumstances immediately.
What do you consider to be your biggest personal success at the company so far?
In my director of Motorsport role at The National Motorsport Academy, I have developed Britain’s first online Motorsport Engineering degrees, a Foundation Degree & BSc (Hons).
What are the most rewarding parts of your job?
As chief engineer and team manager for the National Motorsport Academy Race team, seeing the students gain regular podiums through their hard work is extremely satisfying.
The most rewarding part so far is to have my research acknowledged, so much that I have been invited to present one of my papers in California this coming June.
Do you have a career ambition?
I have almost completed a PhD in Mechanical Engineering where I am developing control and vehicle dynamic algorithms to provide stability and energy management strategies for road and race based Hybrid-Electric Vehicles.
It would also be nice to be recognised as the first person to bring Higher Education online learning to our industry.