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Rebecca Cocklin, automotive engineer

Becky Cocklin is a graduate automotive engineer on the BP Challenger programme, a three-year scheme that graduates can apply to from university

As a challenger graduate I will work on four nine-month placements in different departments so that I can learn how different parts of the business work together and more importantly which part of the business I most enjoy working in!

The reason I ended up in BP is that I love karting! From a young age I raced karts and was involved in motorsport. I also loved taking things apart (even if I couldn’t put them back together again!) so I enjoyed understanding mechanical systems from a young age. 

This very much influenced my decision to go to Oxford Brookes University and complete a Degree in Mechanical Engineering, I went on to complete a Masters because I enjoyed it so much and also because it gave me the opportunity to undertake a year in industry where I worked for a large automotive company. This was really useful as I gained experience and skills that helped me stand out when I applied to BP.  

The challenges we faced at race tracks and the ingenuity I witnessed when things sometimes didn’t go to plan that I first realised a career in Engineering might be for me!"Becky Cocklin

My first placement was in product testing and engineering where I was responsible for running fuel economy engine testing. I really enjoyed the challenging nature and variety I  experienced, no day was ever the same or boring! I am now part way through my second placement working in motorcycle oil product development where I am formulating oils, some of which will go and be tested in Product Testing and Engineering. This is a classic example of where by having placements in both departments has given me a great advantage in terms of understanding and having a network of people to support me.

I love that every day is a challenge, and never the same. One day I could be trying to fix a problem on an engine, and the next day I am negotiating timelines with clients to make sure that we can deliver our products on time. To do this job I’d say you need to be curious, organised, hands-on and determined. It is also important that you are interested in maths and physics and study them for GCSE and preferably further. Things do go wrong now and again, so you need to like problem solving.  The engines and test cells are so complex it can often take a lot of time and be quite stressful trying to work out what has gone wrong, but once you have resolved the problem you can enjoy the sense of achievement of finding the solution!

There is a constant demand for better fuel economy and reduced emissions and in a sense, engineers in my field are continually planning for the future and improving the lives of many around the globe with new technologies and methods.


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