“My journey in motorsport began as an engine parts design engineer for Peugeot Sport’s WEC programme in February 2020,” she recalls. “When you start out as a young student, you see engines as a bit like automotive aristocracy, even though you learn later that other components play just as decisive a part in the overall performance package. Never in my college years would I have imagined that one day I would find myself involved in an international programme like this. I had no knowledge of engine history, nor of how engines have evolved, so it seemed out of the question. I wasn’t sure I was up to the job but I realise today that it is a perfect fit for me. With experience, I have effectively come to realise how much I enjoy working under pressure, with very short turnarounds. As the 9X8 embarks upon its competitive career after months of testing, I feel a certain pride, but also a sense of responsibility. Along with my drawing-office colleagues, I contribute to the design of a hundred or so engine parts, like the exhaust line and manifold.
“How did I get here? Well, first of all, by choosing the subjects that interested me at school – chiefly scientific subjects. Then during a college Open Day, I heard about engineering science options and went down that path. I liked mechanical design and, after college, I studied at ESTACA which teaches fields ranging from railway and automotive engineering to aeronautics during Year 1. I obtained internships in the latter two before finally plumping for the automobile where I found the projects more concrete, because the parts you work on can show up on the vehicle just weeks later. I like that.
“I was in different departments at Stellantis before joining the WEC programme. I worked on seat comfort and foam compression, then moved on to the DS3 Crossback’s dashboard and console, etc., where the short timescale between design and production appealed to me. When the WEC offer arose, I was immediately tempted but wondered whether I was up to working in the unique world of sport where every happens so much faster than in the world of series production. That’s why I was drawn by the Women in Motorsport drive, to show how we imagine our own glass ceilings. Yet anything is possible for women in motorsport, so I would like to see my example serve as encouragement for other young girls who might be interested but who have doubts.
“In motorsport, the work is both individual and collective, and that’s a plus. The secret of a well-designed part? Its weight, how easy it is to dismantle, its performance, its resilience, its cost and its production lead-time. If you’re interested in this line of work, don’t hesitate. Take the leap!”