Coachlines - March 2024

29.03.24 Assistant Giles Taylor

Meet the Team: The Automotive Charity Sub-Committee

The Automotive Charity Sub-Committee supports highly talented young people during their university studies and apprenticeship certifications with six award funds extending over three fields of activity:

• Vehicle design – Bachelors’ and Masters’ Design degree students.
• Automotive and motorsport engineering – Post-Graduate Master of Science degree students
• Heritage skills apprentices – Heritage Skills Academy, Bicester and P&A Wood, Essex.

Sub-Committee Chairman Assistant Giles Taylor heads up a highly experienced and dedicated team of five Liverymen who have generously given much of their time over the years in support of young students who aim to be involved with cars in their future careers.

The Committee was founded around a single car design bursary award – The Motor Centenary Bursary Award in 1989. The idea was first initiated by Past Master Richard Dallimore during his year as Master in 1985 and the inaugural award coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Daimler Benz motorcar from 1886.

A word from Sub-Committee Chairman and Assistant Giles Taylor

The start point of my journey with the Coachmakers came in 1989 when, having applied during my final year of BA Transportation Design at Coventry University, I had the good fortune to win the Coachmakers’ Motor Centenary Bursary Award. I managed to impress Past Master Richard Dallimore and Liveryman Roy Axe, then head of Rover Group Design, with a folio of ‘old-fashioned’ hand-drawn renderings including a retro styled two-seater Frazer-Nash.

My monetary award of £3,000, substantial for the time, was put to good use during the summer of 1990. With a friend and Royal Society of Arts’ award winner, I arranged a tour of design studios and significant car museums of Europe and North America.

Despite the infamous World Cup Italia penalty shoot-out against Germany, and having our Rover Group-donated Montego Turbo S set on fire in the back streets of Turin, we managed to circumnavigate some of the key European car museums and design studios. Meeting with the Technical Chief of Ferrari and visiting the F40 production line at Maranello along with the Ghia Design Studios in Turin were among the many highlights. Painful expenses were incurred due to the fire-destroyed tent, and car repair bills, although the stolen music collection was probably a blessing for both of us.

In the US, the opportunities to meet key figures via introductions from Roy Axe were once-in-a-lifetime. From meeting Ralph Lauren and his resplendent Bugatti Atlantique at the Pebble Beach Concours, or the chance to sit with GM Design VP Chuck Jordan one-to-one in his office were beyond motivational for a wide-eyed 22-year-old. A tour of the Ford Dearborn design facility with Design VP Jack Telnack and a day at the now disbanded Black Hawk car collection in California were so inspirational. As one can imagine, this back story provides ample context, 34 years later, for my desire to support today’s aspiring young students.

Fast forward a career via the Citroën C3 and Xsara, Chief Designer with Jaguar Cars and Directorship at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, I am often asked what’s the high point? I have no intention to attend to the garden full time just yet, but glancing over my shoulder, there is no doubt that during my time as Director of Design for Rolls-Royce, delivering Phantom VIII stands out.

I see these achievements as a fitting nod to Roy and Past Master Richard who provided that valuable boost to get out there, work hard and believe in one’s early talent. Today, I run a studio of 60 designers and technical staff based in Munich, Germany working as Vice President of Design for FAW Group. We develop global designs for hybrid and EV cars as well as a new generation of EV trucks.

The awards that we hand out today are a recognition of young talent – similar to my experience, we want to boost the chances of finding a good first job in whichever part of the design or wider car related industry. We remain committed to finding talent from diverse backgrounds, quite often without the means available to even access courses, which can make a positive difference to UK car manufacturing, restoration, and motorsports industries. Students can often find jobs abroad, as is the global nature of our industry. It is not necessarily a reason to believe that our efforts or award funding could be in vain as gathering a wider industry experience is vital.

I thoroughly enjoy working with such a dedicated Livery team. We have a collective responsibility to expand our mission of supporting young people before we handover to the next team in the years ahead. What a delight to see the nine young award winners at this month’s Auto Industry Dinner accepting their well deserved awards from The Master Bettine Evans.

Motor Centenary Bursary Award – Royal College of Art, London, and Coventry University

Since its inception in 1985, the Motor Centenary Bursary Award provides an annual bursary to enable an outstanding young car designer with the opportunity to advance their career in the field of automotive design. The competition is open to Post-graduate Intelligent Mobility Master’s degree students from the Royal College of Art and also Transportation Design Master’s degree students from Coventry University.

The Coachmakers’ judging committee, named below, comprises automotive designers and industry specialists who are responsible for short-listing five student portfolios. Then, each February, the committee team along with the incumbent Livery Master meet at the Royal College of Art in London to make their final choice of winner. This entails a series of 30-minute presentations by each student.

The RCA is world-renowned for shaping some of the most successful car designers during the past 50 years. We are supported each year in the student selection process by RCA MDes Head of Course Professor Chris Thorpe, Course Tutor Cynthia Charwick-Bland. Coventry University MDes Course Tutor Aysar Ghassan also provides us with a range of outstanding portfolios from which we select our candidates.

The Automotive Design Awards Judging Committee

PM Richard Dallimore

Meet the team members who meet each year to ensure that the two coveted awards go to students who have the talent and drive to achieve success in the car industry.

Past Master Richard Dallimore introduced the idea of an automotive bursary during his year as Master in 1985

Hon Liveryman Ian Callum CBE

Honorary Liveryman Ian Callum CBE has held top design positions at Ford, as well as Design Directorships at Aston Martin and Jaguar. After more than 50 years in the design business, Ian now runs his own company, Callum Design based in Warwickshire. His creations to date include the Aston Martin Vanquish and DB7, Ford Puma and Escort Cosworth, Jaguar F-Type, F-PACE and I-PACE, to name a few.

Liveryman Jonathan Connolly

Liveryman Jonathan Connolly comes from a family lineage of leather making and Coachmaker Past Masters dating back decades. Jonathan continues to uphold the brand, manufacturing Connolly leather of the exceptional and unique quality it has always been recognised for. With more than 30 years in the industry, he continues to supply exclusive, high quality leather to the motor, aviation, yachting and furnishing industries. Connolly leather plays an integral part in the global classic car market as owners and restorers alike strive for authenticity and excellence

Liveryman Michael Quinn

Liveryman Michael Quinn is the grandson of Sir William Lyons, founder of Jaguar Cars and is Patron of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and Chairman of the Sir William Lyons Heritage Trust, which generously supports one of the Coachmakers’ design awards. Michael is Managing Director of Quinn Lyons Ltd, a London-based motor vehicle service and repair business, specialising in Jaguar.

Picture above (from left) is this year’s award winner Cedrik Lapointe with runners-up Pavithra Mahendra Kumar and Charley Orr at the recent Automotive Industry Livery Dinner.

Siddharth Sangwa 

Last year’s award winner Siddharth Sangwan is now employed at Tata Motors’ design studio in Coventry.“I recently joined the Exterior Design team at TATA Motors,” he says. “Before then, I worked as a Mobility Consultant for Bellwether Industries, focusing on eVTOL aviation. It’s been an exciting journey, delving into an advanced form of mobility, a little different from conventional cars.”

Jade Rivalland

Last year’s runner-up Jade Rivalland has just completed a post graduate internship at GAC Motors Design Studio in Milan. She is now working on some personal and freelance projects and plans to join Mobilize within the Renault Group shortly.

Sir William Lyons Automotive Design Award – Coventry University

Since its inception in 2022 by Liveryman Michael Quinn, the award is offered in collaboration with the Sir William Lyons Charitable Heritage Trust of which Michael is Chairman. The award donation of £5,000 is destined to support undergraduate automotive design talent in their final year of the BA Transportation Design degree at Coventry University.

Each year, students are invited to submit their portfolios of design work to the Coachmakers’ expert judging panel with one or often two winners finally selected. Coventry University is one of the few institutions in the world to offer an undergraduate vehicle design course and has a reputation for nurturing some of the finest automotive talent during the past 40 years. The student pre-selection process is well supported by BA (Hons) Transportation Design Course Tutor Alan Barrett.

This year’s winners, Laszlo Csizmadia and Jaeun Park, are pictured above with their awards at the recent Automotive Industry Livery Dinner.

Ben Kenward

2023 award winner Ben Kenward provides an update on his progress. Ben comments: “With the very generous grant from last year’s award, I was able to purchase a machine that could handle powerful visualisation software. For the first semester of my development year, I committed to learning Unreal Engine and to develop my design vis/CGI skills. In 2024, I joined the team at Curve Digital working on a live project with clients on the other side of the world.”

Advanced Automotive Engineering Junior Research Scholarship – Brunel University

The annual research scholarship of £7,000 is typically awarded to a second year undergraduate student studying for a BEng Degree at Brunel University. Students from the School of Mechanical Engineering are eligible to apply and a final selection is proposed by the departmental course tutors.

The award provides the successful candidate with accommodation funds for an on-campus automotive research project which takes place during the summer period.

Each academic year, we are supported with our student selection by Head of Department for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Diane Mynors and Course Tutor Bin Wang. Diane has provided excellent support for automotive and aerospace awards during the past four years.

2023 Bursary award winner Benjamin Samuels seen here accepting his award at the recent Automotive Industry Livery Dinner.

Picture above is last year’s award winner Szymon Polewko, has been employed at AP Racing in Coventry since January 2024.

The Coachmaker Team – Heritage Skills Apprentices and Cranfield University Awards

Liveryman Nick Lyford

Liveryman Nick Lyford spent nearly all his career in the oil industry in exploration and development all over the world with several oil majors.

In his later years in Africa and Brazil, he spent a large proportion of his time coaching and mentoring young engineers, enthusing them into the engineering world and help guide their future.

After retirement he joined the Coachmakers and continues to enthuse the young. On behalf of the Coachmakers he works with the Heritage Skills Academy in Bicester and Brooklands to identify young apprentices who need and deserve bursary assistance, without which they would find it difficult to continue their apprenticeships. He also coaches and mentors an Arkwright Scholar, looks after the yearly Bentley Award and assists Giles with the Cranfield University relationship. His other passion is restoring and collecting classic cars under the watchful eye of his ever forgiving wife, Ann. With Nick’s diligent and much valued efforts during the past two years, the HSA relationship is in excellent working order and our apprenticeships much sought after.

Liveryman Geoff Lancaster

Liveryman Geoff Lancaster joined the automotive sub-committee soon after being clothed in the livery. In the six years prior to this he had been a Director of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) during which time he was a member of a small working group which set up the first and at that time only UK apprenticeships in historic vehicle restoration.

The course curriculum achieved Offqual accreditation and the first students started their courses at Bicester Heritage soon after. It is now named the Bicester Heritage Skills Academy and two years ago opened another centre at Brooklands.

Geoff comments: “I have always been a petrolhead since childhood and it was no surprise to my family when I joined the motor industry as a graduate trainee. Although I’m now retired the Livery has given me the opportunity to maintain that interest whilst helping to encourage young people.”

Automotive and Motorsport Future Technologies Award – Cranfield University

The annual Engineering Award is available to post-graduate MSc students at Cranfield University in one of the following areas of study: Advanced Automotive Mechatronics, Advanced Motorsport Engineering and Connected Autonomous Vehicle Engineering. The Award provides funding for a specific research project or sponsorship of an individual selected by the Coachmakers’ Charity Committee and Cranfield’s Advanced Vehicle Engineering course tutors.

We are extremely well supported each year by Head of the Advanced Automotive Vehicle Engineering Centre Professor James Brighton and Course Director Dr Kim Blackburn. Liveryman Nick Lyford is responsible for running the award which commenced in 2021 with a sponsored group project to design and build an electric powered go-kart. This featured an intelligent torque vectoring cornering system.

Picture above is 2024 Bursary award winner Tom Webster, who received his award at the recent Automotive Industry Livery Dinner.

Automotive Heritage Skills Apprenticeship Awards

This award operates in conjunction with the Offqual accredited vehicle restoration skills courses run by the Heritage Skills Academy based in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Over a three-year course period, our Livery awards aim to fund a total of five carefully selected apprentices with the dedicated support of Liveryman Nick Lyford in collaboration with Janice Pitchforth – Director of the HSA.

We are pleased to inform that all five awards are allocated, with students using their funding for accommodation, travel and course expenses during their block release. Nick will provide further insight into the courses for all five of our young apprentices in a follow up Coachlines article.

Bentley Heritage Outstanding Apprentice Award

This award is currently run in conjunction with the restoration workshops at renowned Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealer P&A Wood in Essex. In its inaugural award year, Liveryman Nick Lyford and Louise Wood have identified Billy Strutt as a worthy recipient of the 2024 award. Nick will elaborate more on his activities at P&A Wood in a follow-up Coachlines article.

2024 award winning apprentice Billy Strutt with his award at the recent Automotive Industry Livery Dinner.