• Innovators of Manufacturing

Innovators of Manufacturing

Did you know that Steve Jobs was voted the third greatest engineer of all time?


Or that Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr Bean) has a masters in Electrical Engineering?!

Without manufacturing we wouldn't have aeroplanes, computers or even vacuum cleaners!

So that means no holidays, no social media and unclean carpets....Imagine that!

Now here's your opportunity to join in and make a difference in the HVM sector. What's stopping you?

Stand out from the crowd and join the men and women who have had significant roles in engineering throughout history.

It's not only influential men whose footsteps you could follow in. Successful women such as: Mary Barra, an engineering graduate who managed car plants and is now the CEO of General Motors; or Mary Anderson, who invented the wind screen wiper, also had significant manufacturing careers.

Learn more about these innovators of manufacturing in the profiles featured below:

Rowan Atkinson

Born: January 6, 1955

Education: Electrical Engineering Degree at Newcastle University, continued to study for a masters degree in Electrical Engineering at the Queens College, Oxford.

Career: He met writers and composers at university, which led to a career change to a comedian and actor in film, television and theatre.

"I've always believed that perfectionism is more of a disease than a quality. I do try to go with the flow but I can't let go".

Steve Jobs

Can you imagine life without iPods or iPhones?

Born: February 24, 1955

Died: October 5, 2011

Education: Attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Jobs dropped out of Reed after just one semester but continued to 'drop in' calligraphy and modern dance classes. Without the calligraphy the Mac would never have featured multiple typefaces.

Career: In 1976 Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in his home garage with Steve Wozniak and introduced the Apple I computer. From this, Jobs continued to work alongside Wozniak to develop Apple II, the Macintosh, iMac, iPod, iPhone, MacBook and iPads. Now that's what you call innovative manufacturing!

Invention: Apple products.

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower". 

Henry Ford

Can you imagine life without a car?

Born: July 30, 1863

Died: April 7, 1947

Education: Henry Ford began work on a farm it was not until the age of 16 where Ford began an apprenticeship as a machinist in Detroit.

Career: Beginning his career as an automobile manufacturer then progressing further to developing a production line. After a few trials in building cars, in 1903, Henry Ford established the Ford Motor Company.

Invention: Ford introduced the Model T in October of 1908.

"Whether you think you can , or you think you can't - you're right".

James Dyson

Can you imagine life without bagless Vacuum Cleaners?

Born: May 2, 1947

Education: Following years attending boarding school, James spent one year at Byam Shaw School of Art. Prior to moving into engineering, James then studied furniture and interior design at the Royal College of Art.

Career: James Dyson invented cyclonic separation to create a vacuum cleaner that would not lose suction as it cleaned. He made 5172 prototypes to perfect his clever cleaner; which was first sold by catalogue in Japan. James struggled to sell the invention to UK distributors but clever advertising created huge sales.

Invention: Co-invented a sea truck at college, Ballbarrow, the Trolleyball and Dual Cyclone bagless Dyson Vacuum Cleaner.

"I just want things to work properly".

Mary Barra

Born: December 24, 1961

  • Ranked 1st in a list of the '50 Most Powerful Women in Business' (Fortune magazine, 2014).
  • Named as one of the 'World's 100 Most Powerful Women' (Forbes magazine, 2013).

Education: Mary began her career with General Motors (GM) in 1980 starting as a co-op student at General Motors Institute (Kettering University) within the Pontiac Motor Division. in 1985, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. After receiving a GM fellowship in 1988, Barra then went on to graduate with a Masters in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1990.

Career: Mary was named CEO of General Motors early 2014 and is driving the company to become the global industry leader in automotive design and technology, product quality, customer care and business results. Prior to this, Barra served in several engineering and staff positions managing car plants and product development where she was responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality for GM vehicles around the world.

"It all starts and ends with a great product. We have to make sure every aspect of a product meets the customers needs".