Jake Goldsmith

I never knew what I wanted to do, but a fascination with how things work since a very young age aligned me to a career in engineering. The Arkwright Scholarship, coupled with lectures and residential courses, inspired me towards Mechanical Engineering; and I’m so glad it did!

My Design & Technology teacher at school prompted me to apply. It was great pre-university experience to attend the interview day and sit the exam. Over 10 years later, I have been involved with all branches of the organisation; representing sponsors at the annual awards ceremony, running company events as part of the Smallpeice Trust, mentoring current scholars and interviewing new scholarship applicants. I highly recommend the scheme to young, aspiring engineers.

I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southampton, it provided a great balance of theoretical and practical material so I had many opportunities to get “hands on”. This experience inspired me to pursue a career with practical elements. During university, I took a year in industry with Airbus UK, which allowed me to develop my understanding of how engineering theory is in the workplace.

After graduating, I joined the Mechanical Engineering Graduate scheme at Transport for London. Gaining such a widespread understanding in the railway industry enabled me to fully appreciate the challenges faced with running the Underground.

My first permanent role after finishing the graduate scheme was with the Rolling Stock Renewals team, tasked with overseeing the introduction of Engineering Vehicles to support maintenance and renewal works. I was in charge of reviewing detailed design drawings, FEA modelling and ride dynamic analysis to prove that the final designs were compliant with the specification and safety standards. I held design reviews with suppliers in Germany and China and it was fantastic to see how engineering design brought people together, regardless of culture or any language barriers.

I visited Germany for design reviews and inspections of cranes and tilting wagons; revolutionising the way track is replaced by using “flat pack” pieces, which are made in a factory and simply assembled on site.  This was extremely challenging as we had to ensure that the new vehicles were built using modern technologies, whilst remaining compatible with the legacy fleet and the tight geometry of the tunnels and track under central London. These new vehicles were supported by spoil and ballast wagons from a Chinese supplier; one of the largest railway manufactures in the world but new to the UK. I toured their factories and reviewed their manufacturing processes to drive the high quality standards required by the UK market.

I now work for Hitachi Rail as a Project Engineer, with a focus of decarbonisation of the mainline railway. I have travelled to Japan to advise engineers about UK standards and practices to support work on novel trains being introduced to the UK. There is a huge determination to make the railway more eco-friendly so this is a great time to be involved with projects researching and developing innovative technologies.

My Arkwright experience has been invaluable; it has provided me the platform to excel in my industry. My involvement with the Trust after getting the scholarship has enabled me to share the opportunity with other prospective engineers. I talked about my involvement in length in my Chartership interview, which shows that the Arkwright Scholarships are still beneficial for my career as an engineer 10 years later.


Arkwright Scholar 2008 - 2010

Buro Happold

Maths, Physics, Design & Technology, Further Maths


MEng in Mechanical Engineering (Southampton University) Chartered Engineer (CEng) with the IMechE

Project Engineer