Belinda Hughes

Teaching & Design Engineer

Belinda HughesI have always been interested in how and why things work so I decided to study Mechanical Engineering at University. A broad-based course appealed so that I could specialise later. I most enjoyed the Design projects where I had the opportunity to think creatively. Following graduation I joined Automotive Products, a brake and clutch system manufacturer experiencing all aspects of the business as part of a graduate training programme.

I worked in Product Design for several years, developing automated driveline systems and working with customers including Toyota, VW and Daewoo using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Finite Element Analysis. Moving to the New Concepts Department as the Lead Engineer on a concept project with a major vehicle manufacturer I travelled frequently to customers in Germany, and suppliers in France. I enjoyed my time spent developing new ideas, four of which were patented and I achieved Chartered Engineer status from the IMechE while working in this department.

I started teaching Design at Oxford in 2003. I try to make my laboratories as enjoyable and rewarding as possible, encouraging interest in design and developing student’s creativity, drawing and CAD skills. This role has allowed me to combine my passion for design with the satisfaction gained from seeing students’ enthusiasm and development. I currently work part-time which allows me to spend time with my young children.

I support Outreach which promotes Engineering in society by running CAD sessions for 6th formers on Headstart and UNIQ courses, and recently demonstrated a mobile robot at a primary school which was met with huge enthusiasm and lots of questions! I think it’s important to expose young minds to engineering.