King’s former pupil and Bentley Programme Manager
Dominique Roberts told aspiring female engineers of her rapid rise from work
experience at Adlington Auto Centre to Bentley Motors and helping to redefine
the luxury car market.
Dominique, who is still only 23, started her
incredible journey on work experience at the Adlington garage before going on
to work for Porsche, Lamborghini, Force India F1 Team and Bentley, all while
completing her first-class Engineering degree and award-winning thesis.
Dominique was speaking at the Macclesfield School’s
Senior Girls’ Division, as part of its guest speaker programme and revealed to
the current generation, “I did not start off my academic journey as the
smartest in the classroom, far from it, but I had passion, drive and now - as a
woman in engineering - I bring something different to the table.”
Those strengths have turned out to be the imaginative
application of core engineering and scientific principles plus the personal
skills as taught to her by her grandfather, Jim Sutton, who she says “was not
only an engineer but a true gentleman, who taught me the skills needed to be a
Inspired by his ability to ‘tinker’ with anything and
make it better, Dominique sought out her first opportunity for work experience
and after many rejections, Harper’s Auto Centre in Adlington took a chance on
her. “They were fantastic; they let me learn on the job and take up the
spanners. They never once put me down but encouraged me, respected me and
taught me and I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity.”
She then moved one step closer to her dream when she
went to work as a Race Engineer for Hartech Racing Porsche Club Team in Bolton,
initially as the team’s PR agent, writing blogs and press releases but after
mentoring from the team management, getting to work as a Race Engineer.
From there she went to Lamborghini Racing UK in Global
24 hour GT Racing as Principal Race and Data Engineer. Then Dominique
moved to work for F1 with Force India, though as she found out, “this work not
necessarily on the race track but back at HQ analysing engineering data.”
All this time she was at the Central University of
Lancashire, gaining a first-class Engineering degree and, in her final year,
also acting as Managing Director for their four-car racing programme.
She took a year out of her studies on an Industrial
Placement where she was a Project Engineer on Bentley’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle
programme, which saw her return to university but now sponsored by Bentley to
complete her thesis. Her study “The redefinition of luxury through the use of
renewable energy in electric vehicles” won The Institute of Mechanical
Engineering’s Global Award for Services to Engineering Progress in 2017.
In 2018, she returned to Bentley as Programme Manager
for Product Development Transformation. Dominique has many aspirations for the
future but she also believes “as educated individuals we have a responsibility
to give back to society”. Having now moved back to Macclesfield she was elected
for the position of Board Member for the Silk Heritage Trust, where she hopes
to use both her Engineering and Business knowledge to help an integral part of
Macclesfield make its journey toward the future.
Dominique’s key advice to young people is: “Know what
you’re passionate about. Keep an open mind. Take every opportunity you can.
Finally and most importantly, don’t just aspire to be something, aspire to do
Pictured (right) Dominque Roberts BEng IEng MIMechE
with (from left) pupils Georgina Bloomfield, Victoria Theaker and Katie Barr.