Dr Claire Lucas

Congratulations to Dr Claire Lucas on winning the Young Women Engineer WES Prize in 2019.  

Dr Claire Lucas grew up in Cumbria in a rural working class community. She had wide-ranging interests and loved books as well as maths and animals and writing stories and was therefore reluctant to choose a specific path too early. At A-level, she chose Maths, Image removed.Further Maths, History and English Literature to foster creativity and analytical skills. Claire attended an outreach for Law but thought that it didn’t offer the opportunity to use everything she enjoyed so she ended up visiting the Engineering Department and hearing all about Engineering. She applied to Oxford and they accepted her with the condition that she must study and pass A-level Physics with an A grade which she did only 5 months later through self-study. At Oxford, she studied general Engineering Science followed by a PhD modelling the control of blood flow in the brain. Whilst at Oxford, she also rowed against Cambridge in the 2010 reserve women’s boat race and met and married her husband Mike. 

After her PhD, Claire moved to Leamington Spa to work for Jaguar Land Rover as a mathematical modelling specialist, creating bespoke models and simulations of vehicle systems and dynamics. Through this, she became involved with Warwick University curriculum development and was thrilled to have the opportunity to move there as Director of Studies for Biomedical, General and Systems Engineering; combining her rather unique and broad skill-set. She has since created an innovative Systems Engineering programme which combines broad knowledge of Engineering Science with specialist knowledge in mathematical modelling, data science, software engineering and system design processes. By reviewing the programme descriptions for gender bias she has embedded a holistic systems thinking approach throughout the degree and over 2015-2019 37% of the students were female. She has also developed new teaching, group work and assessment methods to improve inclusivity and student skills. 

In 2019, Claire was a visiting research fellow at Jaguar Land Rover modelling physiological responses of drivers and passengers. Outside of Warwick, Claire is a QAA subject specialist reviewer for Engineering, an academic accreditor for the IET and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy as well as a member of the UK and Ireland Engineering Education Research Network. She has two children and is a regular at her local park run.