Portsmouth, 20th September
BAR Technologies (BAR), an innovative simulation-driven marine engineering consultancy, has announced that Simon Roberts, former Williams Racing Managing Director and Team Principal, has joined the business as Chief Operating Officer. Roberts will work alongside the BAR senior leadership team of Chief Executive, John Cooper, Chief Technical Officer, Simon Schofield and Head of Engineering, Lauren Eatwell.
Prior to joining BAR, Roberts forged a career across a broad range of engineering sub sectors, comprising engines and drivetrains, rail assets and infrastructure, hybrid power systems and aerodynamics.
Graduating from Manchester University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering he began his career with engine manufacturer, Perkins. Roberts spent 10 years with the business working in engineering design, performance development, and manufacturing.
From Perkins, Roberts then moved to BMW Rover, where as Chief Engineer he led the design and development of the TD5 engine – Land Rover’s last in-house developed diesel engine – before becoming Plant Director for BMW’s UK transmission and suspension manufacturing operations.
Roberts then moved to rail transport firm, Alstom, where he became Managing Director, taking the Virgin Pendolino tilting train into production, one of the biggest capital management and asset financing projects for UK rail at that time.
Roberts then moved into Formula 1, joining racing team, McLaren. During his time with the organization, he was instrumental in the development of hybrid technology with automotive manufacturer, Honda – setting up a battery design and development team, working with Honda engineers and US cell experts to deliver the hybrid system for a Formula 1 race engine in two years.
After 17 years at McLaren as Operations Director and COO, he moved most recently to Williams F1, as Managing Director and Team Principal, joining to help with the sale of the business to Dorilton Capital in 2020.
At BAR, Roberts will work closely with his senior colleagues to leverage his experience in the management of large capital engineering programmes to take BAR’s pioneering WindWings wing sail technology through its manufacturing partnerships to the global shipping market. He will also support across BAR’s new technology offerings in its other sectors – commercial workboat operations, leisure marine and special projects.
Speaking on Roberts’ appointment, John Cooper, BAR Chief Executive Officer commented: “Having worked with Simon at McLaren for 14 years, I was well aware of his reputation in cutting edge technology, advanced engineering and project management for large capital assets, and he was therefore a natural candidate for this role.
“His experience in powertrain engineering, particularly hybridisation, will be key to continuing our leading research and development into decarbonising the maritime sector, while bringing his knowledge of racing aero and hydrodynamics to our work in leisure marine and special projects. I welcome Simon to the team and look forward to working with him again.”
Commenting on his joining BAR, Roberts said: “Joining BAR Technologies is the perfect opportunity to combine my skills and experience in different engineering sectors – encompassing research, design and development, hybridisation, efficiency and manufacturing.”
“This is a hugely exciting time for BAR as it takes its WindWings technology to the shipping marketplace, pioneers hybridisation for workboats and brings exciting new designs to the leisure market. I feel there is a real opportunity to help lead and grow their pioneering ethos into new sectors and projects, addressing some of the biggest challenges in the global marine industry.”