Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Undergraduate study

Industrial placements

We offer industry placements on all our courses. If you’re looking to gain hands-on experience at some of the world’s top engineering companies we are the place for you.

We send over 15% more engineering students on engineering year-long placements than any other UK university.

(2016/17 HESA UG Student Record: Engineering & Technology)

The placement year is optional but is strongly encouraged because of the many benefits it can provide. Most students go on their placement after the second year, but MEng students can opt to take it after their third year.

Key benefits of an industrial placement

  • Improved job prospects. A placement gives you real world experience that will help you stand out when applying for your first engineering job. Some placement students are offered a permanent job with their host company when they graduate
  • £15,000 - £20,000. All placements are fully salaried.
  • Professional status. A year of industrial work experience can contribute towards achieving professional status.
  • Develop professional skills. Time management, team working, presentation skills and project management are all developed on placement.
  • Professional practice. Put your knowledge gained during your degree into practice within a working environment alongside professional engineers.
  • Improved academic performance. Placement students often demonstrate an improved performance on return from a placement due to the additional experience and maturity they have gained.
  • Additional qualification. The Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS) is awarded to students on successful completion of the placement.
  • Professional contacts. The placement year is an ideal opportunity to start making industrial contacts at your host company and amongst their customers and suppliers.

Companies providing recent placements

Companies with an asterisk have a long-standing relationship with us and expect to take students most years.


  • Alstec Power, Leicester
  • Alvis Vickers
  • Armed Forces
  • Atlantic Aero Engineering
  • British Airways, Gatwick
  • British Airways, Heathrow
  • DSTL
  • ESDU
  • Goodrich Aerospace
  • HS Marston Aerospace Ltd*
  • Lockheed-Martin*
  • Marshalls Aerospace*, Cambridge
  • MBDA
  • Messier Dowty
  • NPL
  • QinetiQ*, Farnborough
  • Rolls-Royce*, Derby
  • Rolls-Royce*, Bristol
  • Siemens, Lincoln
  • Slingsby Aviation*
  • Smiths Aerospace
  • Sonda
  • Virgin, Gatwick
  • Westland Helicopters*


  • AP Racing
  • Armed Forces
  • BAR* (British American Racing F1 Team)
  • Bentley Motor Cars*
  • BP Oil*, Engine & Vehicle Test
  • Calsonic Technology Centre
  • Castrol International Technical Centre
  • Caterham Cars
  • Caterpillar/Perkins Engines Co Ltd*
  • Corus Technology
  • Cosworth Racing
  • Cummins Engine Co Ltd*
  • Denford
  • Douglas Engineering
  • Eaton Ltd
  • ESSO & Exon Group*
  • Ford / Visteon*
  • GKN Group
  • Group Lotus Ltd*
  • Jaguar Cars
  • JC Bamford Excavators Ltd
  • JE Engineering Ltd • Johnson Matthey*
  • Leyland Technology Centre
  • Lubrizol Ltd*
  • MIRA*
  • Mobil
  • Nissan European Technology Centre*
  • Penske Cars Ltd
  • Peugeot Motor Company plc
  • Prodrive
  • Ray Mallock Ltd*
  • Red Bull Racing
  • Ricardo Consulting Engineers Ltd
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Shell Research Ltd
  • TOMCO Europe
  • Toyota
  • Transport Research Laboratories
  • Van Diemen Racing
  • Vauxhall Motors Ltd*
  • Vehicle Safety Research Centre
  • Volvo Truck and Bus Ltd
  • Volkswagen, Germany
  • WS Atkins Consultants Ltd
  • XTRAC Ltd*

Help to find a placement

Our students are keenly sought after by high profile engineering companies who know from past experience that Loughborough students are enthusiastic and equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive contribution to their organisation.

We have an Industrial Placement Coordinator who gathers and supplies information about placement opportunities and advises students on what to expect from the placement experience. The placement process is overseen by the Schools Industrial Placement Tutor and we make every effort to help our students secure placements which match their interests and ambitions.

Industrial Placement Coordinator contact details - Malcolm Newbitt - +44 (0)1509 223165 -  or visit Malcolm in S Building Reception.

Choosing to take a placement

You can opt to take a placement at any point before it starts but most companies interview in the Autumn term of the preceding year so it is advisable to have made a decision by then. If you are not sure whether to take a placement you do not have to specify a sandwich option on your UCAS form.

During the placement, an engineer nominated by your employer will supervise you and you will also be visited by a university tutor at your place of work. Throughout the year in industry, you are required to write reports about your progress and experiences with your host company. On successful completion of the placement you will be awarded an additional qualification called the Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS).

Student Profiles

Our strong industry links allow our students the opportunity to work for some of  the world's largest aeronautical and automotive companies. Find out about more about what our students experienced on their year in industry below.


Automotive Engineering MEng

“I did a placement whilst completing my undergraduate Automotive Engineering Masters degree at Loughborough University.

I saw the advert for the placement at Cummins, based in Darlington, in one of the Automotive Engineering notice boards within the Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering Department and decided to apply, as my family live in Darlington and I was aware of the company as being the world's largest independent manufacturer of diesel engines, being based in nearly 200 countries worldwide.

I was given responsibility as soon as I arrived at Cummins, being made responsible for running, monitoring and reviewing the data from cold emissions testing.  

This placement gave me real opportunities to develop my work skills and enabled me to understand work within a worldwide business context, as well as becoming involved in wider activities offered by such large companies, such as charity based events.

Cummins and Loughborough University work together in supervising students whilst on placement. I met monthly with my workplace supervisor to agree work and development, with appraisals also undertaken on a six monthly basis.  I particularly appreciated the contact with my supervisors, allowing me to be in a position where I was able to ask questions and talk through any issues with them.

I am hoping to gain a graduate post following completion of my Degree, working in a large engineering firm.  I am then hoping to use that opportunity to become a Chartered Engineer and to then study for an MBA, leading eventually to becoming a leader within the automotive industry.”  

Chetan Kotur


General Motors

Automotive Engineering MEng
Quality and Reliability Engineer, General Motors

"I spent my placement year working for General Motors in Bedfordshire, based within their quality offices as part of the Warranty Team. The role was very varied and I rarely found myself sitting at my desk as it required me to get on the production line and get hands-on.

In this role, no two days were the same. Warranty data is collected daily, with the aim to “fix” one problem a day. The data is also analysed and is used to show and predict recurring problems which need more attention. It was much like being a detective, using engineering knowledge to work back through the problem to reach the root cause.

The placement experience has given me an appreciation of design issues from a customer point of view and has supplemented knowledge gained from my University course in areas such as data analysis, risk assessment and automotive manufacturing."

Andy Aston


Technical Analyst, Secured By Design Ltd (SBD)

Automotive Engineering BEng
Technical Analyst, Secured By Design Ltd (SBD)

"I am currently on placement with Secured by Design in Northamptonshire working as a Technical Analyst. SBD specialise in vehicle security systems such as locking mechanisms, engine immobilisers, alarm systems and Smart Key technology.

Being an undergraduate student at SBD is unlike many other industrial placements in that you are integrated into your department as a fully fledged engineer. The work I am involved in is of high importance to the company; whether it is writing general reports for customers, conducting technical research specific to a client, or being part of internal projects to help promote the company and solidify its reputation in the industry.

Doing a placement has been a great opportunity to get first-hand experience of the work I can expect to do as a graduate engineer and to gain industry recognition by advertising my abilities in any work I undertake for clients. When I graduate I will look to utilise some of the contacts made during my placement to develop my career and ultimately achieve Chartered Engineer status." 

Craig Best



Aeronautical Engineering MEng

"I was based at Airbus in Bristol for my placement year. The job involved carrying out stress and structures analysis, working on projects involving composite and metallic laminate structures and material testing.

I learnt a lot from my placement, including time and project management, use of FEM/FEA software, teamwork and presentation skills.

I also had plenty of opportunities to get involved with the community through Airbus, including tutoring at schools and charity work. I even took part in a 5.5 mile charity run for Airbus too! The course prepares you well for the placement and I was often asked by colleagues how to use equations or how to solve problems as I had the information fresh in my head from Uni!" 

Robert Blackmun


Renault Trucks UK (Volvo Group)

The job was essentially to work as part of the UK engineering team responsible for providing technical backup to the dealership sales network. This involved producing and delivering technical training, as well as providing support in specifying new vehicles, such as CAD work and driveline calculations. It also involved travelling to meet with customers to aid in the specification of specific vehicles.

The variety of the work really made it exciting, one week I could be out delivering training to dealers across the UK, the next I could be looking at producing a document on our future electric vehicles or working with a customer in specifying a new vehicle. The fast pace kept the work interesting as I never felt I would be doing the same repetitive tasks. Having my own responsibilities was great too as it meant I as treated as one of the team and rather than shadowing someone I was left to work on my own projects, trusted to meet the deadlines.

“Taking a placement year was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my time at university, the experiences you get give you so much and in coming back to university you have a greater outlook on the world of work and where your degree can take you.”

It was strange initially, adjusting to an office environment where I hadn’t worked before, but it was good to have my own responsibilities.  The team were great at understanding that I was used to the student life and really helped me integrate into the department. From day one I felt like I wasn’t just ‘the intern’ left to work alone, rather that I was part of the team from the start.

It’s been great to see where my degree can take me, and this will motivate me to work hard in my final year.  Experiencing what a degree can result in gives you great focus on your study and an appreciation of what you’re learning.  My placement has provided me with learning that being sat in a lecture theatre just can’t.

Jack Millington

Perkins Engines Ltd

My job was to keep engine test cells up and running in terms of calibration of the equipment, setting up and maintaining new equipment and the servicing of systems.  As well as practical tasks, there was an equal amount of administration work. Sometimes I had to write reports and do calculations but other days I fabricated brackets or working on engines. This was ideal for me.

It took me a few weeks to learn that you only need to work in work hours (most of the time) and to learn things like email and phone etiquette. However, due to having jobs beforehand, it was relatively easy. I don’t really want to go back to university as I have enjoyed this year so much!

“On placement you learn either way. If you love your job, great, it motivates you. If you don’t, you’ve found something you don’t want to do and aren’t locked in for the rest of your life. It’s a win win.”

From undertaking this placement, I have developed a better work ethic and a 9-5 mentality. Furthermore, time management has been a large part of working. So, I am hoping I can keep this up. Also, it’s given me a good idea of what I use from my degree in a job environment, so I will make sure to focus more when I return to study.

Undertaking a placement has been invaluable to my degree. This is in terms of work ethic, knowledge and even just for a break from study mid-course. Also, I believe it makes you more employable as you have a year of varied experience in industry. 

Larry Phimister

Rolls-Royce plc

I was part of the Lean Burn team within Combustion Sub-Systems. We were working on developing next generation combustion technology which will be featured on UltraFan, an engine Rolls Royce is developing for 2025 with better emissions and fuel efficiency. I was involved with the testing of the combustors and Fuel Spray Nozzles. 

Having hands on experience at the testing phase allowed me to better understand the concepts, learn valuable skills and be part of important research, which was always exciting because the phenomena's identified by the research that we learnt about had the potential to have a positive impact on future gas turbine engines. 

At Rolls Royce, I was able to continue my volunteering efforts by joining their STEM outreach programs, to teach and motivate the young generation on how interesting and rewarding a career in engineering could be. The many professional events organised by the company allowed me to network with industry professionals, share ideas, have meaningful conversations and learn about their careers.

I also had the opportunity to shadow the CEO.  This was probably the highlight of my placement because I was able to learn how top-level decisions are made and the challenges of running a global business, whilst learning technical knowledge doing an engineering placement. 

‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ - In relation to the opportunity to shadow the CEO - I emailed him and made that opportunity for myself, to learn about the business while on an engineering placement.”

At first, the transition from study to work was a bit tricky and I missed all the free time I had whilst studying. Eventually though, I got used to it and learned how to manage my work-life balance and made the best of both sides. 

During my time with the Combustion Sub-Systems Department, I learnt a lot about combustor design, the thermodynamics cycles in gas turbine engines and the various methods/stages of testing combustors. This knowledge will benefit me when I undertake my Gas Turbine Design module this year. I’ve also got a better understanding of the concepts and applications of the theories I’ve learned at university. I’ll be returning to university motivated and confident about the choices I’ve made to build a good career. 

My one-year work experience with a reputed engineering company will help me build a strong CV and be able to present myself as a confident candidate having the necessary skills to succeed in an engineering role. Furthermore, this experience will be counted towards an Engineering Chartership, which I look forward to work on, once I graduate.