Day in the Life of Andy Phillips, Head of Product Engineering

The next part in our series on Aeristech employees is Andy Phillips, our Head of Product Engineering. Read what he has to say about life at the company and the exciting opportunities available.

Q: What do you do at Aeristech?

A: I’m Head of Product Development here at Aeristech, managing our team of skilled mechanical, electronic and software engineers to deliver our industry-leading air compressors.

Q: What kind of career path has led you to your current position?

A: I’ve worked in the automotive industry all my life at a wide range of companies, from large OEM vehicle manufacturers to small, high-growth start-ups.

I’ve found that the smaller, more agile, faster growing companies have allowed me to make the biggest contribution, along with enabling me to build teams that really perform. Seeing great products being developed by great people never fails to inspire.

Q: What excites you about working at Aeristech?

A: What’s not be excited about when you’re engineering state-of-the-art compressors for state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cells!

The range of fuel cell applications being explored is huge: passenger cars, HGVs, marine, passenger planes, drones – the possibilities are endless. Conventional battery-led electrification will not address the complex requirements of all these markets and that’s why there is so much interest in hydrogen as the prime power source. Our fuel cell compressors are a key enabler of all these applications and Aeristech is growing fast to service these opportunities.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

A: Every day is different and that’s why I love working here. Early mornings are about catching up with our operations team in China, followed by project reviews, design reviews and customer meetings.

Before I leave the office, I like to walk around our engineering team to find out directly from them what has gone well that day, the challenges they’ve faced and what I can do to help. Our big ambitions mean we have to put formal design processes and reviews in place, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still act like a small company and keep those informal feedback channels open – they work really well!

Q: How has COVID-19 affected the way the company operates?

A: Like all companies, we’ve adopted government-recommended safe working practices and increased remote working, but that hasn’t slowed us down. Regular teams meetings ensure we keep everyone involved in projects and one-to-ones with line managers focus on the professional development and wellbeing of our staff.

Q: What does 2021 have in store for the business?

A: We have several really exciting projects maturing in 2021/22 for many different applications, including aviation, which I am particularly thrilled about.

Q: Where do you see the industry in 10 years’ time?

A: A mature industry delivering an environmentally friendly electrification alternative to current battery technology, with Aeristech recognised as the industry leader enabling this transformation.

Q: Why should people join Aeristech?

A: We’re aiming to double the size of engineering team this year, so we currently have vacancies in a wide range of roles for both junior and experienced engineers: automotive electronics, power electronics, mechanical engineering and project management.

We find that junior employees tend to throw themselves into their roles and really immerse themselves in it, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for. There are plenty of opportunities for promotion and to learn new skills. We’re looking for good foundational skills, but also the right attitude: enthusiasm and a willingness to get stuck in.

Q: Finally, what are the current opportunities at Aeristech?

A: Aeristech has big ambitions and is growing fast. We also have a clear product vision and are resourced to deliver.

Opportunities for personal or professional development are always much easier to provide when growth and resources are available – engineers who’ve experienced low-growth or stagnating companies will be aware of that.

Missed the interview with Luke Read, our Head of R&D? Click here.

Aeristech powers up with £5.15m funding round and key appointments to drive rapid growth of leading electric motor and controller business

Leamington Spa, UK – April 12021 - Aeristech, a UK-based leader in high-speed electric motor and controller technology, has announced the close of a £5.15m private funding round led by investors Sabien Technology, Vela Technologies and SAIC Venture Capital. 

The funding round will supercharge the company’s investment in its development of market-leading e-boost technologies for hydrogen fuel-cell, hybrid-electric and internal combustion engine powertrains utilising its unique patented technology. This includes expanding the company’s skilled engineering and design talent, adding new test cells and investing in the next generation of R&D to build on its market leading advantages. 

Aeristech’s unique and patented technologies mean it can deliver electric motors that are smaller, lighter and faster accelerating than its competitors. The resulting high performance and efficiency means Aeristech’s technologies can play a significant role in powering innovative low carbon transportation solutions.  

Richard Wall, Executive Chairman of Aeristech, said: 

“As the world takes action to reduce emissions from transport and deliver new forms of mobility, such as hydrogen powered vehicles, it will need new and better electric motor technologies. This is where Aeristech is focused on making a difference through our innovative solutions. We are pleased to welcome Sabien Technology, Vela Technologies and SAIC Venture Capital as partners as we invest to make it possible.” 

The company has recently announced partnerships with leading aerospace innovators ZeroAvia and GKN Aerospace, with both companies working with Aeristech on the development of new low carbon hydrogen-electric powertrains for aviation, a sector where power density is crucial. For both ZeroAvia’s HyFlyer II and GKN’s H2GEAR projects, which aim to deliver some of the first commercially available hydrogen-electric propulsion systems for aviation, Aeristech is playing a key role by integrating its advanced hydrogen fuel cell compressors. 

Alongside the close of the funding round, Aeristech has announced a series of strategic hires that will further expand its skilled engineering talent base. This includes hires in aerospace engineering, power electronics, and embedded software engineering. 

Later in the Spring, Aeristech will also complete work on a series of new test cells at its site in the heart of a high performing engineering cluster in the UK’s West Midlands. The new test cells mean that Aeristech can rapidly progress and test new designs for new projects and partnerships. 

Richard Parris, Chairman and CEO of Sabien Technology, said: 

“Sabien believes that environmental and shareholder benefits are not mutually exclusive. We are focused on building a portfolio of solutions which reduce carbon dioxide production at the point of consumption. Aeristech fits this template completely - its work within hydrogen fuel cell optimisation is class-leading and the resulting technology will be, I am sure, capable of significant growth.” 

John Shi, Director of SAIC Venture Capital, said: 

“SAIC Venture Capital is a champion of forward-thinking technology companies. We actively seek to invest in companies with the potential to deliver growth and change the world around us for the better. We look forward to joining Aeristech as it delivers innovation with the potential to help transform the transportation sector.” 

James Normand, Executive Director of Vela Technologies, said: 

"Vela is pleased to be investing in Aeristech whose leading technology is increasing the viability of hydrogen fuel cell power, particularly in the automotive and aviation sectors. Together with the government grant funding, this funding round will enable Aeristech to develop its products for application to hydrogen fuel cell solutions for commercial jets, light aircraft and heavy goods vehicles and to broaden its customer base." 

For media enquiries: 

Ben Gascoyne – Madano 

07785 486201