Meet Husain Ansari: The journey of a middle-class brilliance to McLaren

The pathbreaking technological developments in the industry as a whole, are a clear indication that a few of the finest brains are working to bring it where it is today.

Anshul PandaUpdated: Monday, October 03, 2022, 12:30 PM IST
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Automotive industry is one of the thriving global industries. The pathbreaking technological developments in the industry as a whole, are a clear indication that a few of the finest brains are working to bring it where it is today. The sophisticated designs and robust features in modern wheels involve the dedication of people who work behind the scenes. Indian-origin engineer Husain Ansari is one of them. The Technical Project Manager in renowned automotive group McLaren is a man with the passion to keep bringing something new and better to the wheels he works for.

Husain Ansari’s endeavour from a middle-class family in Sakinaka, Mumbai to McLaren Automotive UK, is a journey of aspirations and conviction. He has made it to one of the key technical posts at McLaren responsible for the successful delivery of multimillion-pound projects and is unquestionably an electric drive technology expert in the automotive industry. Husain is a classic example of several young brilliant minds who fight against all odds to reach the top.

Husain’s childhood struggled through financial constraints and the lack of economic resources pushed him to drop out after college in Mumbai. But his life changed 360 degrees after getting a scholarship from the prestigious Coventry University to pursue Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Systems Engineering, he moved to the UK in 2008. His sharp mind got the right environment to grow there and a constant thirst for new knowledge. Leaving his country and home at a young age and settling in an entirely new land wasn’t an easy task. But this made him self-dependent and confident.

A full-time internship opportunity at Goodrich Engine Control Systems in 2011 brought him closer to his dreams. He engrossed himself in the love of machines and technology. He effectively collaborated with Rolls Royce and Aero Engine Controls to steer the Trent 700 and 800 Engine Control Units overhaul projects. Working with Rolls Royce gave him exposure to the finest technology and the opportunity of working with international teams. In addition to learning about technology, he gained commercial expertise and proposed ingenious solutions for the aftermarket sector sustainability. He was presented with the eSkills internship award from The National Academy UK in 2011 for his contribution and advancement during this training.

After completing his graduation in 2012, Husain joined Coventry University (CU) as a full-time lecturer and also studied part-time to pursue a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. Imparting knowledge in his favourite subjects helped him widen his horizon of knowledge. He was a guest speaker for the European aerospace industry at the World ATM Congress 2014 in Madrid, Spain. In 2015, he visited NASA headquarters in the US and also met astronaut Michael Foale to exchange ideas about the future space education program.

During his time as a lecturer at CU, he developed a keen interest in automotive technological developments while supporting University’s virtual engineering research projects. In 2015 Husain left the university to join automotive giant Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) as a Technical Specialist. This proved to be the second milestone of his professional journey. The organization helped him understand and explore advanced powertrain technologies. He also acquired strong leadership qualities required in an international organisation to inspire and challenge teams to produce their best work and develop innovative products. Husain led virtual engineering strategies for new transmissions and driveline product development and system integration. He developed innovative solutions that could predict system performance and saved the business millions of pounds in prototype vehicles. Innovation, a knack for technology, and leadership skills remain at the helm of his professional growth.

His brilliance and hard work led to his elevation as the Technical Project Leader in Electric Drive Systems (EDS) Department at JLR. Here he realized that imminent attention is required to reduce CO2 emission, which is a primary driver of climate change and presents one of the world’s most pressing challenges. To find the solution, Husain led joint venture programs with international automotive brands to develop the next generation of low-cost and highly efficient EDS. He also led a government-funded research project to advance the low-carbon automotive capability and develop cutting-edge powertrain technology.

In 2021 Husain’s career took a new height. He left Jaguar to join McLaren, renowned as one of the world’s most illustrious high-performance supercar brands. As a Technical Project Manager, he is responsible for all aspects of hybrid vehicle platform projects from concept to launch. He plays a pivotal role in making key decisions for future electrified propulsion strategy and business growth bearing in mind environmental sustainability. Working with one of the global leaders and ace manufacturers in their segment has been a challenging yet fulfilling professional responsibility for him.

Husain has not only been a great technology expert but has also been appreciated for his dedication and innovation at each step of his professional endeavour. His commitment to excellence gave him several recognition and accolades including Jaguar Land Rover Technical Excellence Award in 2016 and 2020. He is a registered Chartered Engineer with the Engineering Council UK, holds a Project Management Qualification from a UK Chartered Body and is certified Six Sigma Green Belt. He was recently presented with International Achievers’ award for Excellence in Engineering by the Indian Achievers Forum for his contribution to the automotive industry.

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