This is Gerard Winstanley, TMG's Manager Composites, Fabrication and Additive Manufacturing. He is also the first interviewee in TMG's #ThisIsEngineering promotional campaign, which aims to demonstrate TMG's passion for engineering excellence. Affectionately known as Stan, Gerard has been working at TMG since 2003. He cites Sir Ranulph Fiennes as one of his inspirations and his work at TMG helped win two Paralympic gold medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. It’s all in a day’s work at TMG: the Home of High Performance.
Name: Gerard Winstanley
Working at TMG since February 2003
Gerard, what is your role at TMG?
I am currently manager of three production areas: composites, fabrication and additive manufacturing. Fabrication is where we make predominantly exhaust pipes, cooling systems, bodywork shells and roll cages. Additive manufacturing is perhaps better known to the outside world as 3D printing. All three of these departments are mutually supporting areas, where hands are needed: not team machines but people.
How would you describe your work in three words?
Demanding, Innovative, Exciting. It’s extremely demanding on a day to day basis, especially on the motorsport side of the job where you could be requested to do something immediately for delivery tomorrow. It’s also the same for our motorsport customers whose demands are just as high as our own internally. You also have to be extremely innovative, thinking about how you can improve the current process you have. At the same time we give feedback from these experiences into design and driving innovation for future components. And finally, it’s exciting! At World Endurance Championship events this year, we’ve sometimes been clear favourites, for example at Fuji, and that’s very exciting. To see your end product in a global championship like WEC that’s special.
What does engineering mean to you?
Engineering for me is about processes; we’re engineering ideas and being innovative. The next step in any process is the customer, so you are constantly engineering the processes – the products – to make sure your customer is satisfied.
What projects are your most proud of at TMG?
There are quite a few! If I had to choose one, though, it would be supporting an amazing Paralympic athlete, a German woman called Andrea Eskau. We supported her in developing a lightweight carbon composite solution for the Winter Olympics where she won two gold medals. That came about purely through our production and design experience. It was absolutely amazing to see her win two gold medals with our help, really emotional. She has no feeling from the waist down so to see the power, the ambition and the fight to achieve what she achieves is just amazing. To be part of that can only really happen here at TMG.
What engineering innovation have you been part of in your time at TMG?
One my first projects as team leader at TMG was taking responsibility for the composite crew and livery application. Back in 2006, that was painting the Formula 1 car and working with our marketing team to make sure everything looked right. The cost and weight were too high and the lead time was too long, so I led a one year project to move from painting to stickering, which is foil application. That project is still very much alive to this day because of the advantages in cost, lead time and weight. We took a 15 hour lead time for painting a carbon rear wing end plate down to 45 minutes: that was a proud achievement.”
Who has been the greatest influence on you personally?
The greatest influence on where I am now and who I am comes down to one man, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. I met him when I was 12 years old. My uncle did the trans-globe expedition with him when they circumnavigated the world pole to pole which took three years. I was fortunate enough to meet him and he gave me the inspiration not to give up, to continually push.
What’s the most exciting part of working at TMG?
The most exciting thing about working at TMG today is that I can follow my passion of motorsport, while now supplying a strong customer base with our rapid manufacturing area. We are manufacturing components for the medical industry, we’re supporting other automotive industries for reflectors on cars and we’re even making small teeth for the dentistry industry; that’s what makes it so exciting. I am still involved in motorsport but there are a whole host of other interesting technologies that are developing very quickly, so we are able to ensure our technology at TMG is kept at the cutting edge of engineering.
How does your private life help your career at TMG?
I try to separate work and private life. My free time is taken up completely by my children and this is probably why I am so successful here at TMG and in my family life because I can really switch off and find that divide.