Lewis Kaye is already putting his software engineering degree to use

Date posted

24 October 2023


A new Edinburgh Napier University graduate, who led his student colleagues to Silverstone success with a driverless car, has landed his dream job working on jet aircraft radar.

Lewis Kaye used the skills from his BEng (Hons) Software Engineering course to found the Formula Student Team Napier Driverless Team in the summer of last year – who were tasked with designing the system behind an autonomous racing vehicle.

Just a year later, they finished fourth in an event dubbed the world’s biggest student engineering competition at the home of the British Grand Prix.New ENU graduate Lewis Kaye

Today the 23-year-old from Oldmeldrum in Aberdeenshire collected his degree at the Usher Hall, having started work at Leonardo’s Edinburgh base working on the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Lewis said: “I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left school. I went to an Edinburgh Napier open day and eventually picked software engineering. I've certainly never regretted it since!

"The Formula Student team didn't exist at all until a couple of years ago. I just happened to bump into Lucas, who was behind it, at a university social event.

“Because of my degree, it was the perfect opportunity to start a driverless team. Thankfully, a lot of people were interested in joining.

"Formula Student was probably vital to landing the job. It really came to light when I did my interview. I did a presentation of my work with the team, and I think that hit well.”Formula Student Team Napier

Lewis’s driverless team of around 15 ENU students were the only group from around 20 teams in this year’s IMechE Formula Student competition to complete the 10 lap Endurance Event without hitting a cone. They finished one point away from 3rd place overall.

Lewis added: “To get that result in our first ever year competing is unheard of in the FS-AI competition, and I think really demonstrates our achievement and what we can do when we put our minds to it.

“What makes me proudest is seeing the idea grow into a talented and welcoming team that will be here to stand for years to come, and that future students can get involved with such a fantastic project alongside their main degree. I have made some unforgettable friendships along the way.

"It's one of those things, you keep your head down and keep working, and later you take a step back and say 'yeah, this is pretty cool!”

As for the future, Lewis concluded: “I'd love to get involved in space one day. I just want to keep improving.”