People of MECHA: Harvey Merton & Lizzy Grant

By Emma

Harvey and Lizzy both travelled to London for an automotive internship after receiving the Bruce Maclaren Automotive Award. The full video for Harvey and Lizzy’s talk can be found at the bottom of this page, but we’ve also summarised the key points below

What is the Bruce Maclaren Automotive Award?

It’s an award established to honour Bruce Mclaren, a New Zealand racecar designer, driver, engineer and inventor. Receiving the award gives you the chance to work at the Mclaren Technology Centre in London over the summer break, and it covers the cost of accommodation, travel, wage, etc. More information about the award and how to apply can be found at:,McLaren%20Technology%20Centre%20in%20Woking.

What did you two do as part of the award? The internship involved learning about lots of different aspects of engineering, and so each week we were both faced with a new department or project. 

One of the biggest highlights from the program for Lizzy and Harvey was the advanced engineering department. Here, you could code different alterations to a test car, and then use a simulator to physically ‘drive’ the test car around with the new modifications. 

There was also a lot of opportunity to travel as part of the internship and Harvey and Lizzy managed to visit Paris, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and England during their time there. 

What were your key takeaways from the experience?

  • How much variety there is within engineering

    • Product development and manufacturing involve so many aspects beyond just the technical design
  • Communication is really key, especially communication with other departments

    • Communication with different departments
  • Business is a really important component of engineering as well. Once the product’s been designed and developed, how do you plan to sell it to consumers?

  • Professional conduct

    • Learning what an engineer does on a daily basis, such as attending meetings, writing emails and writing reports. 
  • Being overseas really makes you embrace and appreciate your NZ heritage

    • But it also exposes you to a lot of different cultures and lifestyles, so you should make the most of the opportunity to learn about the different heritages out there