Name: Will Reynolds
Job title: Lead Simulation Engineer
Company employed by: Babylon Health
Favourite subjects at school: Physics, Technology, Art
Influential toys during childhood: Lego (sorry to be such a standard engineer there) and puzzle games (like Monkey Island).
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When pushed, I would say a lawyer, but I’m very happy I ended up an engineer.
Role model when growing up / who or what inspired you to become an engineer?
I decided I wanted to be an engineer at a careers fair at my secondary school. My physics teacher’s husband had a stall with a mechanical gyroscope on it. Playing with something that behaved so counter-intuitively caught my attention and my imagination. I wanted to understand how it worked, and I’ve had my heart set on engineering since then!
Reason for career choice:
In my second year of university, I was thrilled to be accepted for a summer placement at
McLaren, where I worked on their F1 simulator. I was tasked with fixing a vibration issue with its steering control system. It got me looking into the mechanics of the system, the electronics actuating it, and the code to control its movement. Helping to develop such an intricate piece of engineering was a really rewarding challenge, so I wanted to come back and carry on with it. I tailored my module choices to the role, and ended up working at McLaren once I’d graduated, as a Graduate Simulation Engineer.
Career pathway to date:
I’ve spent most of my career to date working at McLaren Applied Technologies. I started off
as a Graduate Simulation Engineer, working on the simulator, creating simulations for road
bikes and mountain bikes, and developing motion tracking algorithms for consumer
products. I steadily worked my way through Simulation Engineer to Senior Simulation
Engineer and Control Squad Lead.
Along the way, I decided to push myself to develop a well-rounded skill set and went down the route of accreditation for CEng. Helped hugely by the responsibility given to me at McLaren and the innovative nature of the projects I worked on, I ended up becoming chartered at the age of 25, the youngest chartered engineer in the IET at the time.
In this last year, however, I decided to make the jump to a different job with a new set of
technical problems to solve, and I moved into the role of Lead Simulation Engineer at
Babylon Health. In this capacity, I’ve swapped bikes and cars for the human body. I’m
working to model and predict different systems of the body to help people stay healthier for longer.
If you could have any job, what would it be and how does that differ from your current
My ideal job would be working on a TV show somewhere between Scrapheap Challenge,
Taskmaster and Robot Wars, which is obviously very different to my current role in
healthcare. I love puzzles and engineering, and I think it’d be a great way to capture the
minds of the next generation’s engineers.
Tell us a little bit about your role. What does your typical day involve?
In my role at Babylon, I’m responsible for the development of simulations of systems in the
body, enabling you to predict how your daily actions will impact your future health. My
typical day would start with a stand-up meeting with the team to ensure everyone is clear on what they’re up to for the day. I may then review medical research papers to understand more about the behaviour of a particular biological system, before coding it up in Python to explore how it behaves in practice. When we are getting ready to release a new feature into the app, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure that the user experience is slick and engaging, so I may end the day with a review of our latest screen designs with one of our designers.