Verónica Valverde - Featured faces


Now a Controls and Simulation Engineer in our battery division, Verónica Valverde originally joined Cosworth through our Graduate Programme in October 2022.

Verónica Valverde - Featured faces

From her past racing formula cars to her education at one of the UK’s best engineering universities, our programme has nurtured her development from a fresh graduate into a highly skilled engineer. As we near International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight the integral roles women play across our business. Keep reading to find out how Verónica progressed her career with our help.

Prior to joining us at Cosworth, what did your racing career entail across the Americas?
I raced for more than 10 years back home in Costa Rica and across Latin America. I started karting at the age of 13, and at 14 I drove my first formula car and I competed in the Panam GP Series. So, from Mexico through different countries all the way to Chile, that was really fun, and I got a lot of first-hand experience in the industry. I initially came to the UK for university, but this really is the place to be if you want to pursue a career in motorsport, so I ended up staying. 

What course did you study at university?
I did my Bachelor’s in Mechatronics Engineering at the Costa Rica Institute of Technology; I wanted something that was a combination of mechanical and electronic engineering to encompass a broader range of skills, and that’s why I chose mechatronics. After completing that, I realised that Motorsport Engineering existed so decided to do my Master’s at Oxford Brookes. Because of my racing background, I always wanted to have a career within that field.

How did you find out about Cosworth’s graduate programme and what was the application process like?
I found out through my university: they sent out an e-mail to all of the people who were graduating that year with the job openings. After that initial email, it was all up to me. I then had direct contact with Cosworth and started the interview process. The first was very general with a member of HR and then I had a second one directly with the initial department in which I would be kicking off my graduate rotation. It was with the Head of Battery Management Systems, so it was nice to have a comfortable first meeting with them to run over everything I did at university relating to research and the projects I was involved in.

How did working at Cosworth help expand on what you had already studied at university?
It helped me a lot. Being a graduate and rotating between several departments meant I got to learn the full-circle process on what we do with battery packs – from when it comes in, all the way to testing and simulations. To start off with, I was in controls, then went to development and testing, after which I then did a couple of months in production, and finally ended up back in controls – the one I enjoyed the most. I learned a lot of specific controls regarding the battery management system, building on some of the things I studied at university. 

Do you feel like working with a historied company such as Cosworth has given you an advantage over working elsewhere?
Cosworth certainly has a very established motorsport history, and this was definitely very appealing to me when I started applying for these schemes. Being able to communicate across every side of the business helped me to become more ingrained and get an understanding of all the exciting projects going on across the whole business.

What was the support system like as a graduate?
The environment is really nice, everyone is always super kind. As a graduate with not very much experience, everyone is keen to help you and point you in the right direction when it comes to learning: where to research, where to learn more about what you're going to be doing. They might tell you you’re working on a project and then they will share the right places to look, alongside supporting any questions you may have. There are many set standards for motorsport, and now I am working more closely with battery packs and learning about it specifically, thanks to everything I have taken in from my colleagues. Everyone was always super supportive.

What are some of the key projects you have worked on since you have been with us at Cosworth?
I’ve been a part of a lot of internal projects, including development applications to improve our efficiency and simulations in data processing. It’s really nice to combine a lot of practical work with a lot of testing. 

What has been your favourite part of the graduate scheme?
I love how flexible my position is, because it means that I can continue to be involved across a variety of projects. I get to do a bit of every step of the process, from simulations to cell testing. I think my favourite individual project I have worked on was an internal solution that made our lives easier. It simplifies the process of a new cell coming in – so instead of scanning it, then measuring resistance and voltage, you just scan it, and it gathers all the information from a database that I aided in developing.

Why would you recommend the Cosworth Graduate Scheme to people finishing university today?
I would definitely recommend the programme to people who are just leaving university. Personally, I was finishing my Master’s degree, but it’s open to those who are finishing their Bachelor’s too. It gives you a great idea of how a company really works, especially as you get to move through the different departments that you’ll be involved in. You not only learn about what makes a great engineer, but a great professional too. The people are super kind, helpful and it’s an amazing environment to be immersed in.