HORIBA MIRA Encourages Women to Consider a Career In Automotive Cybersecurity

SCSAhead of International Women in Engineering Day (23rd June), global automotive engineering and testing consultancy HORIBA MIRA is celebrating two of its female engineers that are making names for themselves in the cybersecurity field.

Madeline Cheah and Stephanie Haynes both joined HORIBA MIRA in 2017, and are now enjoying soaring careers within the automotive industry.

Madeline Cheah, Cybersecurity Innovation Lead at HORIBA MIRA, joined the firm during the completion of her PhD in October 2017. She has since gone on to work on a number of high-profile projects including Innovate UK’s 5StarS project, which involved creating a consumer rating system for the cybersecurity of cars. Madeline now leads HORIBA MIRA’s automotive cybersecurity research programme, exploring state-of-the-art technologies with a focus on understanding how to improve the cybersecurity of connected and autonomous vehicles and other embedded systems.

For anybody considering a career in automotive cybersecurity, Madeline advises: “Be curious, don’t be afraid to explore, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  Make computers your best friend, learn everything about them, what they can do, what their limits are, and ways you can help them overcome those limits.”

“We’ve got all sorts of new transformative and disruptive technologies hovering on the horizon – artificial intelligence, quantum computing, brain-computer interfaces, human augmentation, evolutionary computing – and more people will be needed to work in cybersecurity to protect those machines from being exploited.”

As the company’s first female cybersecurity apprentice, Stephanie Haynes joined HORIBA MIRA in April 2017 and successfully graduated with a distinction earlier this year – only  second student on the scheme to achieve such a high grade. She is now hoping to start a degree in cybersecurity as well as undertaking professional qualifications such as EC-Council’s CEH, and CompTIA’s CySa+.

Stephanie said: “During my apprenticeship I have really enjoyed learning about cybersecurity ranging from technical know-how such as building and programming tools, to covering issues like data privacy and security standards and earning while I learn has also been a bonus! I’m now excited to progress my career within the fascinating world of automotive cybersecurity and would urge others to consider this as a viable route into engineering.”

Now in its sixth year, International Women in Engineering Day is designed to raise the profile of women working in engineering, and HORIBA MIRA hopes Stephanie and Madeline’s journey will entice more women to take up the rising opportunities in the field, especially cybersecurity. In particular, this year’s theme – #TransformTheFuture – is focused on addressing the future skills gap, which latest figures show will require 124,000 skilled recruits each year until 20241.

Declan Allen, Managing Director at HORIBA MIRA, said: “We are incredibly proud of the valuable contribution Stephanie, Madeline and all of our team make on a daily basis, including our many female team members. Cybersecurity is an area that is experiencing a global shortage of skills, with phenomenal opportunities to work in an exciting and fast-paced industry. We hope their career journeys will inspire more women to enter the sector and help us to develop the diverse teams of competent professionals that we will need to address the challenges of the future.”