WILLIAMS ADVANCED ENGINEERING
Deep in Britain’s Oxfordshire countryside,
among neighboring green fi elds and rural towns,
is a facility that is home to one of the most
infl uential and innovative companies of the 21st
century, Williams Advanced Engineering.
The revered technology and engineering expert works
with some of the world’s biggest automotive brands to
create category-defi ning electrifi cation off erings, and are
inundated with other industries from motorsport to
defense, aviation and beyond lining up for its know-how.
Williams Advanced Engineering’s roots come from the
Williams Formula One team and following a serendipitous
set of team changes it enabled its pool of talent free to work
on other projects.
The result has produced a brag-worthy portfolio and
WAE is involved with so many diverse projects it’s a daily
wheel of fortune for employees on what they’ll see being
worked on in the clean and organized workshop below the
mezzanine on the way to their desks. During E&H’s visit
there were some of the rarest cars on the planet in house:
a Porsche 911 Singer project, the
world’s only pair of Nissan
Bladegliders, and the Aston
Martin Rapide E demonstrator.
Also, fortuitously, the Jaguar
CX-75 was there. Not only the
actual car used for the James Bond
movie Spectre, but the car that
was the genesis of WAE and saw
its spin-off from the Formula One
team and setup next door.
Paul McNamara, chief technical
o cer at WAE, sat down with
Electric & Hybrid Vehicle to
discuss the company’s work within
the electrifi cation movement, how
it solves some the industry’s
biggest technology problems and
what the future holds for the next
generation of electric vehicles.
90 // July 2019 // www.electrichybridvehicletechnology.com
How much of a technical evolution has
it been for WAE on the journey from
Formula One to where it is today?
Electrifi cation for us came out of Formula One
with the hybrid system that went on
the car between 2009-2014 when we had the
Renault engine. Regulations meant we could
design, develop and manufacture our own
hybrid system. To do that we had to put in
place a battery, a controller, and a motor –
all designed from scratch. So, we put in place
the team, the facility, testbeds for batteries.
For the 2014 season we made the change
at that point to Mercedes being our engine
supplier, so that team was available to do
something else. So, we’re sat here on the side
of the F1 team, we have the electrifi cation
legacy from KERS, the lightweighting,
aerodynamics, CFD, driving dynamics. So,
we then moved into Formula E, while at the
same time we worked on the
Jaguar CX-75, which needed
an in-house designed battery.
We had our own BMS from
Formula One, as well as a
vehicle controller and the
ability to design inverters
and DC/DC converter and
the motors themselves. 4