Rob Forbes Celebrates a Long Service Award for 50 Years at MIRA

Back when Rob Forbes first walked through the gates at MIRA to start his career in engineering, The Beatles had just become famous and one pound could buy you five gallons of petrol.

Rob Forbes Celebrates a Long Service Award for 50 Years at MIRA

Fifty years on, Rob is still contributing towards MIRA’s success. Now working as a consultant at MIRA, Rob has worked his way up the career ladder after starting as a trainee (junior lab technician) on 2nd October 1962, earning at that time the principle sum of six pounds, ten shillings and six pence per week.

Rob jokingly said: 

“Back then cycling down the A5 to work every day was a totally different experience”

“It was virtually empty, and there was far less traffic to worry about!

“When I first joined the company in 1962 MIRA only owned two vehicles; the Director’s Jaguar and a Morris Oxford Traveller. Very few people went out of the gate on business and there were no new employee cars in the car park. MIRA was a fraction of the size it is today. It employed 250 people and there were only two manned facilities on the proving ground: the control tower and the full scale wind tunnel. It was a much different place to work compared to today’s MIRA.”

Living in Hinckley at the time; Rob chose to start his career at MIRA’s Nuneaton headquarters partly for its nearby location, but also because of the mystique surrounding the work that was being carried out at the site.

“Everyone in the local area knew it was there, but nobody really knew what they were doing. It was all very secretive. At the time MIRA were only taking three new trainees on per year, so getting a job here really did feel like a big achievement.”

After obtaining his HNC in Mechanical Engineering and Electronic Engineering (with endorsements) whilst working as a trainee at MIRA – a qualification rated the same as a degree at the time – Rob then took up the post of research engineer, before later moving up to the position of senior engineer and finally consultant.

Over the last 50 years Rob has gained a wealth of experience through his work in a number of different departments at MIRA. He was part of the original team that set up MIRA’s widely regarded crash facility in 1965. Rob has also worked to develop robot drivers for use on dynamometers, vehicle test instrumentation, Micro Cell barriers and has played a large part in MIRA’s clutch and gearshift testing instrumentation. More recently Rob has worked as a consultant on MIRA’s highly successful military vehicle programmes including Panama.

When asked why he has stayed for such a long time at MIRA, Rob replied,

“I’m thankful for my full and fruitful working life at MIRA. I’ve been fortunate in the sense that I’ve always had a job I’ve been interested in and I couldn’t imagine working somewhere else as my job has always kept me busy. MIRA is a wonderful environment to work in, it has a relaxed atmosphere, the people are great and I’ve enjoyed being part of the Sports and Social Club.

I hope I’ve made a contribution whilst I’ve been here and I hope MIRA continues to be successful in the future. The company has always been a great contributor to the local community and would encourage budding young engineers to start their careers here like I did all those years ago.”

Long service awards aren’t a rarity at MIRA. Every year a number of personnel receive awards for between five and twenty five years’ service, sometimes even greater. However to put Rob’s achievement into perspective – Rob has been working at the engineering consultancy for longer than any of the members of MIRA’s executive team have been alive.
In addition to this, Rob hasn’t had a day off work due to illness for over twenty five years; another impressive achievement for the MIRA veteran.

Rob’s exemplary record as well as the achievements of the numerous other long service recipients highlights MIRA’s continued commitment towards the development of its employees.

In congratulating Rob on his long service, MIRA CEO Dr George Gillespie commented, 

 “It is an honour to have shared some of his 50 years here at MIRA and he deserves a special place in the history of this great company. Rob embodies so much of the MIRA spirit that has always made this such great place to work. Our recent announcement of the MIRA Academy will provide opportunities for today’s young people to start an exciting new career in engineering, just like Rob did fifty years ago, as we train the technicians, engineers and consultants of the future.”