Automotive tech pioneer Secondmind has moved into a new Cambridge headquarters and made what Business Weekly predicts will be the first of a select number of senior hires designed to take the company to fresh heights internationally.

CEO Gary Brotman has made a perfect start to his scale-up plans by luring Morgan Jenkins from Siemens to act as Chief Product Officer. Jenkins’ arrival is designed to further strengthen the company’s automotive design & development expertise and accelerate product development.

At Siemens Digital Industries Software, Jenkins led Business Innovation, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Partnerships for the Simulation & Test Solutions segment, building and executing a pipeline for growth and defining new product innovations for the future.

With over 15 years of product leadership experience, Jenkins brings a hands-on approach to the entire product lifecycle, transforming initial ideas into successful, scalable products that resonate with customers globally.

At Secondmind, his focus will be on aligning product development processes closely with customer and market needs to successfully achieve product-market fit and support the automotive industry as it transitions to the era of the software-defined vehicle.

Jenkins’ background in the Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), and Electronic Design Automation (EDA) industries strongly aligns with Secondmind’s unique ability to develop and operationalise advanced machine learning for design and performance optimisation across the lifecycle of the vehicle.

An engineer by trade, Jenkins played a critical role at Flowmaster Ltd, a pioneer in fluid dynamics system simulation, driving product innovation and market expansion that ultimately positioned the company for its strategic acquisition by EDA leaders, Mentor Graphics.

At Mentor Graphics, Jenkins oversaw post-acquisition integration, merging business and R & D functions to meet overarching strategic goals and catalyse market expansion.

After Siemens acquired Mentor Graphics, Jenkins then played a pivotal role in enhancing the integration of advanced simulation product lines and driving
strategic growth within Siemens.

Harnessing his deep understanding of automotive engineering market trends and customer needs, Jenkins will lead the commercialisation of Secondmind Active Learning technology and accelerate the capabilities and development of innovative Secondmind solutions for system design and calibration.

His experience in fostering collaboration across multifunctional teams will enhance Secondmind product development and execution efficiency, while driving customer value through product innovation and business agility to accelerate growth.

Jenkins said: “I’m delighted to join Secondmind, a company distinguished not only by its advanced technology stack, but also by its amazing people and their vision to transform the world of engineering R & D.

“I’m excited about the potential to build transformative products that meet the critical needs of engineers and make a substantial impact on the automotive industry.”

Gary Brotman, Chief Executive Officer at Secondmind, said: “Morgan brings a wealth of simulation and automotive experience to Secondmind, backed up by an impressive track record of transforming vision into successful, market-ready products that deliver real value to automotive engineering at scale.

“The frequency match with Morgan was immediate and strong from our first conversation and we are squarely aligned around our vision of being the second mind of the engineer.

“It is a privilege to have someone of Morgan’s calibre with us on our journey and I am excited to see the impact he will have on our product strategy, our customers and the Secondmind team at large.”

Secondmind exists to help automotive engineers design better cars faster, and achieve greater sustainability through machine learning. It is the optimisation engine for the software-defined vehicle.

From reducing design simulation time and calibration overhead, to continuously improving energy efficiency and performance throughout the vehicle lifecycle, Secondmind cloud-native optimisation solutions give engineers the tools and confidence to re-imagine the design, development and experience of driving, and accelerate the transition to carbon-neutral mobility.

Secondmind was founded in 2016 and is backed by investors including Mazda, Amadeus Capital, Atlantic Bridge, and Cambridge Innovation Capital, among others.

It was, until recently, based at 72 Hills Road but has scaled into around 3,000 sq ft of space within City House that can accommodate up to 40 people. Brotman says: “We have a well-stocked kitchen, a number of meeting rooms that can be reconfigured for a variety of purposes, a 24/7 gym, a peaceful shared courtyard and lots of natural light.

“We even have space for the team’s beloved foosball table! It’s a great space for collaboration and there’s a great energy about the place.”

From the new base, Secondmind plans continued growth with hand-picked hires of strategic personnel as Brotman effectively re-engineers the original business model to steer Secondmind to a much higher plateau.

Brotman tells me: “The model now is very different from the one Secondmind started out with. We are in a totally different world from where we started out.

“I spent a couple of years, if not exactly in survival mode then building a stronger all-round company for the future that would be attractive to global customers.

“Last November, we gained a significant injection of capital and in the process attracted a great strategic partnership with Mazda which joined investors in a new $16 million funding round.

“And we have begun to attract some very special talent to propel the business forward. We are very focused on growing in the right way and the future looks very exciting.”