A Thales-sponsored engineer makes a bobsleigh band from Great Britain

Madison Elsley

Thales UK is proud to sponsor one of its engineers who has achieved an outstanding sporting achievement after being selected to the Great Britain Women’s Bobsleigh Team in its first year of experimenting with the sport.

Madison Elsley, who works out of Thales Crawley in West Sussex, has now left the UK to start her winter training in Norway, before the team competes in the European Cup and events across Europe.

A former intern, and now a systems engineer with Thales, Madison’s selection to Team GB this season was all the more surprising that – even though she’s an experienced track and strength athlete – she was only selected to train in bobsleigh earlier this year.

Thales in the UK has also implemented a hybrid business plan allowing it to balance its engineering career with the unique demands of its sport; Madison is able to commit to a high level of athletic training, while continuing to develop her career in engineering.

She said: “When I told my executive management about my selection for Team GB, they were incredibly supportive. The sponsorship from Thales will make all the difference. The opportunity to represent your country is an absolute honor and to have your company behind you is amazing.”

Speaking from her winter training camp in Norway, Madison talked about her experiences growing up that led her to this amazing position.

She said: “As a child I wanted to be a pilot and engineering has always been a passion of mine. My dad was a huge inspiration to my brother and me; he’s an engineer and a scientist so it was just a family thing. Taking things apart and putting them back together was part of my childhood.”

“When I got to sixth form and my friends were considering university, I wasn’t sure if it was right for me. My dad was the inspiration again – he did an apprenticeship that also led to a master’s degree, so I started looking for top engineering firms. in the UK that can offer apprenticeships while studying for a degree.

Madison’s experience with Thales to date has included time at Crawley and Glasgow, working on programs such as the Royal Navy’s next generation Type 31 warships and electronics technology for the highly advanced Astute submarine.

She said: “Engineers have a common enthusiasm for understanding how things work and I loved the fact that I was really exposed to this kind of high profile programme. It was definitely the right choice for me.

“Also, being an engineer has helped me understand bobsleigh a little better. The mechanics, the technical challenges and the weather, how the bobsleigh moves on the ice—that understanding of how things happen.

“It’s a choice to do both and it takes commitment on both sides to make this work. But Thales was amazing.”

Mike Seabrook, Thales UK Secretary, said:

We are incredibly proud of Madison’s achievement and wish her and the team all the best as they head into the winter season. For us, it is extremely important that we provide the right level of support in such a challenging schedule.

You can find more information about jobs at Thales in the UK here.

About Thales

Thales is a global technology leader in the aerospace, transportation, defense and security markets. In 2019, the company generated €18.4 billion in revenue with 80,000 employees in 68 countries. With 30,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has the unique ability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, working with local customers and partners around the world.

The Thales UK team consists of more than 7,000 experts, including 4,500 highly skilled engineers, spread across 9 major UK sites.

Every year Thales invests more than £575m in its supply chain in the UK, working with more than 2,000 companies. They are dedicated to research and technology, working with partners to invest over £130m in UK R&D annually.

With a heritage of over 130 years, Thales in the UK understands the importance of developing skills for the future. They currently have 112 graduates and 238 trainees, and expect an additional 56 graduates and 104 trainees to take in in 2023 in the UK. Thales is committed to supporting its people, continually developing highly skilled talent and experts.

Thales helps its customers think faster and act smarter. Whatever it takes – whatever it takes.

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