There is a University of Hertfordshire graduate in every British Formula One team.
Dr Howard Ash, Programme Leader for Automotive Engineering with Motorsport at the University of Hertfordshire, shares his top tips for working in the industry.
“I travelled to Silverstone with the University’s Formula Student racing team to take part in Formula Student 2017 and was extremely proud to see the team come away with four awards. The competition also made me consider advice for people interested in working in the industry:
Formula Student is Europe's most established educational motorsport competition. Backed by industry and high-profile engineers, it aims to develop enterprising and innovative young engineers and encourage more young people to take up a career in engineering. It’s hugely competitive and each year over 100 student teams take part.
With the stakes high, the University’s team UH Racing worked tirelessly and each put in an average of 1,800 hours into researching, designing and building the racing car (UH20) and making sure it was ready for competing at Silverstone – all whilst studying full-time for their degrees.
The Formula Student competition included ‘Static’ events where Engineering Design, Cost and Business Presentation were all judged. ‘Dynamic’ events including Acceleration and Skid Pad challenges, and a gruelling endurance and fuel efficiency race. The UH Racing team threw themselves into all these rounds with dedication and professionalism.
The weekend did not go without its challenges for UH Racing. A battery fire during one race led to the driver being pulled from the car and Silverstone marshals running onto the track to extinguish flames. The team were stopped in their tracks unable to compete.
Not to be deterred, the team set about making repairs to the damaged wiring and replacing the battery so they could to take to the track again. The team showed enormous grit and determination to get their car out so quickly and it was impressive to watch.
Despite this setback the UH Racing team had a hugely successful weekend of competing. They won the prestigious and highly coveted award for Design but also topped the table for the fastest lap. Due a strong social media presence throughout the year and national media coverage about our solo female on the team, UH Racing was also awarded with the “Most Effective Communications Strategy” award. To top it off, the team also scooped the Jaguar Land Rover “The Art of Performance” award for our attention to detail, combining beauty and engineering to produce UH20.
UH Racing came away from Silverstone with four well-deserved prizes and six trophies and we definitely need a larger trophy cabinet!
The team is now preparing for two European Formula Student competitions in the Czech Republic and Germany. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Want a career in motorsport? Visit www.herts.ac.uk/courses/motorsport-technology to find out about courses available at the University of Hertfordshire.