Formula One's Next Generation of Engineers Race for Their Own World TitleBy JIMMY MAAS • OCT 21, 2016For Complete Article - http://kut.org/post/formula-ones-next-generation-engineers-race-their-own-world-title
New world race car champions were crowned in Austin this week and it was decided miles away from the Circuit of the Americas at the Hyatt Regency on Lady Bird Lake.
High school-aged kids from 23 countries came to Austin this week to compete in the F1 In Schools World Finals. The teens fabricated and engineered their miniature Formula One cars from scratch. Many of the students peering down the track to the finish are hoping this is just the beginning of their racing career.
“So, what we are is the biggest STEM competition in the world," said Andrew Denford, founder and chairman of F1 in Schools. "What we’ve done is created a challenge bringing all of those disciplines together, using the magnetic appeal of Formula One. So, basically we install this in the classroom and they can teach science, maths [sic] and technology and engineering in a fun and exciting way.”
He says this is a way to encourage the next generation of engineers and scientists. Just like Formula One, students work to make their car within a new set of specifications and rules released each year. And it’s not just the fastest car that wins.
“There’s a thousand points. The fastest car is 250," said Denford. "It helps if you have a fast car because that will probably mean it has passed scrutineering. It will probably mean it has been well-engineered, it’s got good aerodynamics. But of course, they judge you on pit display, portfolios and they judge you on the verbal presentation. So, it’s quite a big job.”
And for the teams that put it all together, a big prize awaits: mechanical engineering scholarships at City, University of London and University College London. Both schools have high-level motorsports engineering programs in the UK.
Denford came up with the idea of F1 in Schools years ago to sell more milling, lathing and routing machines, as well as 3-D printers. He owns a company that makes such things in the UK. The program has grown to the point where he has left the day-to-day care of his company to others and diverted much of his attention to this STEM education program.
Real-life racing teams are also looking to dip into this talent pool.
"The Formula 1 teams realize that we’ve got the best kids in the world here, so let’s not let them go slip through our fingers," said Denford. "Let’s give them an opportunity to get into the factory. Let’s give them jobs.”
Williams Martini Racing handpicked nine students to start their second class at the Ranstad Williams Engineering Academy.
“I’m looking for people who have a passion for engineering," said Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer of the Williams Formula One team. "People who can think laterally, people who are individualistic, yet can work in a team. And, if I see those things, I know I’ve got the engineer of the future.”
One American, Ajinkya Sawant of Team Mu in Marietta, Ga., is part of Williams Racing’s new class.
Just like F1, the in-school program is big abroad, but is just gearing up here in the states. There are more than 500 teams in Europe, but fewer than 60 are in the U.S. The person whose job it is to get the all of the Americas geared up: Austin’s Juan Gonzalez, a former Assistant Principal of Akins High School.
He says the program provides an opportunity to get students the skills needed in racing and for the rest of us.
“They would use computer aided drafting (CAD), computational fuel dynamics, computer aided machining and computer numerical control (CNC) mills and routers to produce it and so forth, plus the 21st century skills," said Gonzalez. "You’re talking about cars that are precision-machined to one-one thousandth of a tolerance. You’re getting into Material Sciences. You’re talking about working with composites: carbon fiber, your different plastics, ABS, Delrin, Acrylic, Polycarbonates. You’re talking about your different metals from Titanium to Aluminum. So, this is really scaled up there."
In all, there were three teams from the U.S. among the 39 finalists. Perhaps none more unlikely than Harlem United coming all the way from Harlem, Mont. It’s a town of 3000 people located on mostly flat farmland. Most of the community either lives on or has roots in the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation located nearby. About as far from the glitz and glamor of Formula One as one can get. Yet somehow, the team managed to raise the 39 thousand dollars to get them down here for a week.
Senior Damon Adams originally got into computer aided drafting to design guitars. He joined the program as a sophomore at the urging of his teacher.
“I was able to do the CAD stuff," said Adams. "I had some experience in CAD programs before, so he asked me to be on the team so I could be the design engineer and design the car.”
Now he’s looking to become an engineer and, perhaps, move a little closer to COTA.
“Come to Texas A&M, maybe. Study mechanical engineering, maybe,” said Adams.
As for the speed competition, the fastest cars came down to two Greek teams, Aeolus Racing and Infinite Racing. Infinite Racing managed to win both heats with a time of 1.215 seconds and are the new F1 in Schools champs. Infinite Racing scored well-enough in the other three categories to take the F1 In Schools World Title back home to Greece.
This weekend, the professional F1 teams the students hope to be a part of one day take center stage at Circuit of the Americas.
Practice rounds start today. The U.S. Grand Prix will take place Sunday.
Randstad Williams Engineering Academy
A reminder to all 2016 World Finalists – you are eligible to apply for a place in the Randstad Williams Engineering Academy – the world’s first programme dedicated to identifying and training a new generation of F1 engineers run by the legendary Williams F1 Team.
The Randstad Williams Engineering Academy is a remote e-learning programme that will see up to 10 students join each year and receive support, training and guidance to underpin their engineering education.
The academy is only open to F1 in Schools World Finalists and is therefore a huge opportunity for those of you aged 16-18 years of age* at the time the Academy begins (1st November 2016).
For a chance to take part in the Academy, you must submit the following documentation to [email protected] by 9th September 2016, placing “Application: Randstad Williams Engineering Academy” in the subject line of your email:
- A one page curriculum vitae which includes your education to date, qualifications obtained, any work experience, and your personal interests and achievements
- A completed Randstad Williams Engineering Academy application form, which asks a number of short competency based questions (attached)
These applications will be reviewed by Williams, with the support of F1 in Schools, to select the most promising students based on their motivation, education and experience to date. Up to 25 students will be selected by Williams to go through to the next round of the Academy selection process, which will take the form of an Assessment Centre on 18th October 2016 at the F1 in Schools World Finals in Austin, Texas.
For full information please refer to the Programme Details document attached and to apply for your place in the academy please complete the attached application form and return to [email protected] by FRIDAY 9th SEPTEMBER.
If you have any questions regarding the academy please do not hesitate to contact us.
Marketing and Brand Manager
"We understand that some teams would like to add the F1 in Schools World Finals logo to their branding and display materials etc.However, it is very important that the correct logo is used. For this reason we have been given permission to let all teams have the official event logo. Please only use the attached logo on materials relating to the 2016 F1 in Schools World Finals.
A minimum area of exclusion must always surround the F1 in Schools Standalone logo. The exclusion zone at side of the logo is equal to the width of the ‘number 1’ within the logo and an exclusion zone at the top and bottom of the logo is equal to one half of the width of the ‘number 1’ within the logo. This rule must be applied whenever the logo is used to ensure clarity and legibility and please ensure that the logo is not skewed , stretched or infringed in any way, if in doubt please email any artwork to me for approval prior to printing."
Marketing and Brand Manager
Engineering in Motion
F1 in Schools | Land Rover 4x4 in Schools | Jaguar Primary School Challenge
c/o The IET, Michael Faraday House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, SG1 2AY, UK
See Yall in Texas, F1 in Schools World Finals set to Return to Austin in 2016
F1 in Schools has confirmed a return to Austin, Texas for the F1 in Schools World Finals 2016. This leading global educational initiative is celebrating its 12th World Finals event next year with the USA hosting the event for the second time, having first welcomed the World Finals to the country in 2013.
Partnering with the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), the premier motor racing circuit in the USA and host for the FIA FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP UNITED STATES OF AMERICA GRAND PRIX, the announcement of the F1 in Schools World Finals returning to the USA was made at the F1 in Schools World Finals 2015, held last month at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore.
Speaking of the announcement F1 in Schools Founder and Chairman, Andrew Denford, said, “Securing the World Finals event in Austin, in conjunction with Circuit of the Americas is excellent news. We know all the students participating in Regional and National Finals all around the world, will be very excited to hear this news and I’m sure it will spur them on to win a place at next year’s World Finals.
“I look forward to working with the team at Circuit of the Americas to deliver a successful World Finals event next year.”
“F1 in Schools has the support of the Formula One community worldwide and we are proud to be a part of it at Circuit of The Americas. The World Finals is a once in a lifetime experience for students that allows them to dig deeper into their intellectual curiosity and application of knowledge,” said Bobby Epstein, co-founder and chairman of Circuit of the Americas. “F1 in Schools is a challenging, fun and educational experience for students that will inspire them to become the next generation of scientists and engineers.”
Jason Dial, President, Circuit of the Americas, adds, “We are very proud, once again, to be hosting this upcoming year’s F1 in Schools World Finals. I look forward to welcoming Champions from all over the world to Texas. See y’all in Texas in 2016.”