New Formula One Engineer of the Future Award announced

Congratulations to Elizabeth Thompson (Worcester College), a 4th Year undergraduate student in the Department of Engineering Science, who has been announced as one of five finalists for the inaugural Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future Award. This is an exciting new annual award that will name an engineering student from a UK university as a rising star of Formula One engineering and support them with an accelerated career development programme at Williams.

formulaoneengineeroffutureThe application process saw eight of the UK’s leading universities nominate their star engineering students for consideration. Elizabeth impressed in the first application round and has been selected to take part in an assessment workshop at the Williams HQ in Grove on 18th and 19th November 2015. The other leading universities taking part are: University of Bath; Imperial College London; Oxford Brookes University and Loughborough University.

The assessment workshop will see the five finalists complete a number of tasks designed to test their engineering know-how, team work, problem solving skills and personality fit. The students will be assessed by a panel of judges comprising leading industry, academic, media and Formula One personnel: Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer at Williams; Nicola Salter, HR Director at Williams; Edd Straw, Editor of Autosport magazine; Tony Purnell, Former Team Principal of the Jaguar and Red Bull Formula One teams and Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge.

One of the five candidates will be chosen as the first ever recipient of the Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future Award, with the winner formally announced at the annual Autosport Awards on 6th December 2015. They will be offered an initial two-year placement in an accelerated development programme that will see them mentored by senior engineers and rotate through various areas of Williams before they find their specialism. During the placement they will also get the unique opportunity to work in the team’s race operations division and gain experience at a Grand Prix.

Speaking about the selection process Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer at Williams, said: “This exciting new initiative is designed to identify the UK’s brightest and best engineering students and give them a head start towards a career in Formula One. The calibre of applications we received at the initial essay stage was remarkable and we had a tough time getting our applications down to the final five. We have an exceedingly bright and motivated group who will be visiting Williams in the coming weeks. They will be completing a number of hands-on tasks to demonstrate to our expert panel that they have the raw skills to become a future Formula One engineering star. Many of the sport’s legendary engineering figures began their career at Williams and with this scheme we are confident that many more will learn and hone their craft with us.”

Edd Straw, Editor of Autosport magazine added: "Autosport is delighted to be involved in unearthing the next generation of engineering talent. We look forward to revealing the inaugural winner at this year's Autosport Awards at the start of what we expect will be a long career for them in the sport."