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Students are on track for a bright future in Silverstone engineering competition

7 June 2016

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UNIVERSITY students are on track for a bright future in one of the world’s top engineering competitions.

Wrexham Glyndŵr University is putting together a new strategy and searching for sponsors to enhance its standing in the acclaimed Formula Student competition.

The four-day motorsport challenge sees more than 130 universities from 30 countries design, build and then race a car at Silverstone grand prix circuit

The North Wales institution has fared well in past years but plans to move up a gear from 2017 onwards, led by Performance Car Technology lecturer, Bobby Manesh, who previously played a key role in helping Liverpool John Moores University to second place among the UK entrants.

Bobby wants to bring that level of success to Wrexham but says the University will need financial support to compete with the larger institutions.

Participating in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ festival of motorsport is a unique selling point for students who later apply to enter the engineering sector, as the event is widely-recognised as one of the most prestigious and relevant in industry circles.

“This is the biggest engineering student competition in the world so it’s an honour for Wrexham Glyndŵr University to have taken part over past years,” said Bobby, from Mold.

“Like Formula One, the contest has its own set of rules which change from year to year; it’s a very serious event and one we aim to take even more seriously in the years ahead because we know how highly-regarded it is by employers.

“We want current and prospective students to have this on their CV - they will if they join us.”

Two years ago, a 14-strong team from Wrexham sourced materials and built a car designed for optimum acceleration, braking and handling.

Among them was 24 year-old Lennox D’Coutho, from India, who said the event was vital for any student wanting to enter the performance engineering arena.

“The event is huge for any student who wants to work in the performance car industry. It teaches you so many things alongside technical engineering skills which we’ve learnt on the course, such as team working, budgeting and working to deadlines,” said Lennox.

“It’s really important to have Formula Student on our CV to help us find employment when we leave.”

Bobby added: “A lot of companies will look for Formula Student on a job application straight away if they know that their university has taken part.

“As it’s an extra-curricular activity the dedication is as important as engineering skill and acumen, but in the end the experience gained far outweighs the time you spend working on the car.”

As well as being a tough test of their engineering ability, it’s also a fun event and will go on to be a landmark in their lives, according to Bobby.

“The competition takes place just days after the Silverstone Grand Prix, so you are there working in the pit lane just days after the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have been there with Mercedes and Ferrari,” he said.

“One minute you’re watching it on TV and the next you’re there with your Formula Racing team and getting ready to send a car out to compete – it’s a very surreal feeling as you also camp right there next to the tracks with thousands of other people in a fantastic atmosphere.”

He added: “We will be competing next summer but how well we do and how good our car is will also rely on how much sponsorship and financial support we receive.

“It’s a great opportunity for local businesses to get involved and you will be helping a group of students realise their dreams of building and racing a car at one of the world’s most iconic tracks, so we would love to hear from them.

“One thing is for sure, we will be there and we will be doing our best to make a mark for the School of Computing and Engineering at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.”

To sponsor the team or if you would like more information on Formula Student, email Bobby.Manesh@glyndwr.ac.uk

Photo: Bobby Manesh (far left) with Engineering students

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