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Formula Student to Formula One Leeds PhD graduate, Andrew Shovlin Senior Race Engineer to Jenson Button, celebrates

success as Jenson Button wins the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix. Andrew who works for the Honda Racing F1 Team, graduated from the School of Mechanical Engineering in 1998 with a BEng in Mechanical Engineering, followed by PhD in Vehicle Dynamics and Control. He continued his involvement with the School after starting work with Formula One as a guest lecturer on the Automotive Engineering course. Whilst studying at Leeds, Andrew was very actively involved in the Formula Student Race Car project. The Formula SAE and the Formula Student are annual competitions which challenge university students to design, build, test, market and race a small single-seater racing car. Leeds was one of the first UK Universities to enter the American Formula SAE competition and has since won a number of awards. Whilst I was undertaking my PhD the School entered the Formula Student competition for the very first time says Andrew. It was an exciting project to be involved in and as a PhD student I supervised a number of undergraduate projects relating to the vehicle dynamics of the car. I also got involved in the manufacture of the car, helping with the chassis and suspension production. Getting involved in such a project is excellent experience. It exposes you to the engineering processes involved in higher level motor sports - skills you would need to use in Formula One. In fact it was a great talking point during my interview at Honda F1 Racing Team. The Formula One industry is very competitive and the advice I would give to students is to get involved with projects such as the Formula Student/SAE competition as they provide valuable skills and knowledge. Additionally, a number of Formula One teams offer industrial placements, so it is worth writing to them for work experience. Students from the School of Mechanical Engineering can become involved the Formula Student/ Formula SAE competition through project work linked to their course. As well as encountering many of the real life challenges of working as a professional engineer, students involved in the project are also responsible for raising sponsorship, marketing the project and actually racing the car at the competitions. Its also a great opportunity for students to demonstrate their abilities to future employers, in fact over 10 students from the School have been recruited into Formula One teams as a result of their involvement with the project