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Motorsport Engineering

GT-ArrowheadGT-Arrowhead Posts: 2,507
edited December 2013 in The hub
This is long....typical of me really, but i am trying to get as many opinions as possible on this, from teachers, parents, everyone really, hence why i am posting this on here.

I have recently been thinking about what i want to go on to study in university (hopefully) since i am two weeks in to A levels. Ive always known that i have wanted to be an engineer but i never really knew exactly what part of engineering i wanted to aim for. A couple of years back i became massively obsessed with aircraft and began to read up on all sorts of aircraft in my spare time and learnt about what different parts of the planes do, how different parts work and so on.

After not too long i started to get hooked on Formula 1 and just motorsport in general. I sat infront of the TV and watched something like 6-7 hours of motorsport on a few weekends. Formula 1 followed by the BTCC, Renault Clio cup, Porsche cup and all of that on ITV4. So i started doing the same thing that i did with aircraft, just research and look at cars etc. I also started to work in a garage for a bit, so my interest and "experience" with cars grew quite a bit from that. I didnt really do much fixing but i did loads and loads of watching and understanding and i just find it interesting. And my interest in aircraft as a future career has sort of diminished.

Eventually i decided that i wanted to be an aerodynamicist. I wanted to design aerodynamics for cars. And this has been my decision for a long while now, but i never bothered looking at universities that would offer this up until now. I had a look, and by searching for just "aerodynamics" it usually ended up being an aerospace or aeronautical engineering course, which isnt really what i would like to do.

Eventually i read something that said "motorsport engineering" and i clicked on it and read on, and it sounds exactly like the sort of course i would like to study. Im a huge fan of motorsport, i love my cars and have a knowledge of how alot of things work in a car. It sounded perfect. I havent actually pinpointed a certain university, purely because there isnt really much point. Either way, i am going to try my hardest in all of my A Levels (particularly maths and physics) anyhow. But i have had a look and they say they want a minimum of C in English GCSE which i have, and it says this for A levels A-level: grades BBB (for BEng) or ABB (for MEng) I am confident that i can get at least an A in physics as i love physics and it is my strongest science, and maths is probably going to be a B at least, A if i work my nuts off big time.

The only thing that is putting me off is the whole "coming out of uni qualified but cant get a job" scenario that i might face...my mum was the first person to ruin it for me by saying that, just as i thought i had my future goal sorted :lol: but i cant help but understand that she does have a point. And there is nothing else that i would like to do in uni, and i dont want to study something that i dont like because whats the point, and my parents will be wasting their money. But then if i do do Motorsport Engineering i would probably find it hard to get a job unless i become the next Adrian Newey!

So do you think i should just carry on and stick with what i really want to do, or change my way of thinking and do something i am less interested in, but would be a more logical sort of option? I appreciate that i may sound really ambitious and possibly have jumped the gun...but ive been thinking about it quite alot and i just wanna see what people think. Thanks.
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Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    there is motorsport as a degree at a number of Unis. there are also other Automotive degrees. engineering and technology.

    getting into motor sport is not good pay at all. but it can lead to better paid jobs later on.

    work your nuts off if you want to do it.

    take a year out as well and get your hands oily. and dont forget when you get to Uni you can change courses.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Thanks for your reply nicklouse, i shall continue looking.

    I wasnt aware that you could change in uni, cheers.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    IIRC Huddersfield now do a MS degree. Heriot-Watt i think do so i think.
    most unis are also involved with the Formula Student challenge which you should get involved with.

    and learn some 3D CAD
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    My advice (and it's the same that I gave my son) is study something that interests you, which in his case is physics.
    Unless you do something really stupid like poetry on ancient pottery, a decent engineer will always find a job, even if it's not in an F1 team initially. Most skills are transferable.
    If you are good, interested and enthusiastic you'll do fine.

    (His mother wanted him to become an accountant - another reason she hates me. A lot.)
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    I would say go for it if that's what you want to do. I used to work in the motorsport industry mainly with tin tops and some side contract work with F1, I was offered the chance to join Benetton but was advised against it due to the commitment needed to the job. And that is the one thing you have to consider is you really must be prepared to move to where the work is and that could easily be in anywhere in the world and also accept it isn't a 9-5 job, you work the hours that are needed. Education wise you will have to really excel to get the best chance of work in the industry.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Did Benetton want you to knit woolly jumpers?
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • Do it if it interests you, but don't necessarily expect to get a job in motorsports from it - it's a very small field.

    Read this, from the horse's mouth:

    http://www.triumphtorque.com/messageboa ... ght=degree
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    cooldad wrote:
    Did Benetton want you to knit woolly jumpers?

    + hats, they knew I was really good.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,787 Lives Here
    cooldad wrote:
    My advice (and it's the same that I gave my son) is study something that interests you, which in his case is physics.
    Unless you do something really stupid like poetry on ancient pottery, a decent engineer will always find a job, even if it's not in an F1 team initially. Most skills are transferable.
    If you are good, interested and enthusiastic you'll do fine.

    (His mother wanted him to become an accountant - another reason she hates me. A lot.)
    Completely agree with this. Although my son is a bit younger, now in year 9, this is pretty much what I would tell him. He too is thinking about engineering in future. He did some sort of careers questionnaire thing before choosing his GCSE options and 29 of the 30 suggested jobs for him had engineer in the title.
    Taking a year out as Nicklouse said is a good idea, though be careful as I'm still on my year out.
  • There's a guy on the road forum who's heavily involved in F1 motorsport engineering at a senior level. Maybe he could advise you? His forum name is VTech.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    There's a guy on the road forum who's heavily involved in F1 motorsport engineering at a senior level. Maybe he could advise you? His forum name is VTech.
    mmm
    automotive software industry
    not quite but associated.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • A buddy of mine did a Motorsport Technology degree at Hatfield with the intention of trying to get work with one of the Rally teams. He never got anywhere, and eventually set up his own business, initially detailing cars, and now sell/fits performance parts.

    If you want, I might be able to put you in contact with him, if you have any questions or would like to know more.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Ok as i have a moment or two to add some filler to this.

    All motorsport teams (and I am talking about the ones at the top) will use 3D CAD for all there development, they will also have other parts that will use the 3D data for further testing FEMA for one.

    what 3D CAD they use... the Unis should know and should have a suitable training platform. if not the find out what and teach yourself.

    taking a it a step sideways the Automotive industry only use 2 or 3 CAD platforms (but their suppliers may use any or the same it depends on how flexible they are and who there customers are).

    back to Motorsports. they dont just need engineers. they also need people who do Logistics, finance, etc etc so dont get bogged down with engineering.

    most Unis will have a Motorsports society join it.

    back to the year out. if you dont have hands on car experiance try and get some.

    find a local motorsports club and see if anyone needs a helper at an event. I spent many a weekend freezeing my nuts off at rallys for no pay. If there are some who circuit race you might be able to offer help. Nothing like making a new exhaust system over night. Or stripping and rebuilding and engine between practice and race day again for no pay.

    food and accomodation is normaly provided ;) Like i said get your hands oily. Many courses will take on prior learning as points towards your degree.

    being a Petrol head does help. but Motorsports is all work and no pay. (ask Kimi).

    206435_5426118170_5802_n.jpg
    217178_5426113170_5567_n.jpg
    208131_5426473170_5848_n.jpg
    208710_5308683170_7257_n.jpg
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • QUESTION: Is that a nova in the last pic?

    QUESTION: Is that a supercharger on that nova? lol

    QUESTION: Anyone else watch the U.S office?
    :D:lol::)cooldad :shock: :? :cry:
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    1 no
    2 no
    what?
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Oh right, what is it?

    Oh right, what is it?

    It was to do with my original questions format, it's how one of the characters ask questions.
    :D:lol::)cooldad :shock: :? :cry:
  • I think it's a Metro
  • Croptonboy wrote:
    A buddy of mine did a Motorsport Technology degree at Hatfield with the intention of trying to get work with one of the Rally teams. He never got anywhere, and eventually set up his own business, initially detailing cars, and now sell/fits performance parts.

    If you want, I might be able to put you in contact with him, if you have any questions or would like to know more.

    There still must be decent money in doing that. I worked in a garage and they charged people bucket loads of money fitting bog standard unipart/allparts parts to your average car! The labour they charged on one job was almost twice my daily pay (£20 :lol: )

    Thanks for the offer, but im alright :)
    nicklouse wrote:
    Ok as i have a moment or two to add some filler to this.

    All motorsport teams (and I am talking about the ones at the top) will use 3D CAD for all there development, they will also have other parts that will use the 3D data for further testing FEMA for one.

    what 3D CAD they use... the Unis should know and should have a suitable training platform. if not the find out what and teach yourself.

    taking a it a step sideways the Automotive industry only use 2 or 3 CAD platforms (but their suppliers may use any or the same it depends on how flexible they are and who there customers are).

    back to Motorsports. they dont just need engineers. they also need people who do Logistics, finance, etc etc so dont get bogged down with engineering.

    most Unis will have a Motorsports society join it.

    back to the year out. if you dont have hands on car experiance try and get some.

    find a local motorsports club and see if anyone needs a helper at an event. I spent many a weekend freezeing my nuts off at rallys for no pay. If there are some who circuit race you might be able to offer help. Nothing like making a new exhaust system over night. Or stripping and rebuilding and engine between practice and race day again for no pay.

    food and accomodation is normaly provided ;) Like i said get your hands oily. Many courses will take on prior learning as points towards your degree.

    being a Petrol head does help. but Motorsports is all work and no pay. (ask Kimi).

    Thanks for that information, very very helpful. Im glad its computer aided designing cause i cant draw for shyte!!

    I dont know of any motorsporting going on anywhere near here. Apart from the chavs who drive those banger vauxhall corsas with those loud exhausts. :lol:

    I did work experience in a garage, and they liked me so they decided to get me in for a few weeks to help out around the garage. I probably worked there for 2 months in total, they call me in during christmas or summer when one of the mechanics takes a couple of weeks off. They tell me about certain things, like in MOTs they show me why the car is going to fail and explain it to me. Or i watch a mechanic doing a job and i ask them a question and they explain. The fact that they called me in out of all of the other work experience students is a good thing to mention when going uni.

    I would love to do anything that is involved with motorsports with or without pay, and i would like to be given the opportunity to do something a bit more major on a car like doing the timing, or fitting the head or something like that.

    I read about Kimi today :lol: Lotus didnt pay him, so thats the reason why he left to Ferrari. Well hopefully Ferrari give him what they did in 2007. Without the need for the other Ferrari driver to let him through to win though!
  • Are those the cars you took pictures of in the rally thing you went to? Or are they yours (you must be rich if they are?) The orange car and the last car look amazing. Dont know what they are though.
  • QUESTION: Is that a nova in the last pic?

    It's a Metro. Possibly at Harewood Hill?
    QUESTION: Is that a supercharger on that nova? lol

    It's an air filter (probably a K&N, by the look of it).
  • Do something you love at Uni - focus on careers out of uni is very much a modern trend, in the 80's/90's nobody did career oriented degrees (or very few) - my school career advice was do your best A level at Uni or join the military - that's public schools for you!

    I know nothing about how to get into motorsport but I'd imagine the three things you woul dhave to have are practical skills and experience, good grades and a willingness to work unpaid for a period of time to get a shoe in the door.

    So do stuff with cars whether tinkering or preping basic race cars, study hard and find minor race teams who need spanner weilding monkeys
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • Do something you love at Uni - focus on careers out of uni is very much a modern trend, in the 80's/90's nobody did career oriented degrees (or very few)

    That was when degrees meant something...
  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    Don't get too hung up on Motorsport Engineering - no-one I know in professional motorsport did that degree. Most did Mechanical Engineering and were s**t-hot at maths. Some did Aero, some did Automotive Engineering. One did Control and Systems Eng. One did Manufacturing Systems. Solid mechanics, fluid dynamics, thermal dynamics - all important and all valuable - especially the software tools (CAD, FEA etc). Your employability will also be guided largely by the projects you choose to undertake within those modules and courses.

    Warwick had no motorsport Eng, yet could place students into McLaren, Redbull etc, *if* they were good enough.

    All the motorsport bods I know, however, were in some way involved in amateur motorsport, building and racing their own cars - they could all prove a genuine and practical passion and understanding of the sector. The lessons that teaches you generally aren't taught on any course.
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Are those the cars you took pictures of in the rally thing you went to? Or are they yours (you must be rich if they are?) The orange car and the last car look amazing. Dont know what they are though.
    all cars hat i have built or rebuilt. 3 of them were are mine the other (Metro) i built and prepped for two different drivers over a number of years. and it held the class record at Harewood Hillclimb for about 11 years. (gives you an idea how long i have been playing in Motorsport and cars and working in the Automotive industry.

    as said dont get too tied up with "Motorsport" find some area of engineering that you are good at and follow it. and find a Uni that does Formula Student and get in on it from year one.then i your last year will be having fun with it somewhere in the World.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Was I right about that particular pic being Harewood Hill then?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Was I right about that particular pic being Harewood Hill then?

    both the Metro and the GTM photos are Harewood.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Thought so. Geek points for me, lol.
  • Are those the cars you took pictures of in the rally thing you went to? Or are they yours (you must be rich if they are?) The orange car and the last car look amazing. Dont know what they are though.

    You don't know what an original Mini is??? :shock:
  • Ofcourse i do! A realitive back in Cyprus had that car in a creamy colour, i loved to sit in it every time we visited. She ended up selling it for the equivalent of about £4000 and it wasnt even driven for many years.

    I was more fond of the other white car, the metro :)
  • I was more fond of the other white car, the metro :)

    You wouldn't think much to a standard one, lol.

    If you don't know what a Metro is, then I bet you can't tell me what this beast is, lol:


    DSC_3086copy402ppi24x14_zpsf986c775.jpg
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