Engineering student wins Formula One placement

August 21st, 2015

An engineering student, from The University of Nottingham, has secured the career opportunity of a lifetime after winning a 12-month placement with top Formula One team, Infiniti Red Bull Racing.

Daniel Sanham, 24, who is studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering, beat nine other finalists in the European heat of Infiniti’s tough Performance Engineering Academy 2015.

The Academy, now in its second year, is a one-of-a-kind global search for the world’s best up-and-coming engineers. For 2015, there were five placements available, with one winner chosen from Russia, Western Europe, China, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Each regional winner will work in roles spanning vehicle dynamics and design, aerodynamics and electronics.

Sanham, who is originally from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, will move to Milton Keynes in September to begin his year with four-time Formula One World Championship-winners, Infiniti Red Bull Racing, as well as Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.

Commenting on his win, Daniel said: “I was absolutely buzzing to hear I had landed the job. It’s an amazing brand and team to work for and will without doubt be a brilliant experience. It will be a tough challenge but I can’t wait to start now and show them what I’m made of!”

For the first eight months, Sanham will work as an Infiniti Placement Design Engineer (Electronics) at the team’s headquarters in Milton Keynes. He will then spend four months working at Infiniti’s European Technical Centre in Cranfield on road car development projects.

With F1™ technology more linked to the automotive industry than ever, Sanham will play a key role in the transfer of technical knowledge and expertise between the race team and Infiniti.

“Infiniti is a luxury car company with ties to the Redbull racing team at the cutting edge of automotive technology development, such as hybrids, collision avoidance systems and self-driving cars. So I obviously had to apply,” explains Sanham.

An email from the Faculty of Engineering’s Employability Officer first alerted Sanham to the Infiniti placement competition, and he quickly set about applying, sending in his CV along with a short video explaining why he deserved the role.

He was one of thousands of students to register an interest in this year’s program, which began in March. Following a series of video and face-to-face interviews, 10 finalists from each global region were selected to attend a regional assessment day. There they were put through their paces by a panel of judges from Infiniti and Infiniti Red Bull Racing.

Sanham was especially impressed that the Engineering Academy’s recruitment drive was on a global scale. “To be able to work alongside the world’s best engineering students, who are all very driven and intelligent individuals, is a very attractive prospect.”

He has just finished his second year overseas, studying at The University of Nottingham in Ningbo Campus (UNNC), so is familiar with working in international settings. Sanham credits his degree with providing him a “sound theoretical knowledge across a broad range of core topics” coupled with some “really good practical experience” to ensure he succeeds in his industrial placement.

Tommaso Volpe, Global Director, Infiniti Formula One, added: “The calibre of entrants this year was very high which made for a tough selection process, but if last year’s winners are anything to go by, it will not be long before all of them are making a significant contribution both to us and to the race team.

“With F1 becoming more and more relevant to the automotive industry and an increased focus of the placements this year being on the road car development, we are training a new generation of engineers who will play a key role in the crossover between the two industries.”

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