Winners of the INFINITI Engineering Academy have begun their real-world Formula 1 experience by helping design and build this year's Renault R.S.19. car. Three students are five months into a once-in-a-lifetime work placement at Renault F1® Team situated in both the design office and composites department.
Last year, engineering student Jiachun "Max" Zhu impressed judges to win the Chinese regional final of the INFINITI Engineering Academy - the global talent search for the brightest young minds in engineering run by the premium automotive manufacturer INFINITI.
Zhu won a six-month work placement at Renault F1 Team's technical centre in Enstone and another six months at INFINITI's Technical Centre in Cranfield. Zhu is currently supporting senior engineers in developing the design of suspension parts for the R.S.19. Formula 1 car and has found his role within the team extremely rewarding.
"Everyone here is very open and the culture is extremely diverse," said Zhu. "When providing feedback and ideas on any given project, I find that colleagues always respect and listen to your views."
The 24-year-old studied mechanical engineering at University of Arkansas in the USA and graduated last May. At the beginning of this year, the 2018 Chinese regional winner has been living close to Renault's F1® Team's technical centre in Oxfordshire along with his fellow INFINITI Engineering Academy winners who won their finals from regions including Mexico, Asia & Oceania, Europe, Canada, Middle East and the USA.
Last year's winner of the Middle East region was Fahim Choudhary. The Dubai-based student discovered he had won during the weekend of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Choudhary studied Engineering Project Management at Lancaster University but his work placement at Enstone has taken him to the Composite Design Office where he has been focusing on engine ancillaries and ducts. The 23-year-old has been finessing his skills by developing Computer Aided Design (CAD) models which are transferred to the production planning and manufacturing departments for review.
He was delighted that his cooling duct design was produced and fitted to the R.S.19. during the pre-season Barcelona test. "I would never have thought I'd be working on the R.S.19. within my first few months here," said Choudhary. "It's been a truly unique experience."
In addition to his work at Renault F1® Team, Choudhary also supported the opening rounds of the Renault UK Clio Cup championship at Brands Hatch where he helped drivers improve their laptimes through data analysis. This work highlighted the close alliance between the automotive sector and Formula 1 and Choudhary's six-month placement at INFINITI will further enhance his experience in the technology transfer between the two industries. The six-month split in work placement between INFINITI and Renault F1® Team allows the class of 2018 to experience all aspects of engineering and provides an invaluable foundation for their future careers.
Fellow engineering student Patricio Barroso Rios scooped the Mexican edition of the INFINITI Engineering Academy and is currently based in the Electrical and Electronics Design department at INFINITI. Barroso Rios, 20, specialised in mechanical and electronic engineering in Mexico and was one of thousands of applicants for last year's competition. He has recently been promoted to test engineer where he has been leading the navigation system development in future production cars.
"I've loved every moment the opportunity the INFINITI Engineering Academy has given me," said Barroso Rios. "I've really enjoyed getting to know the other winners who are incredible engineers. We are like one big, happy, [somewhat dysfunctional] family!"
To have the chance to follow in the footsteps of Jiachun "Max" Zhu, Fahim Choudhary, Patricio Barroso Rios and the other four winners of the 2018 INFINITI Engineering Academy - who are currently undergoing an integrated training and mentoring programme with world-leading engineers - apply now for the 2019 edition of the global talent search.
To secure this unique work placement across automotive and Formula 1 engineering, then you must be fluent in English and studying an engineering or science degree (or have graduated in the last 12 months) and be a permanent resident in one of the eligible regions.
Apply at https://academy.infiniti.com to win a year's paid work placement with INFINITI and Renault F1® Team.