Motorsport Jobs: How useful is a mechanical engineering degree?

A degree in motorsport engineering can open many doors for a future career in the industry with teams all over the world looking for future talent

Motorsport Jobs: How useful is a mechanical engineering degree?

Only a small proportion of graduates do find thir dream job; the majority struggle to get the crucial first step on the ladder in such a competitive industry. This ponders the question; is a motorsport engineering degree really worth it?

There is an upward trend of students looking to work in the motorsport industry, the majority in engineering. But how good is that as a career path?

We spoke to James Allen, Head of Corporate Communications at the University of Wolverhampton, to get an insight into a motorsport degree and what future students can expect.

Why do you think people choose to study motorsport engineering?

A lot of our students have come to us with existing experience in motor racing and all have a lifelong passion for motorsport. That said opportunities to practice their skills are in short supply and they are drawn to the course as the University offers a chance to work in an F3 team and run five other cars in professional categories of racing.

The track record of the teams demonstrates their commitment and enthusiasm, they can see themselves contributing to pole positions, race wins and podium finishes. The success of the team is one of the biggest factors in drawing in new students.

How does a degree in motorsport engineering help you in a future career?

The motorsport degree gives our students the ability to hone their skills in a high pressure racing environment. Upon completion of their degree, the students have already spent two-to-three seasons racing, they apply the theory they learn in the classroom and put it into practice on the track.

When they go for their first job interview, they can demonstrate how they have used team working and problem solving skills to contribute to the success of a professional racing team. Feedback from employers has proven this sets our motorsport engineering graduates apart from other interviewees in terms of their experience and professionalism. This has led to a very high graduate employment rate for the course above 90%.

All of our engineering courses have a basis in mechanical engineering and these skills are transferable across engineering industry sectors. A large number of our students find jobs in the automotive or motorsport sector and the region has a lot to offer them with thousands of manufacturers based here.

What sort of modules does a motorsport engineering degree have?

Motorsport engineering is available as a three-year BEng and a four-year integrated masters course. On the course students will study engineering mathematics and engineering science, they take part in practical mechanical engineering exercises, working to tight tolerances and get first-hand experience of a variety of manufacturing techniques.

Specialised modules centre on 3D CAD, aerodynamics, stability systems, engine performance, hybrid technologies, finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics to assess various designs and prototypes.

How have former students fared trying to find a job within motorsport?

We have had students go on to work for Mercedes F1, Morgan, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, JLR, Westbourne Motors and HCI Systems. Nathan Tupper studied engineering in motorsport and is now working in Formula 1 for Mercedes. While fellow student Will Blackburn currently works at the world famous Morgan Motor Company in Malvern after studying mechanical engineering.

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