University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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TK96
TK96
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:14 pm

University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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Hi, i am new to this forum and this is my first post. I have joined to ask a few education related questions, and would also like to begin to look through the forums and gain some techincal knowledge on motorsport.

I have just finished my AS levels. I failed my first year quite miserably and achieved a EDU, i started completely from scratch however and have managed to achieve BBB in Maths, Physics and Business. I very narrowly missed out on A grades in maths and physics, so i will be hoping to boost those two up to an A for AS level by retaking one exam in each of the subjects.

I am going to start my A2 studies very soon, and obviously i will also be finalising my university choices and writing my personal statement. From looking around, i have managed to narrow it down to two target/firm uni choices, and i cannot seem to decide between the two. The two universities i am looking at are Brunel and Oxford Brookes.

Both these unis seem to be very highly regarded in terms of motorsport engineering, so it is a hard choice. I have read in many places that Oxford Brookes is excellent, and many students who graduate from Oxford Brookes are finding employment with big teams, i have read someone say they got hired by Force India, and has then moved on to Toro Rosso.

But then Brunel have a higher entry criteria with AAA for the MEng and AAB for the BEng. Thats near enough as hard as it gets. So is Brunel more valued by employers as academically its the more difficult one to get into? Or is Oxford Brookes the better choice as they require Grades BBB for BEng or ABB for MEng, which seems a lot more doable. (Yes i am pooping my pants at the thought of A2 Maths and A2 Physics!, and AAA is very daunting, especially since the exams are getting more ridiculous by the year).

I havent been to an open day yet, but will certainly be going to the next open days to speak to the universities, and to see what it is like, and hopefully talk to some motorsport engineering students and teachers.

I thought id just add that i am absolutely certain that motorsport is the industry that i want to be involved in, so i am not even considering anything else, its definitely motorsport for me.

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Callum
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Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:03 pm
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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Just to throw spanner in the works - why a motorsports degree? Have you considered a pure mechanical engineering degree? Have you spoken to potential future employees asking if they favour motorsport degrees over mechanical?

TK96
TK96
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:14 pm

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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Well wouldnt a motorsport employee prefer someone with the industry specific degree?

A motorsports degree is my choice of degree because as i said thats the only field id be interested in, and i dont want to do mechanical because i wouldnt really be studying something im interested in, if that makes sense. The formula student thing for example wouldnt be a part of a Mechanical Engineering course.

Greg Locock
Greg Locock
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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I think you are mistaken to take such a specialised degree, but that's OK, actions have consequences and you've made a decision. So, I'd go with whichever uni offers the best intern program.

I do not know whether Cranfield, O-B or Brunel are especially highly rated in the motorsports world, or even whether specialist motorsports degrees are highly rated in the motorsports world. I've known a few F1 engineers, they all did degrees like mechanical or aeronautical.

I do know that internships are far more valuable than people think, and that if you don't spend at least 16 hours a week or more in the lab or workshop then I'm not much interested in your university.

TK96
TK96
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Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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Can you explain why a motorsports engineering degree may/is not as valued for a job in motorsports engeering as a mechanical engineering degree? Is it simply because you would have a broader overall knowledge with mechanical engineering, rather than a more specific/ limited knowledge from motorsport engineering?

Greg Locock
Greg Locock
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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0) I didn't say it was so, I said it might be so. YOU need to find out.
1) Because all the F1 engineers I have ever met have 'normal' engineering degrees.
2) Let's face it the 'current' stuff you pick up at uni will be 3-5 years out of date by the time you graduate
3) The stuff you learn about motorsports is replacing stuff you might actually need


However if the answer to (0) is yes they prefer motorsports degrees, then the other issues don't count for much in your case

everythingisawesome
everythingisawesome
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:50 am

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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Greg Locock wrote:0) I didn't say it was so, I said it might be so. YOU need to find out.
1) Because all the F1 engineers I have ever met have 'normal' engineering degrees.
2) Let's face it the 'current' stuff you pick up at uni will be 3-5 years out of date by the time you graduate
3) The stuff you learn about motorsports is replacing stuff you might actually need


However if the answer to (0) is yes they prefer motorsports degrees, then the other issues don't count for much in your case
Sorry guys,

I am a forum lurker who normally holds his tongue as I'm involved in the industry.

But, seeing 'arm-chair engineers' influence the future of our sport has urged me to create an account.

TK -
I can assure you, there are many people in the F1 world without 'normal' engineering degrees. Oxford Brookes, Cranfield, Bath and Hertfordshire are all excellent choices for the young budding F1 engineer (in that order). As soon as you land in one of these Universities, get involved with Formula Student, be pro-active, passionate and committed to your cause. Get good grades and apply for graduate programs in any of the teams.

If you have any further questions, PM me.

Greg Locock
Greg Locock
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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That's fine. So it looks as though (0) is the definitive issue. I'm a bit surprised the courses in question don't advertise their success rate in that case. If you are giving them several tens of thousands of pounds it'd be nice to see some proof they deliver.

MadMatt
MadMatt
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Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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An issue to keep in mind is the salary. Teams won't care you spent 10, 20, 30 grands on your studies, they will pay you sh*t (in most cases). For me working in motorsport is something to do when you are in your early 20s. Maybe if you find a good team, don't really care about your friends or "home" (wherever that be), and ready to give up on family life (girlfriend, kids), then go for it.

I haven't seen in many other fields such demands for people to have 124 degrees, ready to work 60+ hours a week but being paid 40, go abroad half the time, and be paid the same salary than a cashier at Asda.

Again, this is just my opinion, maybe you will find a good team after your studies, maybe you will keep motivation for years despite an eventual crap salary, maybe maybe. If I were you I would still give it a try! I did, I don't regret it.

TK96
TK96
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:14 pm

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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everythingisawesome wrote:
Greg Locock wrote:0) I didn't say it was so, I said it might be so. YOU need to find out.
1) Because all the F1 engineers I have ever met have 'normal' engineering degrees.
2) Let's face it the 'current' stuff you pick up at uni will be 3-5 years out of date by the time you graduate
3) The stuff you learn about motorsports is replacing stuff you might actually need


However if the answer to (0) is yes they prefer motorsports degrees, then the other issues don't count for much in your case
Sorry guys,

I am a forum lurker who normally holds his tongue as I'm involved in the industry.

But, seeing 'arm-chair engineers' influence the future of our sport has urged me to create an account.

TK -
I can assure you, there are many people in the F1 world without 'normal' engineering degrees. Oxford Brookes, Cranfield, Bath and Hertfordshire are all excellent choices for the young budding F1 engineer (in that order). As soon as you land in one of these Universities, get involved with Formula Student, be pro-active, passionate and committed to your cause. Get good grades and apply for graduate programs in any of the teams.

If you have any further questions, PM me.
Sorry for the very late reply. Thanks alot for your reassuring message.

Ive previously had a look at all your listed universities, and Cranfield dont do an undergraduate course it seems, so thats ruled out, which is a shame. Bath need an A*AA which is a bit of a longshot, Hertfordshire is fairly easy to get into. Good to say that you put Oxford Brookes at the top of your list. Ive also read that Oxford Brookes` engineering course is alot more practical than others. Dont know too much about it, but that is excellent, as i cant imagine anything would be better than putting what you learn into practice in a workshop.

I will definitely be pushing for the MEng course, as that is the one that includes the Formula Student, and not the BEng. However, all is not lost if i can only make it to the BEng, as a good first year can earn you an upgrade to the MEng. Getting involved with Formula Student will be a fantastic experience, and obviously be a great thing to add to a CV! There will not be any shortage of passion, as i am certain its what i want to do.

TK96
TK96
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:14 pm

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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MadMatt wrote:An issue to keep in mind is the salary. Teams won't care you spent 10, 20, 30 grands on your studies, they will pay you sh*t (in most cases). For me working in motorsport is something to do when you are in your early 20s. Maybe if you find a good team, don't really care about your friends or "home" (wherever that be), and ready to give up on family life (girlfriend, kids), then go for it.

I haven't seen in many other fields such demands for people to have 124 degrees, ready to work 60+ hours a week but being paid 40, go abroad half the time, and be paid the same salary than a cashier at Asda.

Again, this is just my opinion, maybe you will find a good team after your studies, maybe you will keep motivation for years despite an eventual crap salary, maybe maybe. If I were you I would still give it a try! I did, I don't regret it.
I had a conversation about salaries with my parents the other day actually. But at the end of the day you have to do, or at least try to do a job in something that you are interested in. And as an engineer, surely the pay cant be that bad. I dont mind doing the travelling and giving up being at home more often.

Out of curiosity, are you no longer in the motorsport/engineering industry?

TK96
TK96
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:14 pm

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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Greg Locock wrote:0) I didn't say it was so, I said it might be so. YOU need to find out.
1) Because all the F1 engineers I have ever met have 'normal' engineering degrees.
2) Let's face it the 'current' stuff you pick up at uni will be 3-5 years out of date by the time you graduate
3) The stuff you learn about motorsports is replacing stuff you might actually need


However if the answer to (0) is yes they prefer motorsports degrees, then the other issues don't count for much in your case
Well from all the research ive done, i havent read anything about people being stuck with a degree and no job, and i have read plenty about people getting jobs after uni. Also, the universities that ill be looking at say they have strong links with many teams, so that is always a good bit of reassurance.

The out of date bit will be same for everyone in every degree regardless though wouldnt it?

Greg Locock
Greg Locock
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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"The out of date bit will be same for everyone in every degree regardless though wouldnt it?"

No, the fundamentals of engineering don't change quickly, whereas the specific software and developments you see on the track (or in the lecture theatre more to the point) do go out of date. I would make exactly the same criticism of engineering courses that spend a great deal of time teaching specific CAE or CAD packages actually - in addition the chances of them selecting the correct package for you is near zero. I don't think that's a killer point, as it is a general issue, but it does mean that hitting the ground running is unlikely.

I don't get too fraught about CAD being taught at uni although it strikes me as a cheap and lazy way for the uni to clock up tuition hours, but I'd agree an engineer that can't drive a modern CAD package is working with one hand tied behind his back- but it isn't a big deal to learn an additional one.

Phillyred
Phillyred
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Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:46 pm

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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My (unimportant) vote is for more of a basic mechanical engineering degree with perhaps some mixing in of materials engineering. Ultimately the "hands on" experience you get during your education will prove invaluable in the jobs market. A great internship will undoubtedly pay off in spades later on.

Greg Locock
Greg Locock
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: University choices for Motorsport Engineering.

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Incidentally, for our oh so brave anonymous friend, here's where I design, develop and drive my armchairs.

https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Sa ... eef392eb74

I wonder how many hours a year you get to drive your armchairs?