The Educational STEM Trophy
Monoposto encouragement for engineering undergraduates
Over the last few years Monoposto has been fortunate to have attracted a number of University and College racing teams ("student teams"). For the educational establishments, the attraction of Monoposto has been that it is a cost effective and relatively free formula allowing experimentation and modification to the cars, not to mention a friendly and helpful paddock which welcomes newcomers. Monoposto, meanwhile, welcomes newcomers to the sport, with enthusiastic team members and well prepared cars. But it goes a bit deeper than that. Most of our drivers / entrants have had relatively successful careers, which is how they can afford motor racing as a hobby. We're lucky to live in a relatively wealthy country, a wealth that, with the greatest respect to the writer's peers in the financial, service, educational or arts sectors, is built on manufacturing of one sort or another. And manufacturing in turn is built on what are called "STEM" subjects - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. So it's appropriate that Monoposto should give a little tangible support to student teams.
Following the recent AGM the board was approached by a sponsor, who wishes to remain anonymous, offering a trophy for the most meritorious student team. Obviously, we need to define "student team" and "meritorious" but the end result will be that this time next year, and hopefully in future, an award will be given to educational teams.
The reaction of the board was extremely positive. Nick Harrison, Chairman, said "There's no doubt the country will benefit from trained, practical engineers. I've worked a lifetime in manufacturing, and I know we need them. If the club can encourage young engineers then we're putting something back into the society that helped all of us get into this sport we enjoy." Doug McLay, a committee / board member for more years than he will admit to, added "Monoposto has a long tradition of encouraging young engineers. For example, some years ago my long-time helper Pete approached me. He had applied to Cranfield for their Motorsport Masters course, and they required some practical experience on his CV. He came along to look after my car and since getting his Masters he's worked in the Renault windtunnel, on hydraulics at Williams and on drive train at Red Bull." Terry Clark, through Steve Magill, has had several students from the Silverstone Motorsports College helping with his cars, and a few years ago I had a similar experience to Doug, when Hannah was applying to Loughborough and likewise needed experience. The 2009 Mono season did the job, and she's now working for a company doing professional racing simulator software.
Monoposto has a strong history in bringing on young engineers. The new STEM trophy will be one way of formally recognising one aspect of it.
Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover. Subheadlines and captions are not originated from the named author. We are unable to reproduce results due to copyright reasons. If any pictures are copyright and the owner wishes them removed please email us.
Swansea University team, 2013
Northbrook College at the Tiedeman Trophy