Formula One Designers Coming To Town

The region’s reputation as a world leader in innovation and engineering has been strengthened, as Formula One designers join forces with The University Technical College Central Bedfordshire for its next Open Evening.

On Thursday, November 15th some of those responsible for designing F1 cars will be at the UTC Central Bedfordshire to meet current and prospective students – the young engineering and design stars of the future.

Parents and students with a passion for engineering or product design are urged to come along, to meet the motorsport designers and see for themselves how studying at the UTC can help them shape their future and careers.

One senior Formula One design engineer, Mark Driscoll, knows how important it is to have a great start in your career. He said: “Even though I am a design engineer, I started my career as an apprentice learning hands-on how the manufacturing process works. It's crucial to my day-to-day work that when I design a component, I understand how it will be made. The UTC has fantastic industry standard facilities, the best I have seen in an educational setting. The location is ideal for motorsports, right in the heart of F1 Valley.”

Principal Bob Shore added: “We are lucky enough to be located in Motorsport Valley, home to leading racing teams, suppliers and the current Formula One world champion. This means UTC Bedfordshire has access to some of the leading figures in engineering and product design, both to spend time with students and show the students around working teams, studios and factories.

“So, if you’re looking for a bright future in one of the most dynamic sectors of British industry, come along to our Open Evening and see our multi-million pound, state-of-the-art facilities for yourself.”

The Open Evening on Thursday, November 15th will run from 5pm to 8pm and is being held at Central Bedfordshire UTC, Parkside Drive, Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire LU5 5PY.

University Technical Colleges

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are schools sponsored by local universities and industry partners, with other educational institutions also involved. Alongside the core GCSEs and A Levels, they provide a environment for young people with a specific interest in particular subjects, to study – and excel. The curriculum is guided by industry and taught by inspirational staff using the very latest facilities. UTCs offer students from Years 10 to 13 an education which is closely developed with local employers to ensure the students have the skills to meet the needs of their chosen profession.

UTC Case Studies

Jordan Middleton, 17, from Leighton Buzzard is studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Engineering and for two A levels, in Business Studies and Maths. “Being at this UTC isn't easy, in fact it’s a real challenge, but I love it. I needed a change and I'm far more focused now than I was at sixth form, where I did badly in my AS exams. Making the move here meant I left all my old mates behind, something I needed to do as I was getting distracted and losing all focus. One of the best things about life at the UTC is the fact that my opinion matters. If I have an idea, question or concern, it’s acted upon and followed up. I'm treated like an adult. People ask me what I want to do next and my dream job would be to design and make vehicles at somewhere like Vauxhall. I think it’s possible but I have to put in the work and prove I’m employable, which is why I want to have outstanding attendance and ensure everything I make in workshop is accurate and spot on. Probably the hardest thing about the UTC has been the long hours, but it’s a friendly atmosphere and everyone has made me feel so welcome. When I leave I want an apprenticeship and to earn some money. Getting into debt with University fees is not for me. I want to get out into the workplace and get that job of my dreams. The UTC is my last shot at free education and I'm determined to make the most of every moment.” 

Jonathan Mcdonald, 17, from Luton, is in his first year at The University Technical College Central Bedfordshire studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Engineering and for Physics and Maths A Levels. “Our day begins promptly at 8.30am, which was a shock to the system at first since we don’t finish until 5pm, but being here is constantly exciting. It’s far more hands on than school, with an emphasis on practical learning. Even with maths and physics we aren't just learning for the sake of general knowledge. At the moment I'm being taught the equations of motion, a topic related to motor sport. Another good thing about the UTC is the trust and independence we are given. We have private studies and are left to manage our own work and I get the majority of my work in before deadline now. Alongside the academic learning we have enrichment and I've taken up karate and am now working towards my Duke of Edinburgh bronze. Using the milling, turning and welding machines to shape metal is also a real buzz and when I leave here I hope to go to university or perhaps look for an apprenticeship. It’s comforting to know that the UTC has lots of connections with businesses and it feels as though there will be lots of options and support when it’s time for me to make decisions about my future.”