For this racing enthusiast, a self-funded Motorsport degree course at the University of Wolverhampton has led to a job as Wind Tunnel Engineer at ROKiT Williams Racing.
Andy Down, 31, grew up with a passion for motorsport and, after studying for a Motorsport degree in the School of Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton, he graduated with a First Class Bachelor of Engineering degree.
Working as an IT engineer, he had always dreamed about working in the motorsport industry and becoming a car designer. He visited the University’s Telford Innovation Campus for an open day and decided to self-fund himself through the three-year course.
He said: “My dream was always to go into F1 and I wanted to follow my passion for motorsport.
“My career in IT wasn’t really inspiring me and when I saw the Motorsport degree course online offered by the University of Wolverhampton, I went along to an open day and was blown away.
“The workshop facilities are on another level, with bays for each car and high-end tools supplied by a range of sponsors. I decided to self-fund myself through the course and that started me on the path to pursue the kind of career I’d always dreamed about.”
During the course, Andy worked on all three racing teams taking part in the AR Morgan Challenge, the Formula 3 Cup Championship and the international Formula Student competition, gaining valuable hands-on experience right through from maintaining, stripping down and rebuilding cars, attending race weekends and promotional events as well as working with the race team on component design, data analysis and assembly.
He said: “The lecturers are all really friendly and welcoming and the support I’ve received from them has allowed me to achieve the best I can.”
Dr Syed Hasan, Head of the School of Engineering, said: “The significant investment we have made in engineering on the campus has provided us with facilities which are amongst the best in the country combined with a really attractive course offering for students who want to study engineering.
“With a competitive motor racing team and committed sponsors, our students have a real hands-on engineering experience which meets the needs of future employers. This focus on real world experience alongside engineering theory is truly paying dividends as 100 per cent of the UWR race team have gone to secure employment after graduating.”