Girls on Track UK support IMechE Formula Student national finals held at Silverstone

Friday 08 July 2022

Girls on Track UK attended the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Formula Student programme on Thursday 7 July at its national finals at Silverstone.

Formula Student is a competition designed to encourage university-aged students to engage with science, technology, engineering and maths, otherwise known as STEM, by offering them the chance to plan, build and race a full-sized single-seater car.

Girls on Track UK supported Formula Student by introducing local secondary school students to the Formula Student programme, many of whom may never have considered motorsport as a route to learning more about STEM.

During the day, 50 Year 9 students will found out how engineering and motorsport go hand in hand. This took place at a crucial time in their own lives, as it is just before they make their GCSE subject choices.

As a result, these students have seen that STEM can be a fun, exciting and limitless field, and have had their imaginations opened to the possibilities that studying STEM subjects can offer, equipping them with the opportunity and knowledge to make the right decision for themselves about their subject choices.

They saw a life-sized Alpine Formula 1 car, met successful females in motorsport from both the Haas and Alpine Formula 1 teams, and have had the chance to ask as many questions as they wish in a truly immersive and engaging experience.

These women included Alpine F1 Team’s Validation and Testing Manager Lucy Brown, who started her journey as an apprentice welder and fabricator, alongside Aero Technology Aerodynamicist Paula Garcia Ruiz, who started her journey by studying a degree in aerospace engineering. They were joined by Monica Jalem, a Simulator Software Engineer at Haas F1 Team, who studied Computer Technology and now writes code to develop software that enables the team to create simulations that are so pivotal to success. Multiple other successful females from both teams also participated in the event – helping ensure there were plenty of representatives available for the students.

Jenny Tcherniak, Girls on Track UK Programme Manager, Motorsport UK, said:

“Formula Student is a brilliant initiative that uses the excitement of motorsport to inspire young people to consider STEM as a career option. It truly enables these students to get hands-on experience with race cars and one-to-one conversations with the women whose interest in STEM led them on an incredible journey into motorsport.

“Motorsport UK’s Girls on Track UK shares the ambition of doing everything possible to inspire the next generation of women into motorsport, and I’m delighted we are able to support Formula Student in reaching this goal together.”

Kerstin Woegler, Electronics Systems Lead, Haas F1 Team, added:

“I think that events like Girls on Track UK Day are a great opportunity for young girls to find out about the great variety of jobs that motorsport has to offer for young kids.”

Saskia Bulstrode, Quality Assurance Engineering Intern, Alpine F1 Team, concluded:

“Girls on Track UK is an amazing organisation, and it has been a real pleasure to be involved with the programme. I’m loving seeing all these young girls find out about the amazing world of Formula 1, and how many different roles and capacities there can be, as well as all the different opportunities there are in Formula 1.”