Hatfield racing team inspiring next generation of engineers
University of Hertfordshire
Engineering students from Hatfield are inspiring young people to study STEM subjects after meeting former F1 world champion Jenson Button.
The University of Hertfordshire’s racing team, UH Racing, recently met 2009 Formula One world champion Button at Formula Student Silverstone.
Button, who made a surprise visit to the competition, had a look at the Hatfield team’s car – UH 21 – which they designed and built themselves.
Formula Student, which is in its 20th year, encourages young people to study STEM subjects.
Speaking at the event, Button highlighted the need for more women to progress to the higher levels of engineering.
He said: “It’s vital to push for more women working in mechanical engineering.
“Many Le Mans championships have been won by female engineers, so there is obviously no reason why more females can’t get involved, including the driving.”
Aiobheann O’Brien, a final year MEng Automotive Engineering student at the University of Hertfordshire, also encouraged other women to consider a career in STEM.
“I’ve always been interested in motorsport. I watched it with my dad but never really considered it a possibility or realised it was something I could do.
“But if you’re good in school at subjects like physics or maths you can match that enthusiasm with your talents.
“You just need to break down the barriers and go for it.”
Dr Howard Ash, programme tutor in the School of Engineering and Technology at the Hatfield-based university, said: “Formula Student continues to innovate and inspire future generations of engineers and many of our students who compete in the event go on to successful careers in Formula 1.”
UH Racing was founded in 1997 by University of Hertfordshire students, and the team has competed in every IMechE Formula Student event since its inception in 1998.
Over the last 21 years, the team has entered Formula Student competitions worldwide with cutting-edge petrol, electric and hydrogen powered cars and won countless awards.