A chance meeting with another STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) fanatic parent led to a new and exciting partnership with none other than Ben Collins, aka The STIG(!) With a love for all things motorsports, and a keen interest in STEM, Ben seemed like the perfect pairing to support our brand new motorsports course at Hertfordshire University, and become an ambassador of the Trust. Being a parent himself, Ben knows just how important it is to encourage interest in engineering subjects from a young age and to nurture these interests as students begin to make more informed choices.
In a recent radio interview for BBC Three Counties (2.48 onwards), Ben shares his opinions of the Trust and enthuses over the industry that he is so well known for, Motorsports.
“I think it’s brilliant to inspire young students early on and to tell them about motorsports and the opportunities that are there. It’s particularly important to encourage girls into motorsports because, at the moment, only a third of girls are going on to study science at A Level compared to 95% of boys”
Ben goes on to add that girls and boys have different perspectives when it comes to engineering, and both are equally as important in the industry. Girls are deemed to be more creative and this is essential in the world of motorsports when you often have to “think outside of the box”, (not just the metal box with four wheels that you’re driving around in!)
Not too dissimilar to your everyday suburban cars, F1 (Formula One) cars have a carcass, steering wheel, and four wheels. Pretty similar you’d think. You’d be wrong. That’s about where the similarities end. Underneath the bonnet, so to speak, of these F1 cars is a complex and fascinating piece of engineering and design. Fuel efficiency, suspension, aerodynamics, fibres, fuel. These are just some of the considerations that go into making these high powered slick vehicles, it’s no wonder motorsports is deemed to be a cutting-edge and forward-thinking industry.
The motorsports industry requires men and women to work on all aspects of STEM from designing and building the cars to monitoring their performance and analysing results at the end of each race. Not to mention having to rebuild vehicles following the occasional fender bender here and there…
Science is important for understanding fibres, materials, fuel and scientific reactions in engines. Technology revolved around the computer systems involved in race projections, track analysis, engine optimisation and much more. Engineering focuses on the overall building of cars and components, and Maths is useful for calculating fuel efficiency, speed, power, lap times and everything in between. Every last tenth of a second counts in this game!
Motorsports is definitely one of the fastest paced, profitable (for some) and exciting industries out there at the moment and it isn’t just about the entertainment (or snazzy outfits). It is a vital part of development and advancement in the automotive industry. During Ben’s interview, he reminds us how the UK is a global leader in the industry and that nearly all F1 teams have cars that are either made or have components that were produced in the UK. The engineers within the sport are pioneering next-generation technology. It is this need for highly skilled engineers that that drives us at the Trust to encourage students to explore careers in the engineering industry through taster courses at leading universities.
Ben quite rightly highlights that one of the great things about engineering is that the skill sets can be used beyond racing and beyond motorsports. The tools you learn in engineering can equip you for life and crossover to other areas, giving you quite an exciting and diverse career that can take you all over the world.
To find out more about Ben’s awesome motorsports adventures, check out his twitter @BenCollinsStig
To join us on our exclusive new Year 12 motorsports course, visit: https://www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk/courses/motorsports-engineering-herts/