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Sheffield College Engineering Students Tour Williams F1 Factory

Updated: 11/05/2017

Sheffield College engineering students have accelerated their learning by being given a first-hand insight into what it takes to build a 230mph Formula 1 car.

Sheffield College Engineering Students Tour Williams F1 Factory

Pictured: Sheffield College Engineering Students Tour The Williams Formula 1 Factory

Employment specialists Randstad Student Support invited 15 budding engineers to the Formula 1 team’s state-of-the-art factory in Oxford.

The students toured the engineering hub and factory to experience the buzz of constructing one of the fastest cars on the planet. 

Williams engineers explained the history of the Formula 1 team and shared their knowledge of modern parts and their function - all whilst Felipe Massa's car sat in the background.

Oliver Webb, Stress Engineer at Williams, gave the students an insight into the day-to-life life of a Formula 1 engineer and tips on career progression. He also explained how parts are tested and the importance of stress analysis.

Students from the electrical, manufacturing and motor vehicle department at The Sheffield College’s Olive Grove campus, learnt about the changes that came into force for this Formula 1 season and how that affects an engineer’s way of thinking.

Travelling at more than 200mph means drivers must have lightning fast reaction. Students tested theirs on a BATAK machine, which highlighted how important reaction speed is.  

The tour of the Williams museum last month also gave the students a chance to see previous championship winning cars up close, the trophy collection and Formula 1 mementos. For more information, visit www.randstad.co.uk.

Paul Bates, Senior Lecturer and Curriculum Leader, The Sheffield College, said: “With all the advanced equipment in use at the Williams factory, our students have been able to see what potentially their career path could involve when working for a company like Williams Martini Racing - it has given them something to aspire to.”

He added: “There is a national shortage of good engineers and we see our college as a good innovator to get students in and promote engineering - especially in our area where there is an increasing demand for advanced engineering.“

Sadie Besley, Operations Director, Randstad Student Support, added: “The best way to get ahead and give yourself the best career opportunities in the engineering sector is to get some hands-on experience.”

She added: “It doesn’t have to be paid work; any time that can be spent learning on the job, gaining practical skills and boosting your experience can give you a great advantage as a candidate. It’s hard to find the right person for the right job and experience and enthusiasm are key for outpacing other applicants.”  

Student Abu Bakar’s dream job is to work at SpaceX. He said: “Engineering is the future. With engineering comes innovation, new thinking and creativity. This has really inspired me to continue working hard to get into a career within engineering. 

"Most of the machines I have seen during my Level 3 course at the College. For example, seeing the CNC machine was really exciting as I know how all the parts are programmed to work within that machine.

“When I finish college, I’m hoping to go to university to study aerospace engineering, in particular jet propulsion engineering. This will hopefully help me to work for a Formula 1 team in future as that type of engineering centres around building engines.”

Olive Grove campus, on Olive Grove Road, is fitted with the latest technical classrooms and workshops, as well as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, motor vehicle, plumbing, heating and ventilation and sustainable construction equipment. For more information about full time courses starting this September, click here.