Phillipa Treacy from Dublin, approached us just after we launched the Go Girls karting & STEM initiative. She was just starting her final year in Mechanical Engineering in UCD. She wanted to learn more about Motorsport Engineering as she had no previous knowledge or involvement.
I (Nicci) met up with Phillipa and shared my own story of becoming a Motorsport Engineer. We both studied Mechanical Engineering for our undergraduate degree. I told her about the Masters degree in Motorsport Engineering I completed in Cranfield University. After this conversation, Phillipa researched the course, applied for the course and took a trip to see and speak with the university directors.
Since then, Phillipa has been accepted and will complete an MSc in Motorsport Engineering starting September 2020.
This is exactly why we started Formula Female. To raise awareness of the sport, the opportunities it provides and to encourage females to participate on and off the track.
We are delighted to have Phillipa now working as one of our mentors on the Go Gils Karting & STEM initiative and for her to be able to share her story with many young females all over Ireland.
Check out Pippa's own words about getting involved in Motorsport.
"Growing up I wasn’t surrounded by the Motorsport industry or even Motorsport enthusiasts. In school I loved Maths and knew that I wanted to continue with this in university but my interests outside of that varied greatly from biology to sport to construction of ships and engines. Engineering stuck out to me as it gave me the foundation to learn about these various areas while grounding it in the basis of mathematics.
Completing my first year in engineering in UCD, I was taught about engines and fluid flow, I attended creativity and design classes and began using software to design products. I quite quickly realised that I enjoyed learning about how fluids like air interact with bodies such as the wing of an aircraft to generate lift and similarly in Motorsports like F1 creating down force
To gain more of an understanding of cars, I got work experience in a garage for two months. I really enjoyed getting under the car and seeing how everything was connected up, changing brake pads and learning about the different models coming in and out. At the same time I was exploring the design side of things and was attending Google Design Sprints over a six week period. There was a lot of troubleshooting and quick problem solving during sessions with varying goals which I really enjoyed. At these sessions, I got talking to a mechanic that put me in contact with Formula Female and Nicci Daly whom I arranged to meet up with to get some advice.
As I said, having not grown up in a Motorsport environment I wasn’t sure whether I would be a good candidate for the Motorsport industry so meeting with Nicci to discuss her experience of it, her experience of completing a masters in Cranfield and her telling me all about her initiative Formula Female and about a chance to get involved in it I was really encouraged. Additionally, speaking to other engineers that came out of Cranfield and UCD such as Sosanna Ni Dhubhain ( senior composite engineer for Racing Point) gave me a push to keep on exploring the area.
Over the summer when I was going over for the British qualifying for Formula 1, I arranged to meet one of the professors to get a look around Cranfield, a university that has been involved in creating Motorsport courses for over 70 years. I was given about a three hour tour of all the equipment they had from wind tunnels to FIA approved impact centres. They had everything you’d need to experiment and gain much needed skills for getting into the Motorsport industry. Their links to the Motorsport industry is incredibly strong and they have had many alumni now working in F1 such as Jame Vowles who is the chief strategist of Mercedes AMG Petronas and Jessica Harris who is now a structural system engineer for Mercedes AMG Petronas so their track record for employment is incredibly strong and I felt Cranfield would give me a good opportunity to getting in to the area.
All of this made me realise that working in a fast paced, constantly challenging and changing environment was something I wanted to do.
To really kick start my career into motorsport I applied for a place in Cranfield and was accepted in September for attendance next year 2020. Additionally as part of my final year in UCD this year I proposed my own project which is based on the aerodynamics of a front wing of a formula 1 car and have been developing skills like CFD and Autodesk Inventor skills."
We wish Phillipa the very best when she heads off to Cranfield next September and look forward to seeing the next Irish female engineer in the F1 paddock.
For more information on the MSc at Cranfield University click on the link below
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