Thomas’ hard work pays off

The Tatura Guardian - - Community - By Madeleine Cac­cian­iga

Tatura boy Thomas Baer wasn’t sure where his life would take him be­fore he at­tended a Swin­burne Univer­sity open day while com­plet­ing Year 12 atMooroopna Sec­ondary Col­lege.

Swin­burne Univer­sity had a For­mula SAE rac­ing car on dis­play, demon­strat­ing how the univer­sity worked in part­ner­ship with For­mula 1 through the en­gi­neer­ing course.

‘‘What they do each year is all the uni­ver­si­ties who are in­volved with it build a car from scratch, they de­sign it and set it up, and they set up a race team,’’ Thomas’ dad Peter Baer said.

Thomas was amem­ber of the univer­sity team for his en­tire study, be­fore he grad­u­ated with a Bach­e­lor of En­gi­neer­ing (Me­chan­i­cal).

‘‘It was a four-year course, but his fourth year was 12 months work­ing for IVECO Trucks in­Mel­bourne and he came back in his fifth year and did his fi­nal course,’’ Mr Baer said.

Thomas’ am­bi­tion was to ful­fil a ca­reer with For­mula 1 ‘‘which is the pin­na­cle of mo­tor sport’’, but to be able to suc­ceed he needed to com­plete a master’s de­gree in science — ad­vanced mo­tor­sport en­gi­neer­ing.

‘‘Cran­field Univer­sity in Eng­land is where he has been for the last 12 months,’’ Mr Baer said.

Thomas was one of only 30 peo­ple from across the world selected for the course.

‘‘Over the 12 months he had to do many as­sign­ments and ex­ams and they split them into groups and they had to do a project as a group and then a the­sis to fin­ish it off,’’ Mr Baer said.

Through­out his time in the UK Thomas met a num­ber of fa­mous faces in­clud­ing the Duke of Kent; Toto Wolff, who is the head of Mercedes For­mula 1; and Red Bull Rac­ing prin­ci­ple Chris­tian Horner and his wife Geri Hal­li­well.

‘‘For the whole year he was sec­ond to dux and all his exam re­sults were in the higher 80s and into the 90s, so he’s done very well with his course,’’ Mr Baer said.

Com­pet­ing against the best, Thomas last week started a six-month place­ment work­ing in Maranello, Italy, at the Fer­rari F1 fac­tory.

Mr Baer said Thomas fought against more than 200 peo­ple who ap­plied for the job from across Europe.

‘‘The first step was they all had to sit a three­hour exam on­line where they were given a sce­nario in F1 and they all had to come up with a so­lu­tion; he (Thomas) got top three,’’ he said.

Thomas then com­pleted a phone in­ter­view where he was cho­sen with the fi­nal 20 ap­pli­cants to be flown to the fac­tory.

‘‘Only six out of 257 from all over Europe who are do­ing this kind of study, who had fin­ished and wanted to get back into it, were cho­sen — so we’re quite proud of him for that,’’ Mr Baer said.

‘‘He hasn’t let any­thing get in his way, he’s been driven and fol­lowed his dream and to be work­ing in For­mula 1 is the pin­na­cle of mo­tor­sport and Fer­rari is the top team.’’

Mr Baer said Thomas had taken on the world stage and he now had a se­cure fu­ture with For­mula 1 once the place­ment had fin­ished.

Above: Thomas Baer with Chris­tian Horner, team prin­ci­pal of the Red Bull Rac­ing For­mula 1 team. Above left: Thomas Baer at the For­mula 1 Fer­rari Fac­tory in Maranello, Italy.

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