Tom­maso Volpe, Global Di­rec­tor for Mo­tor­sport and Per­for­mance Projects at INFINITI

How did the INFINITI En­gi­neer­ing Academy come about?

“The rea­son we wanted to do this project was for INFINITI to bring to Re­nault added value as a tech­ni­cal part­ner, in ad­di­tion to the ex­per­tise we bring with the hy­brid tech­nol­ogy in the F1 power unit. So we launched the academy in seven re­gions around the world.”

What do the seven winners get?

“They get work place­ments at the Re­nault Sport F1 Team and a fur­ther six months at the INFINITI Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre at Cran­field. I don’t know of an­other pro­gramme that does this for their stu­dents. Au­to­mo­tive and For­mula 1 are dif­fer­ent play­grounds but en­gi­neer­ing prin­ci­ples are the same and we place them in the best field for their pro­file, so in ei­ther ve­hi­cle dy­nam­ics, elec­tron­ics or aero­dy­nam­ics – de­pend­ing on their skills.”

How has the INFINITI En­gi­neer­ing Academy grown in the past four years?

“The first year we had 1,000 ap­pli­cants and three winners, the sec­ond year we had 2,000 ap­pli­cants and five winners. In 2017 we’ve had 12,000 ap­pli­cants and we have ideas to evolve it fur­ther into next year.”

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