Infiniti's global search for the best up-and-coming student engineering talent has begun its third successive year with the launch of the 2016 Infiniti Engineering Academy.
Students from all over the world have the chance to earn the career opportunity of a lifetime working at Infiniti Motor Company and the Renault Sport Formula One Team.
Infiniti's new Technical Partnership with the Renault Sport Formula One Team includes, as a crucial component, this unique automotive-to-Formula One training program for brilliant young engineers.
"Year on year, we continue to strive to improve the academy, and now, with our new and deep-reaching Technical Partnership with the Renault Sport Formula One Team, we can offer six engineers a truly technically rich, multi-discipline engineering placement," said Tommaso Volpe, global director, Infiniti Motorsport. "Not only will they spend six months at the Infiniti Technical Center for Europe (Cranfield, UK), they will also experience the facilities at the Renault Sport Formula One Team base in Enstone, Oxfordshire. Combining opportunities to work at both companies means our 2016 Infiniti Engineering Academy winners are set to craft their careers from the outset with an incredible 12 months at the cutting-edge of big business automotive and motorsport engineering."
Success breeds success
Having launched the careers of previous winners William Priest and Eric LaRoche, the academy is the technical recruitment initiative in Formula One. This year, the following global Infiniti regions are participating: China, Europe (including Russia), Canada, Mexico and Asia & Oceania, with the Middle East and U.S. to be confirmed at a later date.
"We are offering a mix of academic and professional experience across such disciplines as Electronics, Aerodynamics, Mechanical Design and Composite Design," said Bob Bell, Renault Sport F1 Chief Technical Officer. "The academy offers a compelling opportunity for up-and-coming engineers to experience the fundamentals of automotive and motorsport engineering."
With the added depth of knowledge transfer – not least in Infiniti's performance hybrid expertise being used for joint ERS development in Viry-Châtillon, France, and enhanced scope for collaboration that Infiniti's Technical Partnership brings to the academy – 2016 will open up a wide range of experiences and opportunities to the six winners.
For more information on the Infiniti Engineering Academy, or to apply to be a part of the class of 2016, visit Academy.Infiniti.com.
Q&A: Tommaso Volpe, Global Director, Infiniti Motorsport
Why is Infiniti running the Infiniti Engineering Academy again?
Volpe: This year more than ever our close relationship with F1 brings direct benefits to the development of our road cars. As the Technical Partner to the newly formed Renault Sport Formula One Team, specifically for the co-development of the Renault Sport R.E.16 Power Unit's Energy Recovery System (ERS), our Academy engineers will work across both road car and race car hybrid systems; cross-pollenating the application of the mirrored technologies.
Just as the winners from previous years have done, the six candidates we find in 2016 will play a key role in bridging the gap between us and the race team.
What role will the winners play for Infiniti?
Volpe: Infiniti is in the middle of a major product offensive, and the Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid performance hybrid powertrain technology is a pillar of the Infiniti range of high performance vehicles, now and in the future.
Our performance philosophy is deeply rooted in hybrid technology; we are pioneers of electrifying electrified performance, and as F1 continues to develop and flourish in this area, so too will our engineers working within the Renault Sport Formula One Team.
What are the main differences to last year's program?
Volpe: We're now in our third successive year, and year-on-year we've grown the number of Infiniti Engineering Academy placements available. From three, to five, and to six for 2016 – our global engineering talent search continues to offer the ultimate work placement for the cream of engineering undergraduate talent.
This year we'll take a winner from each of the Regional Finals, from China, Europe (including Russia), Canada, Mexico, Asia & Oceania, with the Middle East and United States to be confirmed. Truly global talent on an international stage.
What tips would you give to applicants for 2016?
Volpe: We want candidates that dare to be different – candidates who think about challenges from fresh angles and are brimming with the kind of creative human talents that we believe drive the greatest advances in high performance technologies. ‘Game changers’ may sound clichéd, but the automotive industry and F1 have never been more competitive, so we need the best of the best.