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Homepage / Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc student Sam Lowe realises F1 dream with Cranfield

Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc student Sam Lowe realises F1 dream with Cranfield


Sam Lowe is an Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc student. Here, he talks about his journey to Cranfield from New Zealand, who inspires him, and his exciting job offer from the Red Bull Formula 1 team.

Can you tell us a bit about your life before you came to Cranfield?

Before leaving my home in New Zealand to come to Cranfield, I had just completed my first year as a Junior Research and Development Engineer for Dodson Motorsport, who are based in Auckland, New Zealand. Previously, I completed a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechatronics from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

What inspired your passion for motorsport?

Growing up in New Zealand, the story of our local hero Bruce McLaren inspired my interest in Formula 1. I have always been passionate about maths, physics, and problem-solving. So, after receiving a copy of Bruce McLaren’s autobiography “From the Cockpit” at age 15, I had my sights set on becoming a motorsport engineer. My dream of one day working in Formula 1 has shaped many of the decisions I have made since then.

Why did you choose the Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc?

The Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc is highly regarded within industry and offers a unique opportunity for postgraduate engineers who wish to make their mark in the world of motorsport.

I discovered Cranfield after looking through the current graduates of different Formula 1 teams. I noticed that a lot of them had completed the Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc here at Cranfield. I reached out to some alumni, who were happy to share their experiences. After that, Cranfield seemed like the obvious choice.

How are you finding your course? What are the highlights?

So far, the course has absolutely exceeded my expectations. The coursework, while challenging, is very relevant to the current motorsport industry. Being taught by experienced and passionate lecturers has made the course very enjoyable.

Some of the highlights have been a visit to the Mercedes AMG Petronas headquarters in Brackley, and a guest lecture from FIA CTO and Formula 1 legend, Pat Symonds.

What is your experience of Cranfield so far?

My experience here at Cranfield has been very positive. Cranfield attracts a lot of talented young people from around the world which is an incredible and unique environment to be a part of.

You have recently accepted a job offer with the Red Bull Formula 1 team. Congratulations! Can you tell us more about the application process and your future role?

I’ll be one of 12 graduates joining the Red Bull Engineering Academy in 2024. This is a two-year programme consisting of three eight-month rotations in Red Bull Powertrains and Red Bull Advanced Technologies. In September, I will begin my first rotation with Red Bull Powertrains working in PU design ICE, for the team’s 2026 F1 Power Unit.

There were several steps involved in the application process. The first round of successful applicants received an online test, that was tailored to the department you applied for, with 11 technical engineering questions. From the initial 5,000 applications, 48 candidates were invited to the Red Bull technology campus to take part in the assessment centre. This involved a group challenge, individual presentation and technical interview. Although we were certainly put through our paces that day, it is an experience I will never forget.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to work in the motorsport industry?

My advice for anyone interested in pursuing a career in motorsport is to go out and find hands-on experience at any level, whether it’s wiping windscreens or sweeping the pit lane. Getting your hands dirty and operating outside you comfort zone is the fastest way to learn and grow — I think that applies to all areas of life.

Who is your professional inspiration?

My professional inspiration has always been Bruce McLaren. His audacity to dream big as a young Kiwi driver enabled him to reach great heights and make a lasting impact in the world of motorsport.

What else should we know about you?

I have also drawn a great amount of inspiration from my parents and my siblings. Without their guidance and support, I wouldn’t have been able to put myself in this position, and that is something I will always be grateful for.

Find out more about the Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc
“Cranfield seemed like the obvious choice.”

Written By: Cranfield University

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