Andrew Shovlin

When I was choosing where to study, the University of Leeds really stood out. Here they really embraced the use of computers in engineering and integrated them into teaching too. So in 1992 I was excited to start my degree in mechanical engineering at the very leading edge of the digital revolution!

In my final year I found vehicle dynamics a fascinating subject and really wanted to learn more. For my final year project I didn’t just build a kit car; I also wrote a mathematical simulation of its suspension system. After my BEng, I was offered funding for a PhD helping to develop a military logistics vehicle. This work taught me the importance of using modelling tools to develop ‘real world’ engineering solutions.

Following my PhD I became a vehicle dynamics specialist with British American Racing, a start-up F1 team. At that time my only experience of racing cars was through the Formula Student competition, but the skills I had developed during my studies meant I coped well.

After two years in research and development, I moved to trackside engineering. I’ve since enjoyed a number of years as a Performance Engineer and a Race Engineer. Today I am Chief Race Engineer for the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, still using the knowledge, techniques and computer skills I first learned at Leeds.