Wind Tunnel Engineer
RoKit Williams Racing
Due to the current global uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and the interruption to studies for so many students, we decided to reach out to the F1 family for some motivation and inspiration.
— What is your name and job title?
Andrew Down – RoKit Williams Racing Wind Tunnel Engineer.
— Could you give me a summary of your job role?
Operate and Maintain Wind Tunnel Testing for F1 and customer projects.
— What did you want to be when you grew up?
— When did you know you wanted to work in Formula 1?
12 years old.
— What was your biggest challenge
Going back to University for a second time after having a career in IT for 6+ years.
— How did you handle the crossover to a different career? Did you face any major challenges?
The crossover really was going back to University to study motorsport engineering. My science and maths were a bit rusty and only to a GCSE level, so the biggest challenge for me was the step up to learning A Level/University level maths after being out of education for so long. But with hard work putting in extra study hours I was able to overcome this and achieve over 70% in the exams.
— What other jobs did you have before your current role?
IT Delivery Consultant, Formula 3 Mechanic and Race Engineer.
— What subjects and courses did you take?
11 GCSE’s including English, Maths and Sciences
BSc in Media Production
BEng in Motorsport Engineering
— What advice would you give to people wanting to do what you do?
Work hard, achieve high grades, get as much hands-on/track experience as you can (mechanic, tyres, etc) and network with motorsport teams and people. LinkedIn is a powerful tool – make full use of it.
— Any other comments or advice?
If there is a particular job you want to do – layout the best path to achieve it.
— What’s the best thing you did to get to where you are today?
Going back to university to re-train as a motorsport engineer. The experience and skills I gained at the University of Wolverhampton really helped get me to where I am today.
Thank you Andrew for sharing your journey with us!