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Young British engineer wins Renault F1 placement

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A British woman has won an international competition for a Renault F1 engineering scholarship with her work on enhancing energy efficiency through moveable aerodynamics.

Helen Makey, 22, who was a team leader in the Cambridge University Formula Student entry and holds a MEng in Mechanical Engineering, is due to join the team for a six-month placement later this year.


Helen, whose hobbies include karting and road rallying, learned she had won at the final of the 2009 Altran Engineering Academy (AEA) competition, held at the ING Renault F1 Team’s Technical Centre in Enstone, Oxfordshire.

Founded in 2004, the AEA is an initiative that exists to help talented youngsters establish a career in Formula One.

Renault says that it was founded as a ‘star academy’ with the goal of giving young engineers the chance to prove themselves at the highest level.

It says the result has been a runaway success, with more than 1,000 young engineers entering detailed technical projects in the competition since 2004. Ms Makey is its sixth winner.

Following in the footsteps of predecessors from the UK, Spain, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Brazil, she will begin her placement in the Research and Development department of the Renault F1 Team under the tutelage of Dr Robin Tuluie, the department head.

She said: “To win this competition is a dream come true. The chance to be part of the Renault Team is very special and provides me with an excellent opportunity to put my studies into practice in the dynamic world of Formula One. I’d like to thank Altran, Total and or course the Renault F1 Team for giving me this chance.”

Helen was competing against candidates from Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland, and was judged the winner by jury members including Dr Tuluie, Alfonso Martinez, Director for Altran Technologies in Spain, Olivier Guillaud, Senior Consultant in the partnership between Altran and Renault F1 Team, and Total’s F1 Engineering Expert, Philippe Girard.

Dr Tuluie said: “After six years I continue to be impressed by the quality and the level of thought these young engineers bring to the competition.

“Their passion and ideas are inspiring and I am proud some of them will have the opportunity to fulfil their dream with the Renault F1 Team.”


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