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First students to join the Randstad Williams Engineering Academy announced

The RWEA is an innovative new scheme that will see Williams and Randstad mentor students from across the world as they bid to secure a career as Formula One engineers.

The winning students were selected from a pool of candidates competing in the 2015 F1 in Schools World Finals competition held in Singapore from September 13-16. F1 in Schools is a global not-for-profit STEM competition that sees students design, build and race miniature racing cars.

Following a series of written submissions and group exercises that were overseen by a joint Williams and Randstad assessment panel, the 11 students chosen for the Randstad Williams Engineering Academy, demonstrated the passion, commitment and raw skills needed to join this exclusive program. The students were informed of their selection at Wednesday’s F1 in School’s World Finals Gala Dinner in Singapore, with Deb Loveridge, managing director Randstad Asia Pacific, Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams, and Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds making the announcement. The first cohort of students are based in 6 different countries and comprise:

Ana Andrade (Portugal)

George Britton & Maximilian Britton (US)

Devansh Dhard (Germany)

Aaron Hannon (Republic of Ireland)

Peter Henderson & Freya King (Australia)

William Mattar, James Rodger, Rachel Scott & Declan Southern (UK)

Year one of the Academy officially begins on October 1, 2015 and will see the students complete a series of motorsport-themed e-learning modules that have been developed by Williams in partnership with Cambridge University Press, the world’s leading educational publisher. Each student has an experienced Williams engineer as a tutor or & lsquo;mentor’ to guide them through the e-learning activities and provide advice on a motorsport career.

Academies designed to identify and train future racing drivers have existed in Formula One for a number of years, but this is the first scheme of its kind dedicated to identifying and supporting a new generation of F1 engineering stars.

Randstad will be using its global presence and extensive experience of global education systems and vocational skills training to help Williams in the ongoing assessment of the students and will provide practical career advice and work experience opportunities in their respective home countries.

This is a competitive scheme, with each cohort of students gradually whittled down in numbers based on performance criteria. The goal is for successful graduates of the Academy to join Williams upon completion of their university studies. 

Randstad CEO, Jacques van den Broek, commented, “We are very excited to have the first students join the RWEA. Scarcity in STEM profiles is a worldwide issue. Involving a new generation at such an early stage in their academic careers is crucial to address the skills gap later on. The RWEA illustrates our commitment in engineering recruitment and training, and it deepens our partnership with Williams.”

Speaking about the selection process Pat Symonds, chief technical officer at Williams, said, “Formula One is a global sport and we wanted to spread our net far and wide to identify some of the world’s brightest and best engineering stars. My colleagues and I have been extremely impressed with the talent on display this week at the F1 in Schools World Finals and the first group of students are extremely impressive individuals with a lot of passion. We will now be working with Randstad to give these students an early insight into the skills needed to secure a career in Formula One and we look forward to seeing their progress in the coming years.”  

Ana Andrade, a chosen student from Portugal, added, “This is a very exciting program and the selection progress was very enjoyable too, both at the assessment center in Singapore and the original application stage. Being able to study engineering with the help of people who really know what they’re doing and are at the top of their field is a very unique opportunity and I’m really looking forward to meeting my mentor.”

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