Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve had its fair share of action during the 2019 running of the Canadian Grand Prix, but there was also some rigorous competition taking place off-track leading up to the lone Canadian date on the Formula 1 calendar.
Now in its sixth year, the Infiniti Engineering Academy is a global search for the world’s top engineering talent. Prior to the race weekend, 10 finalists from across the country participated in a series of exams, tests, intensive interviews and team competitions for the chance of becoming Canada’s 2019 victor. Calgary, Alberta native Matthew Kemp was crowned the winner on the Thursday leading up to Grand Prix weekend.
The 20-year-old University of Calgary mechanical engineering student was selected by a panel of judges from Infiniti, the Renault F1 team, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and Harvard University, beating out nine fellow finalists during the series of competitions, and hundreds of applicants from across Canada.
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“I’m super excited to be moving to the UK to work with some of the best engineers in the world at Renault F1 and Infiniti.” said an ecstatic Kemp after being presented with the honour by Renault F1 Team driver Daniel Ricciardo and Infiniti Canada Managing Director, Adam Paterson.
The career opportunity of a lifetime comes complete with travel, accommodations, access to an Infiniti vehicle, competitive salary and a six-month work placement at Renault’s Formula 1 Technical Centre in Enstone and six months at Infiniti’s European Technical Centre in Cranfield starting in January 2020. Canada was the first location on the tour. One lucky and talented winner will also be selected from six more global regions, including Asia & Oceania, China, Europe, Mexico, the Middle East and United States.
“At Infiniti, we believe that human talent is the driving force behind technology,” said Tommaso Volpe, Director of Global Motorsport & Performance Projects, “The Engineering Academy has been incredibly successful; it has allowed us to discover the best emerging talent around the world.”
Last year’s winner Chase Pelletier is currently finishing up his work term at Renault F1 where he is working on performance optimization. Downloading and extrapolating data, he helps the team to ensure they are setting up their cars for the best chance of success at each circuit and its unique conditions.
“It’s such a huge opportunity,” said Pelletier, speaking directly from personal experience, “There is a lot of pressure, but also excitement because of the possibility to skyrocket your career.”
The Infiniti Engineering Academy is the only recruitment program offering a placement in both automotive and F1.