Infiniti has announced that an engineering student from the University of Illinois is one of five global winners of the 2015 Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy (IPEA). For one year, Infiniti will provide 22-year-old Alex Allmandinger with the opportunity to work in Formula One with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team.
After beating 11 other finalists from around the country in an intense shootout event, Allmandinger will move to Infiniti Red Bull Racing headquarters in the UK in September to begin a 12-month placement working with the four-time Formula One World Championship Infiniti Red Bull Racing team, as well as with Infiniti.
Allmandinger will spend eight months working on Vehicle Design at the team's headquarters in Milton Keynes, UK – and four months working at Infiniti's European Technical Center in Cranfield – on road car development projects. Formula One technology is more relevant to the automotive industry than ever and will play a key role in the ongoing transfer of technical knowledge and expertise between the race team and Infiniti.
The IPEA, now in its second year, is a one-of-a-kind global search for the world's best up-and-coming engineers. For 2015, five placements were made available with one winner chosen each from Russia, Western Europe, China, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. to work in roles spanning vehicle dynamics, vehicle design, aerodynamics and electronics.
"It still hasn't sunk in, but I am incredibly excited about joining the Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy," said Allmandnger. "It really is a dream come true, and I can't wait to get started. It will be the best 12-month learning experience of my life."
Thousands of students registered their interest in this year's program, and after a series of interviews, 10 finalists in each region were selected to attend a regional final event where they were put through their paces in a structured assessment by a panel of judges from Infiniti and Infiniti Red Bull Racing.
"The caliber of entrants this year was very high, which made for a tough selection process," said Tommaso Volpe, global director, Infiniti Formula One. "If last year's winners are anything to go by, it will not be long before all of them are making a significant contribution both to us and to the race team. With F1 becoming more and more relevant to the automotive industry – and an increased focus of the placements this year being on the road car development – we are training a new generation of engineers who will play a key role in the crossover between the two industries."
Profile of Alex Allmandinger
School:University of Illinois
Hometown: Crystal Lake, Illinois
Biggest positive impact in life: "My family and friends. It's amazing being surrounded by people who want you to succeed just as badly as you do."
Most looking forward to about living/working in UK: "The opportunity to experience a new culture and a different way of life. It would be awesome to have the chance to travel through Europe as well."
Greatest strength: "To learn quickly and commit myself to the things that I am working on."