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NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- INFINITI has announced the launch of the 2019 edition of its renowned INFINITI Engineering Academy, its global search for the top engineering recruits in the world. The 2019 edition marks the sixth consecutive year of the Academy, which will give seven global engineering students the opportunity to work with INFINITI and Renault F1® Team on a unique 12-month paid placement.
Since 2014, the INFINITI Engineering Academy has provided a unique leaping stone for highly motivated engineering students to enter the automotive and motorsport world. Since then, 50 percent of all winners accelerated their careers by securing full-time roles at either INFINITI or in F1® following their placement. With some former winners still finishing their studies, this percentage is set to increase in 2019, as the selection process for new engineers gets underway.
This success is possible thanks to the Alliance, which facilitates a close collaboration between INFINITI and Renault F1® Team. For the 2019 edition, seven global regions will participate – Asia & Oceania, Canada, China, Europe (including Russia), Mexico, the Middle East and the U.S. – each offering one of the seven placements available.
“Recruiting new engineering talent is key for INFINITI and the wider Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance,” said Tommaso Volpe, director Motorsport & Performance Projects, INFINITI Global. “At INFINITI, we believe that human talent is the driving force behind technology, and we constantly strive to keep our talent pool revitalized. The INFINITI Engineering Academy, as a global talent search that successfully mixes multi-culturalism with academic and engineering excellence, helps us do this. It’s no accident that several of the Academy alumni stay at INFINITI, Renault F1 Team or within the Alliance after their placements.”
Having launched the careers of previous winners, the INFINITI Engineering Academy is the most successful technical recruitment initiative of its kind and the only one that offers a placement in both automotive and F1®. One of its key pillars is exploring crossover opportunities and the sharing of technology between INFINITI road car and Renault F1® Team race car projects. With this added depth of knowledge transfer and the enhanced scope for collaboration that the Alliance brings, the INFINITI Engineering Academy will provide an unmatched range of experiences and opportunities to the seven 2019 winners.
“We want to create openings for these young engineers,” said Volpe. “Thanks to our Technical Partnership with Renault F1® Team, the Academy can provide these opportunities and, for our winners, a route into the automotive or F1 industries. As a result, interest in the program has grown exponentially. Almost 30,000 people have registered since the first edition in 2014, and we believe it will keep growing in the future.”
Marcin Budkowski, executive director, Renault F1® Team, also commented: “Attracting top new talent is crucial for success in Formula One™, and the INFINITI Engineering Academy contributes a great deal in that respect. It’s a fantastic initiative that takes recruitment in F1® to a whole new level, and that brings new and diverse thinking to the sport. The INFINITI Academy Engineers bring fresh ideas and different perspectives to the team, which are key to our continued progress.”
This one-of-a-kind global search for the world’s best up-and-coming engineers will provide each of the seven winners with a career opportunity of a lifetime, complete with travel, accommodation, an INFINITI company car, salary and the opportunity to work alongside world-leading engineers at the cutting edge of the automotive and motorsport industries.
For more information on the INFINITI Engineering Academy or to apply, please visit academy.infiniti.com.
Previous INFINITI Engineering Academy Winners:
As the European winner of the 2015 edition of the INFINITI Engineering Academy, Daniel Sanham has been working full-time as an electronics engineer at Renault F1® Team since the summer of 2017. Sanham was offered an employment contract with still one year of his degree to complete.
“The INFINITI Engineering Academy gave me the opportunity to prove my talent and passion for engineering in front of people who could have significant and positive influences on my career,” said Sanham. “If you have what it takes, the Academy really is the place to be. I learned so much over the 12 months of my placement with INFINITI and Renault F1® Team that I felt fully prepared to begin my dream career and have never looked back.”
During his placement at INFINITI, the 27-year-old was working on various aspects of the new INFINITI Q30, including the testing of the electronic systems and components within the vehicle.
Xuezi (Sally) Li
During her placement with Renault F1® Team, 25-year-old Chinese student Xuezi (Sally) Li was working within the aero department. At Enstone she helped the team with a new rear wing concept that was used on the R.S.17 at the end of the 2017 Formula 1 season.
Originally from Chengdu in China and a student of automotive engineering, the success from winning the INFINITI Engineering Academy gave Li a life-changing opportunity. “I was working on extracting performance from the Renault F1® Team rear wing,” said Li. “Who gets to do that, at my age, and from my background? This is an opportunity like no other.”
Following her experience, Li decided to specialize in this field of engineering and afterwards studied a PhD in aerodynamics at Imperial College, London. She has now started a permanent position as an aerodynamics engineer at the INFINITI Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield.
Frenchman Damien Turlay, 25, triumphed in the 2017 European final of the INFINITI Engineering Academy which was held at the Renault F1® Team base at Enstone.
After finishing his placement, Turlay secured a full-time position and is now working at the Renault Sport Racing powertrain research and development facilities in Viry-Châtillon, on the outskirts of Paris. Viry is the site that develops the 1.6-litre hybrid turbocharged power unit that powers the Renault F1® Team race cars.
Turlay is now part of a group of INFINITI performance hybrid technology engineers who work together with Renault Sport Racing engineers in the co-development and optimization of the second-generation Energy Recovery System (ERS) within the power unit. The transferable technologies between F1 and the automotive industry have also seen Turlay working on the powertrain development of the new INFINIT Project Black S road car.
In 2017, Alexandros Palaiologos was the first ever winner of the INFINITI Engineering Academy from Mexico. After completing his year at the INFINITI Technical Centre Europe and with Renault F1® Team, Palaiologos went back to Mexico to finish his studies.
Last summer marked the beginning of the 26-year-old’s full-time career in premium-sector automotive engineering as he graduated and was welcomed back to the INFINITI Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield in July last year with a permanent engineering position.
“It was a dream come true for me,” said Palaiologos. “To be the first Mexican winner against such tough competition was an incredible achievement and one of the most rewarding days of my life. I have always wanted to work in the automotive industry and winning the INFINITI Engineering Academy changed my life.”
During his placement, Palaiologos visited Barcelona to watch the shakedown of the R.S.17 F1 car and helped design aero parts as they developed from prototypes to homologation across a six-month production cycle. “I’m glad I followed my passion and embraced the challenge,” said Palaiologos.
2018 INFINITI Academy Engineer from Canada Matthew Crossan (25) secured full-time employment with Renault F1® Team as a Simulation Development Engineer in the Vehicle Performance Group. His new position brings him one-step closer to his ambition of becoming a race engineer.
“Before the team travels to a track, we simulate what set up to use at each Formula One™ race. My role within the team will be to improve and develop the simulation tools to ensure optimum performance output from the car. That simulation produces future ideas which we can later evolve,” said Crossan.
Nine months into his placement, Crossan started to have regular discussions with Renault F1® Team about his career and future opportunities and, when he received an offer, he accepted without hesitation.
"It has always been my dream to work in a motorsport team as an engineer," said Crossan. "I am so happy I got the opportunity thanks to the INFINITI Engineering Academy; it is an incredible program that gives young engineers like me the chance to live their dream."
INFINITI Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with representations in markets around the world. The INFINITI brand was launched in 1989. Its range of luxury automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan, North America and China. INFINITI design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing. INFINITI will electrify its entire lineup from 2021 onward. The brand has been widely acclaimed for its daring design and world’s first driver-assistance technologies. From the 2016 season, INFINITI is a technical partner of the Renault F1 Team, contributing its expertise in hybrid performance.
Find more information about INFINITI, its industry leading technologies and the all-new 2019 QX50 midsize luxury crossover at www.infinitiusa.com. You can also follow INFINITI USA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and see all our latest videos on YouTube.
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A video accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b390e91b-d96b-48cc-a075-50487e6f4f60