McLaren Automotive says 19-year-old first year mechanical engineering student Sam Legge has been selected as the winner of the UK STEM Award automotive technology category.
A BEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering student at the University of the West of England, Bristol, Sam pitched to the McLaren judges at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, in a closely fought competition.
His idea for a ‘fully integrated telematic navigation system’ that allows drivers to exploit the potential of connected car technologies in an integrated way impressed the judges.
While vehicles are becoming ever smarter and more connected, McLaren owners will always love the thrill of driving and Sam’s idea answered the tough brief by showing how technology can be used in McLaren’s future vehicles in a way that ensures they continue to engage customers in the entertainment of driving.
The finalists presented a variety of ideas ranging from mechanical sound augmentation to enhance the audio engagement of electric cars to augmented reality driver coaching, mobile connectivity and contextual smart driving aids.
They were judged by Geoff Grose, Chief Engineer – Sports Series for McLaren Automotive, Dr Caroline Hargrove, Technical Director for McLaren Applied Technologies – McLaren Automotive’s sister-company that helped to develop the hybrid powertrain of the McLaren P1, the world’s first hybrid hypercar – and Rebecca Corker, Head of HR for Corporate Functions at McLaren Automotive.
McLaren’s involvement in the Awards is part of its long-term commitment to encourage the uptake of STEM subjects. That commitment includes a network of McLaren STEM Ambassadors who regularly visit schools, colleges and science fairs, as well as support for schemes that reach younger age-groups, such as the BBC Live Lesson on physical forces that was broadcast live from the McLaren Technology Centre to primary schools across the UK last year.
Once the candidates gave their presentations, they were treated to a tour that included a glimpse into the McLaren Production Centre where the company hand-assembles its cars, hosted by Amanda McLaren herself, Bruce McLaren’s daughter and company brand ambassador.
Now in their fifth year, the UK STEM Awards promote science, technology, engineering and maths-based careers. McLaren Automotive is supporting the automotive technology category which is aimed at talented undergraduate students and helps showcase the company’s constant drive to hire the best talent needed to develop the next generation of world-beating sportscars and supercars.
Geoff Grose, said, “All of the finalists demonstrated enthusiasm, maturity and a passion for their innovative ideas. Sam impressed us with his confident, well-structured presentation which explored a series of well-connected ideas to ensure that driving enjoyment can thrive in an autonomous and connected future. He also demonstrated an ability to expand on his ideas when responding to the range of tricky questions from the judging panel.”
Sam will now go on to compete for the prize of overall UK STEM Awards winner at the prestigious final to be held in London this summer which will see the eventual winner take home a £25,000 prize.