McLaren, Ron Dennis working hard on STEM initiatives

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Want a career in Formula One as an engineer?

McLaren Racing knows where the next group of race engineers is coming from and it’s doing all it can to enhance the education of young, enthusiastic students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by participating in a UK government program called “Your Life”.

Ron Dennis, chairman and chief executive officer of McLaren Group invited Rt Hon. George Osborne, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister), to visit McLaren Technology Centre on Friday, June 27 so he could see firsthand the type of work available to those that participate in the campaign to boost education in STEM programs.

(L to R): Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director with Ron Dennis, McLaren Executive Chairman
(L to R): Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director with Ron Dennis, McLaren Executive Chairman

Photo by: XPB Images

While Dennis realizes Britain has a huge history in boosting engineering and racing - with most Formula 1 teams based in the UK - he wants to do more - and that’s essential to the UK’s great success in motorsports. “With continued government backing, I think we can grow the number of high tech firms here in the UK. We can rejuvenate our manufacturing industry and Britain can help tackle the global challenges that confront us,” Dennis said.

While on the McLaren Technology Centre campus, Osborne will discuss career paths available to students in high technology companies - even as I’m sure he’ll learn a lot about how major motorsports operates. Osborne’s hosts are a group of female engineers from across the McLaren group of companies. He’ll also have the opportunity to meet young women from Waldergrave School, who are recent winners of the GSK McLaren Scientists in Sport challenge, designed to inspire students to continue STEM education and assume technical careers.

“The ‘Your Life’ campaign is part of a long term economic plan to support our high growth sectors across science, tech and engineering,” Osborne said prior to his visit, “by bringing together some of Britain’s best businesses, institutions and government. This fantastic commitment by McLaren will help inspire even more young people into well-paid jobs in these exciting industries that are essential to our economic prosperity.”

More than 180 companies and institutions have signed up to participate in the Your Life campaign, all stating they’ll do more to highlight STEM career opportunities. Some of these firms, which include Google, O’Oreal, Microsoft, Ford, BP, Airbus, Nestle, Samsung, The science Museum and, now, McLaren Group are creating new entry level job opportunities and extending their outreach programs to ensure the need for qualified technicians can be met.

Britain is taking a hugely proactive stance in supporting technology and enhancing the racing community by training and encouraging scientifically-bent students to discover the world of racing. It’s a good stance to take.

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Series F1
Article type Commentary
Tags mclaren, mclaren technology technology, ron dennis, stem

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