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Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future Announced at 2017 Autosport Awards

04 Dec 2017

Williams and Autosport are pleased to announce Martins Zalmans, from Bath University, as the winner of the 2017 Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future Award.

Martins collected the accolade at the annual Autosport Awards at Grosvenor House Hotel, London last night where he was announced as the latest recipient of the prestigious award.

Launched in 2015, the Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future Award is an exciting annual award that names an engineering student from a UK university as a rising star of Formula One engineering, and supports them with an accelerated career development programme at Williams.

Following a targeted application process, through which a number of the UK’s leading universities nominated their star engineering students for consideration, five finalists were selected to take part in a two-day assessment workshop at the Williams headquarters in Grove on 12th and 13th October 2017.

The evaluation days challenged the candidates across a range of engineering tasks, testing their teamwork and approach, and the depth and breadth of their technical knowledge, to determine personality fit and leadership traits as well as pure engineering skills.

In addition to several technical tasks, the finalists also completed a professional development personality analysis and sat an engineering exam written by Williams Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe.

The students were assessed by a panel of judges comprising leading industry, academic, media and Formula One personnel;

-     Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer at Williams
- Nicola Salter, HR Director at Williams
- Edd Straw, Autosport magazine
- Tony Purnell, Former Team Principal of the Jaguar and Red Bull Formula One teams and Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge
- Richard Parry-Jones CBE, previously Group Vice President of Global Product Development, Chief Technical Officer and Head of Global R&D Operations at Ford Motor Company

Martins will now join Williams on an initial two-year placement in an accelerated development programme. He will be mentored by senior engineers and rotate through various areas of Williams before finding his specialism. During the placement, Martins will also get the unique opportunity to work in the team’s race operations division and gain experience at a Grand Prix. First and second year award winners, Elisabeth Thompson and Sam O’Neill, are currently at Williams on their respective placements, and will provide a reference for Martins as to what to expect during his initial two-year programme at Williams.  

Speaking about this year’s winner Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer at Williams, said; “This award is about finding a leader of the future, so a great engineer who may take on a senior leadership role in future years in the sport. We had great candidates but in the end, the judges were unanimous in picking Martins as our winner for this year. His technical understanding was extremely high and he’s very motivated to be an engineer. He came from Latvia on his own initiative to study for his A-Levels and pursue a career in the industry, and he has a real love of both the practical and theoretical sides of engineering. Martins will now complete his degree before joining us in September 2018, where he will begin his two-year programme that will be specially tailored to him. We look forward to welcoming him to the team.”

Stuart Williams, Publishing Director, Autosport said "Now in its third successful year, this award has become established as a major identifier of first class engineering talent - a path to an extraordinary career in Formula One.  Autosport is proud to participate in the selection process and we thank Williams Martini Racing for their dedication and commitment to the programme.  Martins is clearly one to watch and we wish him every success in his career, which roars forward from here."