Owen Heaney Wins 2018 Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future Award
Williams and Autosport are pleased to announce Owen Heaney, from Imperial College London, as the winner of the 2018 Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future Award.
Owen collected the accolade at the annual Autosport Awards at Grosvenor House Hotel, London yesterday evening 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 several of the UK’s leading universities nominated their star engineering students. Five finalists were selected to take part in a two-day assessment workshop at the Williams headquarters in Grove on 10-11 October 2018.
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, Williams Chief Technical Officer
- Nicola Salter, Williams Human Resources Director
- Sir Patrick Head, Williams co-founder and former Technical Director
- Edd Straw, Autosport Grand Prix Editor
Owen 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, Owen will also get the unique opportunity to work in the team’s race operations division and gain experience at a Grand Prix. The three previous award winners, Elisabeth Thompson, Sam O’Neill and Martins Zalmans, are currently at Williams on their respective placements, and will provide a reference for Owen 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; “the Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future Award is a unique scheme and is about inspiring the next generation of engineers. In the end an engineer must be a leader, they do the science, the discovery, and to make it happen which often involves influencing others and persuading them to your idea. After a lot of deliberation, the judges and I have decided unanimously that the winner is Owen Heaney. He is an incredibly intelligent individual, he responded fantastically to all of our technical challenges and we look forward to welcoming Owen to Williams.”
Edd Straw, Autosport Grand Prix Editor, added, “there have been plenty of awards for drivers over the years, but this is an opportunity to really push engineers. This about finding a real elite engineer that could go on to be the technical director of a Formula One team.”