The University of Southampton
Engineering and the EnvironmentPostgraduate study

Francis Harrold MSc Race Car Aerodynamics, 2016

Current student

Francis Harrold's Photo

The interaction between Southampton and employers has been really good. The level of research going on here is really impressive and is related to what’s actually going on currently in industry. After graduating, you can jump straight into a job and do what you’ve done here, in industry.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

It was mainly because it was the only place in the UK which offered this specific course. Motorsports has always been a big passion of mine, and so it was something I wanted to follow.

What’s been the best thing about studying here?

The interaction with employers has been really good. The level of research going on here is really impressive, and related to what’s actually going on currently in industry. We aren’t learning things that can’t be applied in the real world; you’re learning stuff that is right out there, and you can jump straight into a job and do what you’ve done here in industry.

Could you sum up your project?

I’m studying how to improve the aerodynamic performance of a race car front wing by looking at introducing a jet on the suction side of the aerofoil to reduce drag and to increase circulation around the aerofoil using CFD simulations.

What’s been the best part about doing this project?

As much as you learn a lot in lectures, finding things out for yourself through your project gives you such a broad experience which can be applied anywhere in industry. It’s one thing being taught things and repeating them, but it’s another to learn yourself. Showing your progress at events like the Masters Poster Presentation and having people interested in your research is really nice. It’s good to have support from other people.

What are your plans after you’ve finished your course?

I’m hoping to get a job working in Formula One. I’ve got a few interviews lined up in the future, so I am hoping they’ll go well. So either that, or working in some kind of aerodynamic aspect in aerospace or motorsport.

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