McLaren scholarship the road to supercars
A University of Auckland student has won the first international internship offered by UK supercar maker McLaren Automotive.
Andrew McLaren (no relation) will spend nine weeks at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking in the UK, working alongside the company's research and development engineers at the site where the cars that helped make the McLaren name in Formula 1 are produced.
"I can't wait, it's a field that is very hard to get into because there is very little opportunity in New Zealand, so I thought I would never get a chance like this," said Andrew McLaren who is a third-year Faculty of Engineering student in the field of mechatronics which is a mix of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering.
The McLaren name is synonymous with high-performance sports cars and international car racing. Since its foundation in 1963, McLaren teams have won 20 World Championships in Formula 1.
Born in Auckland, company founder Bruce McLaren was a champion Grand Prix driver and pioneering engineer, inventor and innovator. He studied at the University of Auckland before travelling to England on a similar "Driver to Europe" scholarship nearly 60 years ago, founding his racing company in 1963.
McLaren companies have diversified in recent times, with the innovation and research arm, McLaren Applied Technologies, providing research and development in electronics, telemetry, materials technology and human performance monitoring.
Andrew McLaren says he is particularly interested in the research and development side of the company's activities and in efforts it has made to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2011, the McLaren Formula 1 racing team declared it was carbon neutral.
"I would love to be at the forefront of that kind of innovative thinking, I'd really like to do something that would benefit society."
Born and raised in Dargaville, Andrew McLaren attended Dargaville High School before starting his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics.
Bruce McLaren was tragically killed in 1970 at the age of 32 while testing one of his cars at the Goodwood track in England.
Amanda McLaren, brand ambassador for McLaren Automotive and daughter of Bruce, said: "I'm delighted to welcome Andrew to McLaren Automotive to continue his education. Even though my father passed away many years ago, the connection between McLaren and New Zealand remains very strong and the parallels in both of their early careers is especially poignant."