Formula One (F1) connectivity specialist Voip Unlimited has continued with its sponsorship of local Southampton University Formula Student Team (SUFST) for the fourth year running, to incentivise the new electronics & telemetry focus.
The firm’s forte with F1 originates from the avionics and motorsport IT specialist MD who founded Voip Unlimited in 2006.
Mark Pillow who is known in the industry for his company’s competence with harmonising MPLS and telephony solutions for multiple F1 teams globally, helps the student team not only with funds, but also setting annual improvement challenges and acting as a technical mentor should they face engineering barriers.
With this year’s challenge to create a custom telemetry system with a Mobile Command Centre, SUFST could utilise the power of sophisticated communications for data-acquisition, to respond to the car’s endurance focus, in real-time.
As the only tangible extra curricular project offering tough decision-making skills required in real life firms, SUFST produces solid engineering abilities to employers straight out of university alongside their degree certificate, which in the growing STEM industry is paramount. Being on the SUFST committee has often been the only thing students have discussed in successful interviews for crucial placements. These placements then recycle into knowledge and ideas when they return to the team for their final year.
Mark says, “Formula One is an engineering sport. The magnitude of the teams behind the scenes is incredible. I like to see younger generations seeking knowledge in this field as the sport is going from strength to strength. These incredible students are getting stuck into this alongside challenging degrees, so when I can be a part of helping them go full circle, with many now working in some of the largest F1 teams which utilise our connectivity solutions for the real races, then I am happy.
“As title sponsor, I see my responsibility as a mentor to instil ‘Plan, Do, Review’. I present engineering challenges based on their weaknesses which we review each year, I will continue pushing the team to sustain their performance spike, and achieve the goal of finishing top 20 in Europe with the staple VU logo on the rear wing.”
Nathan Vosper, president/ team leader of SUFST, adds “Voip Unlimited has been our longest and most influential industry partner. Their support has been an integral part of our development as a young team. Over the past two years, their support has helped 11 of our members secure placements and graduate positions at top Formula 1 teams including Mercedes, Sahara Force India, Jaguar and Red Bull Racing.
“Voip Unlimited supporting SUFST has kick started multiple careers and most recently enabled skills to start a business which could save life in aerospace with an engineering invention to stop autopilot failures.”