Motor engineer tells students how washing machine helped launch her career

Post by Kevin Jackson on 21st February 2014 in General industry, Laundry, Technology

Motor engineer tells students how washing machine helped launch her career

An attempt to get a pair of battered and muddy boots clean in a washing machine helped inspire a female engineering graduate to embark on a career in the heady atmosphere of Formula One motor racing.

Alice Rowlands has spoken to staff at the higher educational establishment from where she obtained her degree to tell them how the exercise was part of an experiment in vibration testing, carried out in 2010.

"We turned an old washing machine into a makeshift test rig in the workshop," Alice has now told officials at her old London establishment.

"The experiment worked perfectly, and we even put a picture of the ‘rig’ in our project report,” she reported.

A year later, Alice graduated with a first class honours degree, and now works on developing computer models enabling engineers to analyse the track performance of some of the fastest cars in the world.

Alice told of her experiences when she returned to participate in an event at which current undergraduates met a selection of Imperial College London alumni who have taken part in the same ongoing project as her, which has so far involved more than 700 students.

Each year, the students take part in races with other universities around the world, and the reunion, held this month, showed that they had gone on to successful careers in many diverse parts of the motoring industry. 

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