When motivation is in the driver’s seat, dreams come true

UPM Racing

Three years ago, when I was starting my undergraduate studies in industrial technology at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), I got an email that would change my life forever. It was about UPM Racing, the university’s Formula Student team, of which I am now the captain.

Formula Student is an international competition in which students from different fields, mainly engineering, design and build vehicles to compete in their own small-scale Formula 1.

Every summer, teams from the most prestigious universities in the world gather for a week in some of the most iconic places in the world of auto racing, such as Hockenheim and Silverstone, to present their designs before a demanding professional panel. These designs then make the leap from CAD to the real world in a series of timed trials, designed to test the reliability of the vehicles, best practices in how they were built, and the feasibility of the innovations seen every year at these events.

I’m not lying when I say that the email described one of my greatest fantasies: to design a race car and then compete with it on the same circuits where the best racing drivers in the world test the limits of the designs of the best engineers in the world. It’s no surprise, then, that I threw myself into the project.

UPM Racing

In my first year, I was a member of the High Voltage division, where I was in charge of maintaining, tuning, and improving the high-voltage battery and all its associated components. I enjoyed the experience so much that the following year, I took over the management of the division, which helped me discover a new side of the engineering profession: project management, for a real-world project, no less.

In fact, for me, one of the best things about Formula Student is that it allows students to face real problems, with real consequences, before venturing out into the work world. This means that when we graduate, we have practically unbeatable experience under our belt.

UPM Racing

I still can’t begin to fully appreciate the impact UPM Racing has had on my life, not just in terms of technical and professional skills, but also at a personal level. In the three years I’ve been on the team, I’ve had the opportunity to meet truly incredible people, many of whom have become close friends, and without whom the project wouldn’t have been possible.

I thought it couldn’t get any better than this, but when GMV became the team’s sponsor, I found out I was wrong. It’s truly a privilege to have a leading engineering company among our main backers, as their involvement has been key in bringing about a major step forward for the whole team.

The visibility this sponsorship has given us both within Spain and internationally, as well as the opportunity to get an up-close look at the inner workings of such a powerhouse company, an inspiration for our team, are two of the advantages of our collaboration. And the company has given us a boost not only as a team, but also as individuals, by taking on members of the team as interns at GMV, furthering their careers in the best possible way.

UPM Racing

Now, as a third-year student and the head of the team, it’s time for me to put everything I’ve learned into practice and take UPM Racing to the top as we continue striving to outdo ourselves and improve our designs. And all of this is possible thanks to the support of companies such as GMV.


Author: Adrián Vázquez Castillejo

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