Cranfield University student secures Next Generation Award

27 November 2013 #SMMT News

At yesterday’s SMMT Annual Dinner (26 November), Jake Larsson, of Cranfield University, was announced as the winner of the 2013 Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award.

His creative idea: the Sensory Integration System impressed the judging panel of industry experts and will see him embark on a five-month paid internship with competition partners Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Peugeot, Skoda and Toyota.

Commenting on his win, Jake said, “The whole experience has been overwhelming, emotionally stimulating and I am ecstatic about the outcome.  I am truly looking forward to the once in a lifetime work experience ahead of me and the learning opportunities it offers.”

Runners-up in the 2013 Next-Generation Award included Alexander Siamatas, who impressed judges with his design for a new collapsible compact seat, and Ashley Finn, who put forward his idea for an adaptive engine-temperature control system.

The finalists have been through a rigorous selection process; their entries were judged over two rounds by senior industry professionals, a mentoring session with a contest partner judge and finally a Dragons’ Den-style presentation day.

Autocar Editor-in-Chief Steve Cropley said, “Jake is a well deserved winner. His idea for sensory integration was very professionally presented and included concept philosophy, market need, technical feasibility, opportunity and commercial viability.

“I would also like to praise our two runners-up, Alexander Siamatas and Ashley Finn. They should both be justifiably proud of their achievement. The Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award is a very tough contest; all the judges have commented that this year’s judging was the toughest yet, as the quality of the candidates and their entries was so very high. We hope to see both Alexander and Ashley working in the industry in due course.”

Last year’s winner and finalists have all found industry positions; winner Roberto Antonio Pace is working at McLaren; Jonathan Maynard is at Aston Martin and James Benson at JCB.

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