14 September 2017 11:46

A Lancaster University Engineering graduate has been presented with a special award at a student racing competition.

Abigail Carson, who recently graduated in Mechanical Engineering, led a team of Lancaster engineers at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ prestigious Formula Student event. The Lancaster team was the university’s first to build an electric vehicle for the annual event.

Judges presented Miss Carson with the ‘Craig Dawson Most valuable Team Member Award’ in recognition for her efforts and attitude during the competition, which saw around 3,000 students participate.

The Formula Student competition’s Judges said: “The winner of this award is someone who has worked tirelessly during the competition.

“What stood out is that in addition to being nominated by her team she was also nominated by one of our marshals who said that despite lots of problems she did not give up and she showed total commitment to her team.”

Craig Dawson was a former Formula Student competitor, faculty advisor and commentator who sadly passed away in 2010. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has described Mr Dawson’s passion for motorsport as insatiable and that his enthusiasm was infectious and that he drove his team to success.

In memory of Mr Dawson, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers established an award that highlights the leadership efforts of a particular individual on a Formula Student team. The ‘Craig Dawson Most Valuable Team Member Award’ is presented to a student participant nominated by their fellow teammates for demonstrating a combination of exceptional teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership. It is unusual for students to also receive nominations from officials.

Miss Carson said: “After realising that people who were independent recognised the effort I had put in it certainly felt it was all worthwhile. We passed all scrutineering, with the exception of the last few boxes regarding charging – so we did incredibly well for a team of 12 students participating with an electric car for the first time.

“After an incredibly hard week it was wonderful for our efforts to be recognised, and it was great to see the team work so hard making everything happen. I plan on coming back to Lancaster to help the 2017/18 team out, and do even better.”

Professor Derek Seward, academic supervisor of the Lancaster Racing Team, said: “Abi showed tremendous commitment to the team and showed a dogged determination to get the car through the rigorous inspection process. She was also an inspirational team leader.”