Eddie Jordan puts the vroom vroom into F1 Schools Tech Challenge

27 Jan 2010

Irish Formula 1 mogul and BBC TV pundit Eddie Jordan is to get involved in the next stage of the Irish Computer Society’s F1 Schools Technology Challenge.

Jordan will be joined by the CEO of Abu Dhabi Yas Marina circuit Richard Cregan as patrons of this year’s challenge, which Discover Science & Engineering also supports.

The F1 in Schools global initiative takes place in more than 30 countries, with more than 15 million students aware of the programme.

In Ireland, more than 100 teams from around the country are putting the final touches to their designs for the 2010 regional finals which begin in March. Current national champions Team Blink, from St Ailbes in Tipperary, will represent Ireland at the World Championships in Singapore in September.

Last July, Team Koni Kats from St David’s Secondary School in Greystones won the World Championship title in London.

Jordan, who grew up in Bray, Co Wicklow, brings a wealth of F1 experience, having been founder and team owner of Jordan Grand Prix.

“I am delighted to be a Patron of F1 in Schools in Ireland – the scheme gives many youngsters the opportunity to get a feel and appreciate the engineering complexities of top-level motorsport. This is vital to encourage young potential engineers into the world of motorsport.

“It gives them the experience of working in a team in a competitive environment where all aspects of the business are considered – budgeting, engineering, marketing and sponsorship. F1 is an extremely competitive business to get into and this scheme can provide the opening for many budding engineers and designers – all for the benefit of the sport and industry,” Jordan said.

Richard Cregan

Richard Cregan, CEO of Abu Dhabi Yas Marina

Richard Cregan’s background

Cregan, from Kildare, began his career working with Aer Lingus, before moving to Toyota where he enjoyed an illustrious career spanning rallying and Formula One.

Cregan now heads up the newly-built and much acclaimed Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. “I am sure that if I had been given the opportunity to take part in this type of competition when I was at school in Ireland, I would certainly have enjoyed the challenge. It is a great way to inspire students and open their eyes to the host of opportunities in motorsport for a career.

“There are so many facets of the F1 in Schools programme which are relevant to the real world and using the popularity of Formula One to engage students in engineering and other key subjects is excellent,” Cregan said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years