Shirish-Potu-India

Shirish Potu

India, MSc Motorsport Engineering

I’m involved with, Oxford Brookes Racing, the Formula Student Team. I work for them, Lap Time Simulation, in that we have our own software which a former student developed. He’s working in Formula 1 right now, he deserves that place. What I do is work on what he’s created and change it, modify it to the current year’s requirements, to the current car’s requirements, get results out of it. It’s a good feeling because it’s highly helpful in the design phase, in that if someone is designing a new part and they’re not sure if that really helps the car go faster.

Shirish Potu - India, MSc Motorsport Engineering

Why did you decide to study in the UK?


Motorsport was something that I’ve wanted to do from the sophomore year in college and it’s this thing about trying to figure out what to do. So this is what I like and how do I get there? So looking at Formula 1 websites, teams, people talking about how they got there, F1 engineers, other motorsport engineers and they keep referring to the UK. A similar trend you find as well, either all of them are from the UK or they’ve graduated from universities in the UK. So that made sense, the UK was the next option. 

In India, I would finish my degree and then go to the UK. Now, which university do I choose? I’ve wanted to do Motorsport Engineering specifically and somehow, the two things which contributed to me choosing Brookes were that I’ve seen more online interviews of students from Brookes and the first student talking about how he got into Formula 1 was a Brookes student. And the second thing was that when I started trying to contact universities and telling them that, yes, I would like to get in touch with you and how do I make my application. The Brookes India office really reached out and I had several appointments with Gaurav and Suzanne. I met her twice, actually, in India and once over in the UK when I came over. It felt nice to be able to talk so freely with a university; something that I did not find in any other place. So then Brookes became natural.

What’s the best thing about this course?


I was excited to come here before I arrived because going through the brochures, you find subjects like aerodynamics and the first thing I found was Advanced Vehicle Aerodynamics. And then you find courses like Lap Time Simulation and Race Engineering. It just sets your heart pumping and other things such as Vehicle Dynamics. It was such a pleasant surprise to know that the faculty are so good. I loved attending classes. 

Every module over here is so relevant to motorsport, even when you look at the management course, which we had in the first semester, I think it was Advanced Engineering Management. They made the course so relevant to our degree, in that they could’ve just talked about general management and given us projects which are very general. Every assignment, even on the management module, was related to motorsport. And anyone from outside in the industry, if they came over to talk about management, it would be related to motorsport. For example, sponsoring in F1, they would come over and talk about how that happens. That’s obviously management but it’s all motorsport, so that’s good.

What learning facilities do you use?


I was blown away by the number of applications which the University has, the licenses to industry software, such as CATIA, computational fluid dynamics software. If you want anything, you will find it here. If it’s not taught in the course, it’s alright; you can be sure that the software is available in Brookes. And have 24-hour access to the computers, that’s nice. 

What do you think of the teaching style? 


Every faculty is so passionate about what they teach and so learned. Also, you develop such a close relation with them that you don’t mind going and knocking on their door, just unannounced. And sit together. Even if they are completely busy, they will put it aside. And if it’s five minutes, it’s five minutes; if it’s one hour, it is one hour. They’ll sit with you.

Would you recommend this course to another student and, if so, why?


I have already recommended the course to so many students. On an average, I speak to three or four students from college every second day. My counterparts are working in India and they are looking forward to finish there and come over, next year.
The thing is that it was a class of sixty in my undergrad course, for Automotive Design Engineering. And 59 of them stuck with the industry in India. So for me, as an Indian, I left everything behind and I came to another country, a new country, and I try to settle in and try to get a job in this new world. So, for them, if one person can do it, yeah, we wanna do it as well.

Do you like living in Oxford?

 

I love living in Oxford. The first week, I think it was the first three days, roaming around I Oxford, exploring the city, this is my city and I don’t want to leave it ever.

Are you involved in any clubs or societies at Brookes?


I’m involved with, Oxford Brookes Racing, the Formula Student Team. I work for them, Lap Time Simulation, in that we have our own software which a former student developed. He’s working in Formula 1 right now, he deserves that place. What I do is work on what he’s created and change it, modify it to the current year’s requirements, to the current car’s requirements, get results out of it. It’s a good feeling because it’s highly helpful in the design phase, in that if someone is designing a new part and they’re not sure if that really helps the car go faster. 

How easy did you find it to settle in to life at the university and in the UK?


The first week and I belonged here. One week and yeah, let’s get down to business. 
I did feel that coming to a place where there’d be so many cultures, it’s not just you and British nationalities. You get people from everywhere in the world. I thought that we would take time to adjust to each other’s company but no. The fact that everybody is new, everybody wants to blend in together and everybody is willing to come forward and introduce themselves, make friends. And it’s a nice feeling for them, as well, knowing that, here is a person from another country they would never come across. So yeah, it’s nice.

Would you recommend Oxford Brookes to other international students?


Yes, from anywhere in the world. If you’re coming from the middle of the Pacific, just drop it, come here. 

Any other comments or top tips for international students coming to Brookes?


Use every platform that you can get to try and create contacts in the industry. It’s really important that you take the first step. You can’t just sit and wait for opportunities to come your way; you need to create those opportunities. And the thing is, over here, everyone in the industry and in the University is so responsive, in that if you send them an email, you can be sure that they’ll get back to you. It just takes one email to introduce yourself and tell them that, I’m this person, I study at Brookes, which again creates a great impression.