Hi, I’m Euan and I’m a fifth year Mechanical Engineering Student. For my third year as part of the TAU Racing team, I have taken on the role of Project Manager.
What roles have you held in the past and what made you want to become Project Manager?
Waiting until my third year of university before joining, I threw myself into the Composites and Aerodynamics department. I quickly realised how engaging (and addictive) the atmosphere at TAU Racing was, eager to see how the project developed over the course of the year. This was only furthered as I began to get to know more of the team around me. Having caught the bug, I was delighted to take on the role of Co-Head of Composites and Aerodynamics the following year with great enthusiasm following the trip to Silverstone and keen to see how I can apply the knowledge gained over the previous 12 months.
What does the role of Project Manager involve?
My current role sees me working closely alongside Mary and Aidan, our other members of the management team. Between us we coordinate the tasks undertaken by the technical heads, and with the help of those in our coordinator roles, ensure all other aspects of the team run smoothly and on schedule. There is a strong team atmosphere, something that has been challenging to maintain while working remotely, but in doing so, has allowed us to overcome most the difficulties facing us this past year. Having taken a step back from a technical position, I have thoroughly enjoyed this new role and the different opportunities it presents to get to know the team and understanding how everyone works.
I also have the pleasure of liaising with TAU Racing's fantastic sponsors and supporters. It is always a joy updating them with recent developments made by the team and seeing their interest in the project. We are forever grateful of the support they provided, and continue to provide, to us over the years we have been active.
What challenges have you faced in your role so far?
Though much of my role remains unchanged, this year has certainly presented some new and un-expected challenges. Despite this, we aim to remain positive and forward thinking in our approach, providing as many opportunities as possible for students to be involved in this project.
In taking a longer-term approach to our design strategy, our department heads have been kept busy researching, discussing, and proposing new concepts for future vehicles, with some exciting ideas coming up, so be sure to stay tuned for those.
Probably the greatest challenge faced by the team has been the online interactions, both when communicating within the committee and when reaching out to prospective members. By continuing to hold our weekly meetings via video call, we have maintained much of our original interactions. While there is no doubt that we all miss the hands-on manufacture and friendly team environment that comes with working in a garage, we hope that the team remains open and welcoming to all with an interest.
I was delighted with the work put in by the team during our TAU Winter Week which took place at the beginning of January. While everyone returned refreshed and ready to work, the highlight for me was undoubtedly our teambuilding session on the Monday. Consisting of smaller group activities and games, it allowed much more personal interactions between attendees which I am confident will serve the team well moving forward.
Finally, one benefit that has arisen from this year was the team being able to attend its first Learn to Win event, hosted by the IMechE to help prepare teams for competition. With this taking place online, we were delighted to present select members with the opportunity to attend and were pleased with the outcome of the event. We look forward to seeing how the information gathered will translate to our performance later in the year.
What is your favourite memory from your time in TAU Racing?
While it is difficult to pick from so many happy memories gained from being part of the team, it must be the 2019 competition at Silverstone. Seeing not only our hard work, but the work of so many students all coming together in one place is really something that has to be seen to be understood. I found watching the acceleration event particularly exciting and as we went head to head with the other universities, it was then that I truly appreciated what the team had worked so hard to achieve and was filled with such a great feeling of accomplishment.
Why do you think people should join TAU Racing?
The team undoubtedly offers something for everyone, whether you wish to apply professional skills and knowledge gained within university, are a true motorsports fan or are just looking to meet some like-minded people. For me it was the friendships you so quickly develop within the team that really stood out. Regardless of experience, knowledge or course of study the team will welcome all that are willing to get stuck in. Before long, you see the passion that everyone has for the work they do, it is hard not to be drawn into that. It’s one of the closest team environments that you can be involved in at university, with everyone looking out for each other and offering support whether that be on the project, in class or personally.