Women Engineers

An Australian Motorsport Engineer Who Followed Her Dream To The UK

Written by Elena Doncheva | Women Engineers | Friday 5th September 2014 10:47:00 GMT

We met Krystina Emmanouilides, who told EngineeringBecause about her dreams, her move to the UK, and the importance of industry experience.

Krystina's passion for fast cars took her all the way to the UK

Krystina's passion for fast cars took her all the way to the UK

Krystina Emmanouilides has an extraordinary passion, which took her half the world to follow - from  Australia to the UK. Her motorsport dream to work in F1 is slowly becoming a reality.

"I believe Motorsport is more emotive, much like ones feelings towards music; this innate feeling and attraction. Motorsport defies the paradigm of engineering, yes it’s a technical field, but it’s driven by teams of passionate people working together to achieve together," Krystina explains her enthusiasm for fast cars.

"Motorsport is, essentially, a vocational career. What matters is that motorsport is your passion, male or female, we are all engineers. Engineering isn’t just a profession, it’s a way of life, a mindset. I’ve just always been wired that way, to think, to question."

After her first semester in an Australian university, Krystina decided to make a major change in her life - move to the UK to study Motorsport.

"Moving to the UK was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made, no matter how difficult moving from home may have been, ultimately, I want to work in F1 and that’s just not going to happen in Australia," she says.

"I am so fortunate to have had the opportunities I have in the UK; studying a Motorsport degree at Oxford Brookes, undertaking my placement at AP Racing, moving up north to complete a research masters at Durham and now working part-time alongside my studies with Compelo."

" I can’t imagine not having met the people I have or learnt the way I have; it’s been an amazing journey so far," Krystina tells us.

She draws the differences between Australian and UK university education.

"Before having moved to England, I did a semester of Automotive Engineer at a university in Melbourne. It was so uninspiring and un-related to motorsport, I’ve never looked back. Generally, university in the UK is so different, everyone moves away from home and it’s like making a new family," Krystina describes her experience here, in Britain.

"There’s also a big focus on sport in the UK which I’ve really enjoyed, having played football in Australia, too. I can’t imagine going to university in Australia, without discrediting our educational system, I feel like university in the UK has helped me grow into the person that I am and really helped shaped where I want to go with my career," she points out.

Since beginning her university degree, Krystina has not stopped following her dream, obtaining valuable experience through various internships.

"My internships in Australia at Zagame and Maranello Motorsport were quite hands on, giving me a practical insight that I’d not been involved with previously," she recalls.

"My industrial placement with AP Racing was a really great experience, having the opportunity to work with a great team of people who make the company as reputable as they are. I had the opportunity to work on real-life projects for large, global automotive brands; ranging from design modifications to full brake kits. Industrial placements are something I would really recommend as they allow you the chance to build on your skills and gain real-world experience," Krystina advises.

At the moment she is a master's student at Durham, where she combines her research degree and part- time work for Compelo Data.

Krystina tells us: "My current part-time work at Compelo Data is the perfect example of Motorsport as a vocational career; it makes F1 weekends even better than just watching on TV at home. Compelo provides both editorial and live statistics during F1 races."

" It’s been really rewarding as I joined the company when they began developing the live service, so have been involved in the development of that," she says. " It may not be engineering, but it involves a lot of data analysis and provides that high-pressure environment when we are running live during races."

We asked Krystina to give advice to all EngineeringBecause members, who are now starting to look for an internship.

"Don’t stop applying. When I was looking for my industrial placement, I can’t even remember how many positions, both advertised and speculative, that I applied for. The right opportunity will arise at the right time. In terms of general experience, it will only help you," she says. "Summer holidays are a great time to pick up some work, particularly in the years leading up to industrial placements, my work experience most definitely helped me obtain a placement."

Krystina is now working hard for her dream job - working in top-tier Motorsport.

"I think it’s so important to love what you do, and so I can’t wait to wake up every day and know that I’m living my dream."

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