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Fast track to success for Daniele

Daniele De Anna (pictured far right, back row) and the Mobil 1 Formula Student team

Daniele De Anna, 23, says he had to fight the fear while driving a hand-built racing car around Silverstone race-track in the culmination of his Masters in Mechanical Engineering degree this July.

Daniele, who claims dual loyalty to both his hometowns of Munich, Germany and Portofino, Italy, followed his father's lead into an engineering degree: "To be honest I was always good with numbers and not as good with literature so engineering was the suitable choice. My father is an engineer and it always fascinated me the job he was doing and therefore I wanted to follow his footsteps."

The Mechanical Engineering students at Sussex are required to choose from a selection of projects for their final year and Daniele chose to get involved in one of the most popular, Formula Student, an international competition for students to build and race their own racing car.  The Institution of Mechanical Engineers runs the competition each year with the assistance of the Society of Automotive Engineers and test the cars for construction, breaking, handling and speed of up to 100 mph. 

Racing your own racing car is a particularly challenging prospect explains Daniele: "To be honest I was actually really scared! There were very good teams participating. But at the end of the day it's all about having fun, meeting new people and racing the car that you have designed and build for the past year."

But it's not just the thrill of the big race that Daniele has loved about his course: "I think Mechanical Engineering is a very good degree. We had modules in business, management, ethics and design and not only in mathematics and physics as people would think we have."

Next for Daniele will be a move back to Germany and an engineering job-hunting holiday in Italy, but his affection for Brighton won't leave him easily: "Brighton reminds me of Italy because it is on the sea. It is a very lively city and there is always something going on."

Last updated: Wednesday, 21 July 2010