Grand Prix Winners and Record-Breakers - Lotus legends celebrate at UCL

30 September 2008

Legends from the world of motor racing and championship cars gathered at UCL on October 29th to celebrate the life and work of Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars and alumnus of UCL, and to announce the creation of the Colin Chapman Lotus Engineering Scholarship.

In partnership with Group Lotus, the event signalled a new level of collaboration between Lotus and UCL, and was timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the death of Chapman.

A UCL alumnus, Colin Chapman was a visionary designer and engineer, and a driving force behind Formula One racing. Throughout his career at Lotus, he fostered a close relationship with UCL, continued today by his son Clive, who was also a UCL Engineering alumnus.

The event demonstrated how partnerships between UCL and industry can be mutually beneficial.

Anna Clark, Director of Business Partnerships at UCL, commented, “This event helped to deepen an already very strong relationship, and we believe it sends a clear message to wider industry that UCL is keen to build effective partnerships that bring tangible benefits to all involved.”

The focal point of the event was a collection of over 30 Lotus vehicles spanning the road and track history of the marque from pioneering days up to the present.

The line-up embraced world-famous racing models and cutting-edge development cars showcasing new fuel and motor technologies, as well as priceless development sketches and early technical drawings.

An exhibition of innovative engineering under development at UCL showcased the Solar Fox project, which has just successfully competed in a gruelling 3000km race across Australia, as well as a number of technologies currently available for commercialisation, such as next-generation hydrogen storage for fuel cells, an intuitive traffic-signal phasing software product, a novel flexible material with unique properties, intelligent materials, an urban planning and traffic management consultancy, video-enhanced rear-view technology, an intelligent coating for glass, and more.

The day concluded with a cocktail reception and commemorative dinner, attended by many famous faces from the world of motor racing, including Damon Hill, Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Patrick Head, Sir John Whitmore, Eric Broadley and many more from such legendary companies as Cosworth, Bentley, Jaguar.

The evening commemorated a great British engineering innovator, a legend in British Motorsport, the successful company that he founded, and the new scholarship that will help to guarantee the next generation of great automotive entrepreneurs.

Cengiz Tarhan, Chief Executive of UCL Business added, “As well as a great day for all Lotus aficionados, the event has also been a great success for UCL Business in terms of the commercialisation of UCL innovations, offering an opportunity to present key new technologies to decision makers within the automotive sector. The enabling of industry pioneers with breakthrough technologies is what UCL Business is all about!”

Listen to UCL academics interviewed about Lotus and UCL innovation here.

Group Lotus
Find out more about the history of Lotus and the company and its products today at: www.grouplotus.com

Further Information
For further information about the UCL & Lotus Engineering Innovation event contact Dr Anna Clark, Director of Business Partnerships, UCL on 020 7679 9000, a.clark@uclb.com

For information about UCLB Knowledge Transfer contact Steven Schooling, Director, UCL Business PLC on 020 7679 9000, s.schooling@uclb.com