Autocar Courland Next Generation Award



The current holder of the Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award, Jake Larsson, has now completed three of his five months’ work experience prize – one month each at Skoda, Peugeot and Toyota. He is now experiencing McLaren, followed by Jaguar Land Rover. He has also spent some time with Courland International discussing the employment options open to him and how he should progress his career and employability.

For his winning idea, the Sensory Integration System, Jake was awarded £7500 and five months‘ work experience with the contest sponsors: Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Peugeot, Skoda and Toyota. Larsson’s idea was a car seat that uses vibrations to warn drivers of objects around their moving vehicle.

From being spotted in an Evening Standard feature, Jake has joined Cycle Alert as a consultant to help improve cycle safety. Cycle Alert is a tracking system that alerts drivers to cyclists in their vicinity, improving road safety for drivers and cyclists.

At Skoda, Jake worked primarily within the public relations department but also spent time with corporate sales, marketing, service and parts, as well as key agencies.

Peugeot sent Jake to its R&D centre in Paris, while back in the UK he was involved in product planning and public relations product launches and visited a dealership to see how the crucial element of selling cars happens.

At Toyota, Jake worked on a bespoke hybrid project that will run alongside the company-wide hybrid marketing campaign.

From the class of 2012, winner Roberto Pace now works at McLaren Automotive as a design engineer. One of his designs is a fixture that helps to stabilise the steering rack before it’s fitted to the car and is now in use during the production of the McLaren P1 hypercar.

Peugeot 308

Finalist Jonathan Maynard is at Aston Martin working as an NMO engineer and finalist James Benson is working at JCB.

The 2013 finalists are also working in the automotive sector. Ashley Finn is studying for an MSc in automotive engineering at Cranfield University. He is further progressing his award entry idea, Adaptive Temperature Control, with both Aston Martin and Magal Engineering, following their interest in his initial award concept.

Alex Siamatas is working as a design consultant at SP-1 Design and Tata Motors.


2009WinnerMohsin BasharmalD I Technologies – Automotive Designer2009FinalistHolly RobinsonAudi press office2009FinalistOliver JorisFurther education2010WinnerHari MeyyappanFurther education2010FinalistWilliam BrownFired Up Corporation – Conceptual Designer2011WinnerOliver BruntAt University2011FinalistKatie JonesJLR – Creative Designer2011FinalistCallum NashRuns own consultancy2012WinnerRoberto PaceMcLaren – Design Engineer2012FinalistJonathan MaynardAston Martin – NMO Engineer2012FinalistJames BensonJCB2013WinnerJake LarssonIn the middle of his prize work experience2013FinalistAshley FinnStudying for MSc, developing idea with Aston Martin and Magal
Engineering2013FinalistAlex SiamatusTata Motors / SP-1 Design – Design Consultant2014???

Head judge and Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said: “The Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award is like no other award. I really encourage all students to submit their idea; the industry is at its most successful right now and there has never been a better time to introduce new ideas.

“The industry has career opportunities in all sectors, not just design and engineering. Every company needs finance experts, computer whizzes, processes, procedures and project management; each role is vital for the continued success of the industry.”

The contest was launched in 2009 to offer students a unique chance to launch their automotive industry career and is run by Autocar, in partnership with Courland International and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

To enter the competition, students need to answer, in 500 words, a brief set by Steve Cropley and submit their entry via the Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award website – – by 1 September 2014.

Brief: Describe, in no more than 500 words, an idea, innovation or change to corporate policy that would improve the UK automotive business.

The idea could work in any area of the automotive business – from concept through to the sales showroom and aftermarket.

If selected for the next stage of the competition, students will need to demonstrate how the idea could be made viable within a business environment and the advantages it would offer.

Submissions are welcomed from all disciplines, including – but not limited to – engineering, marketing and communications, design and media. Special credit will be given to the originality of entrants’ suggestions.

The six best entrants will attend a mentoring session with one of the assigned judges from the 2014 sponsor companies to refine their idea and presentation skills.

This will be followed by the final judging day at the home of Autocar at Teddington Studios on 12 November 2014. The entrants will make presentations to a panel of leading industry executives from the 2014 sponsor companies. At the end of the day, three finalists will be selected.

The three finalists will be invited to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ annual dinner in London on 25 November, where the winner will be announced.

Award Partners Autocar
Courland International
2014 Sponsors Jaguar Land Rover
McLaren Automotive
Toyota GB

Previous Winners

2009 Mohsin Basharmal Coventry University Integration of Piezoelectricity
2010 Hari Meyyappan Loughborough University Hybrid Electric Two Wheeler
2011 Oliver Brunt Northumbria University Social Heads Up Display
2012 Roberto Pace Kingston University Cylindrical Brake System
2013 Jake Larsson Cranfield University Sensory Integration System

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