Autocar and Courland International are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2012 Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award is Roberto Antonio Pace, aged 25, from Kingston University. Roberto’s innovation, the ‘Cylindrical Brake System’, wins him £7500 and a five-month work experience package shared between contest sponsors Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Peugeot, Skoda and Toyota.

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The two runners-up were named as Jonathan Maynard from Brunel University for ‘Cooled EGR Discharge’ and James Benson from Huddersfield University for his ‘Car Theft Prevention System’.

The winner and runners-up were announced at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ annual dinner on 27 November 2012 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, with presentations made by Autocar’s editor-in-chief, Steve Cropley, and Kevin Gaskell, chairman of Courland Automotive Practice.

Upon the announcement, Cropley said: “Roberto, Jonathan and James should be justifiably proud of their achievement in the 2012 contest. The level of entries was extraordinarily high, and they have completed three tough judging processes, which was by no means an easy task. We look forward to getting to know Roberto as he starts his automotive industry work experience and we wish Jonathan and James all the very best as they complete their university studies. I have a feeling we will see them both join the industry in the future.”

Roberto’s winning Cylindrical Brake represents the third-generation brake system, after drums and discs.

McLaren’s chief engineer, Neil Patterson, said of the idea: “Roberto showed great initiative in making sure his design could be packaged in a high-performance sports car application by using his influencing skills to gain access to actual parts from the McLaren 12C, and then modelling them in CAD himself. He had also built components and begun testing to answer some of the unknowns about his design. Perhaps wisely, he stopped short of putting it on his own motorcycle!

“In-wheel braking hasn’t seen significant evolution for decades,” he added, “so for me the most impressive thing is his courage to challenge the status quo by taking it on in the first place. That’s the kind of thinking that makes a McLaren.”

Speaking about his success, winner Roberto Antonio Pace said “I am truly delighted to win this award, I have enjoyed being involved with the contest and have met some great people.  I look forward very much to starting my work experience in the New Year.”

Cropley’s brief for the 2012 Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award was as follows:

“In no more than 500 words, describe an improvement (be it an invention, innovation, a legislative change, a change to corporate policy or the adoption of a new convention) which you believe would be a worthwhile benefit to the UK automotive business. You will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of how such an improvement could be made viable and what the wider implications of it might be.”

The contest was launched in 2009 to offer a unique chance to kick-start automotive industry careers, and is run by Autocar in partnership with Courland International and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The 2012 award is backed by Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Peugeot, Skoda and Toyota.

Award Partners:         

  • Autocar
  • Courland International
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • McLaren Automotive
  • Peugeot
  • Skoda
  • Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
  • Toyota GB

Previous winners:

  • 2009 – Mohsin Basharmal – Coventry University
  • 2010 – Hari MeyyappanLoughborough University
  • 2011 – Oliver Brunt – Northumbria University
  • 2012 – Roberto Antonio Pace – Kingston University