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Racing Car Puts Researcher in Pole Position for British Science Association Award

An environmentally friendly racing car has helped propel University of Warwick researcher Dr Kerry Kirwan  to the award of a prestigious British Science Association Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture.

The Award Lectures are coveted prizes for talented communicators with an interesting story to tell about their research. The British Science Association has identified Dr Kirwan as one of the five scientists and engineers who have demonstrated exceptional skills in communicating to non-specialist audiences to give these prestigious lectures at the British Science Festival at the University of Surrey next week.

Dr Kirwan will use his lecture to outline how his team at the University of Warwick developed the environmentally friendly “WorldFirst Formula 3 racing car” which is powered by chocolate, steered by carrots, has bodywork made from potatoes, and can still do 125mph around corners.

It is the first Formula 3 racing car to be designed and made from sustainable and renewable materials that could meet Formula 3 racing standards except for its biodiesel engine which is configured to run on fuel derived from waste chocolate and vegetable oil. Formula 3 cars currently cannot use biodiesel.

The team have already driven the car on test tracks and are planning to give it its competitive debut against other F3 cars later in the autumn.

Dr Kirwan and his team from the University of Warwick’s Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre decided to build a competitive racing car using environmentally sustainable components to show the racing car industry just how much is possible using current environmentally sustainable technologies.

Dr Kerry Kirwan said:

“While I am pleased to have been honoured by this award lecture this project has truly been a team effort bringing together several engineers. It is not just of interest to the racing industry. It demonstrates how even the most technical and demanding engineering endeavours can draw on sustainable and environmentally friendly technologies in their design and development.”

Dr Kirwan will give his award lecture at 10.15am on Monday 7th September 2009 in the Festival Press Centre – Building 1, School of Management, The University of Surrey, in Guildford and he will be joined on stage by Lord Drayson

NB Link to original press relase on car with lots of pictures at top and bottom of release  at:

For further details please contact:

Peter Dunn, email:
Press and Media Relations Manager & Acting Head of Communications
Communications Office, University House,
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom     
UK Tel: 024 76 523708 Mobile 07767 655860 Fax 024 76 528194 
Twitter:   @PeterJDunn                    


Ollie Christophers, Communications Officer
British Science Association, Wellcome Wolfson Building
165 Queen's Gate
London SW7 5HD
T: +44 (0)20 7019 4946

PR95 3rd September 2009