College of Engineering & Computing student Alejandro Diaz is heading to England as one of 12 finalists from around the world to compete in the Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy.

Diaz, who was selected from a group of 1,500 international engineering students from more than 100 universities, will compete against the other finalists to win the work placement of a lifetime – a 12-month engineering role with Infiniti Red Bull Racing, complete with accommodation in the U.K., Infiniti company car and full salary.

“Becoming a Formula One engineer and working alongside the best in the world has always been a goal of mine,” said Diaz, 23, a mechanical engineering student from Miami and president of the FIU’s chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers. “Being chosen for each stage of the interview process has been an incredible experience in itself, but absolutely honored to be considered for the final stage of interviews in the U.K.”

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Diaz will attend a three-day shootout event in the U.K. before the British Grand Prix, taking place at Infiniti’s European Technical Center at Cranfield and at Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s factory in Milton Keynes. Over the three days, the finalists will face a series of intensive interviews, practical tests and technical challenges, closely assessed by leading technical figures from Infiniti and Infinti Red Bull Racing. The three winners will be unveiled by Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey on July 3.

“I have always had an attraction to race cars, for many reasons – the sound, smell, beautiful sight and general idea and purpose of them,” explained Diaz, who expects to earn his bachelor’s degree in December, “As I got older, my passion grew for the automotive, engineering and motorsport industry and I knew the engineering field was for me.”

For Diaz, Formula One represents the pinnacle of engineering and motorsports, so he just naturally fell in love with the sport. The combination of business, engineering and teamwork combines all his skills and passion. He’s looking forward to the challenge and having the opportunity to showcase his knowledge and passion for the sport and automotive engineering.

“I would like to take this chance to thank Infiniti, Infiniti Red Bull Racing and everyone involved with the Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy for this amazing and very humbling opportunity,” he said. “I’m very excited, prepared to work hard and ready for the final stage.”

by James Hellegaard