Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Sussex Student Gets Gold For Organising Vettel Tour

A Sussex-based undergraduate from the University of Bath's Department of Mechanical Engineering has become the first placement student to win a Nissan Gold Award for her work organising a successful event for the company involving F1 champion Sebastian Vettel.



Gemma Hatton, 22 from Sussex, is a long-time fan of motorsport, and always saw her future working as a race engineer. 

She was undertaking a 'year in industry' as part of her degree programme when she was approached by the Global Technical Director of Nissan Motorsport, Jerry Hardcastle, and tasked with a very specific role.

Gemma said: "I was asked to meet with Sebastian Vettel's PR Team because he was visiting the Nissan European Technical Centre (NTCE) and I was tasked with organising the whole thing!"

Sebastian Vettel is F1's youngest Grand Prix winner, youngest triple World Champion, and now one of only three drivers in F1 history to claim four championships in succession.


Vettel is also the Director of Performance for US car company Infiniti, where he plays a vital role in developing the performance of their vehicles.

Gemma added: "This year Vettel's focus for Infiniti was on the Q30 that was revealed at this year"s Frankfurt Motorshow. 

"As Infiniti progress into the European market, the Q30 will be built at the Nissan Manufacturing plant in Sunderland, with NTCE conducting further R&D work – the first collaboration between the two automotive giants.

"Essentially, I was given the job of not only showing Sebastian what NTCE had to offer, but also making it as interactive and interesting as possible because the whole visit was being filmed."

Gemma's passion for motorsport has led her to take on a number of jobs in the sector, including writing for Racecar Engineering magazine and monitoring track data for JRM during the Spa 24 Hour and Silverstone three hour races. 

She was therefore thrilled to be given the opportunity to meet Vettel, even though it meant taking on a completely new challenge.

Gemma cotinued: "Organising the tour was huge - it took a month of full time work to plan every detail. 

"I organised a full range of tests using climatic chambers and chassis dynos, which gave the camera crew plenty of opportunity to get great footage of Vettel in the cars.

"With the visit timed to the minute, it was a logistical challenge to say the least – especially as I was in charge of every detail; from importing Infiniti cars from all over Europe for background shots, to ensuring health and safety regulations were met while maintaining the confidentiality of the new Qashqai. 


"I spent weeks chairing meetings with senior management from all departments and was then asked to present to the European Board of Directors.

"Through my work I am used to analysing car performances on the track and road, going through data with drivers, briefing them and helping in the pit lane. 

"This role at Nissan put me in front of global directors of both Nissan and Infiniti, and I was the only one who knew all of the details - it was a big responsibility!"

The Nissan board of directors was so impressed by Gemma's effort that they took an unprecedented step and awarded her a coveted Nissan Gold Award, usually only presented to company staff, and for extremely high levels of attainment.

Gemma said: "I was really shocked and absolutely thrilled that the directors were so pleased with my work. 

"I really enjoyed the project, and working with Nissan has opened so many doors and created so many great contacts for me in motorsport. 

"Meeting Vettel was fantastic, all I'd really wanted was a photo and a signed hat for my little brother - the Gold Award was the icing on the cake!"

Gemma is now back at Bath and completing her final year of study, during which she is contributing to the University's 'Formula Student' team and continuing to write for Racecar Engineering Magazine. 



by: Mike Cobley

Related links

Sebastian Vettel

Share    

Just prior to the release of their first new album in a decade, The Libertines will take to the stage at the south's top music festival, Readingas the final of this year's Main Stage headliners!  
Fondly referred to by the Metropolitan Police as 'general rabble-rouser' and 'alleged comedian', the very same Mark Thomas has created Trespass, which carries on from where his previous show 100 Acts of Minor Dissent left off. 
Diabetes UK is urging schools and students in Sussex to take part in a short film competition to help raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes and improve care in schools for children and young people living with the condition. 
Noel Fielding, best known for playing Vince Noir in The Mighty Boosh, is proud to have retained his child-like view of the world.
This month six gardens across the city will be open for members of the public to look around and admire, with some also holding cake or plant sales, to raise money for the Martlets Hospice.
The Vaccines are on their third album (English Graffiti) and the band have toured extensively, playing with and opening up for acts such as The Rolling Stones, Arcade Fire, The Stone Roses, Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse.
Brighton and Hove community groups joined Cathedral Group in a final showcase of dance and performance, arts and recycling at the Circus Street market building to mark the closure of the building ahead of redevelopment.

Commemorating Terry Higgin's 70th birthday, the UK's leading sexual health and HIV charity has rolled out a national programme – Health Wealth and Happiness Project (HWHP) - aimed at the one in four of those living with HIV in the UK who are over 50, with Brighton one of five locations chosen.
Last year, artist and broadcaster, Scottee attempted to turn his illiterate Irish Grandad, Liam Gallagher into an artist.
Brighton resident Dara Fitzgerald will be travelling to Spain to make the entrance of Pamplona's bullring – where the animals tormented in the Running of the Bulls are ultimately killed – run red with 'blood', early next month. 
True life stories of domestic violence, drug abuse and refugees fleeing persecution have been highlighted in a report that tackles the issue of inequality across Brighton & Hove.
The Space, in association with its sponsor, Brighton Film School, welcomes comedy legend Barry Cryer and television drama writer Jed Mercurio, to its event in Brighton.
A recent adult learning success story at City College Brighton and Hove is a mother and daughter team from the city who launched a new designer clothing brand thanks to a Dressmaking evening class.
The hidden histories and fascinating features of Brighton & Hove are being enshrined in a new official record of the city's heritage assets.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...






Latest Brighton Jobs

Jobs Fair

LOCAL RECRUITMENT EVENT. The Grand Hotel Free to Attend. Brighton & Hove....
Mgmt Media Ltd - Brighton
More details

Convenience Customer Service Assistant

Or you could find yourself on the shop floor, helping customers find what they want and explaining anything they need to know....
Sainsburys - Hove
More details

Recovery Worker

Shakespeare Road is a registered care home that provides 24 hour support to people with significant mental health needs....
Community Base - Brighton
More details

Newhaven

Attention to detail whilst working in a fast paced, pressurized environment. The warehouse operative role is critical to the success of UPS and has a direct...
UPS - UK - Newhaven
More details
Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd