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


The Passion of Remembrance, the 1986 groundbreaking feature film by Isaac Julien & Maureen Blackwood that defined the Black experience in the UK, is to be screened at Brighton's Duke of Yorks. 

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Sarah McQuaid sets out on her final UK tour before she takes a year-long break from the road to record a new album. 

It is unusual to find Joni Mitchell's River alongside Sergei Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil, but that’s exactly what happens on Katie Melua's latest record, In Winter.

Like many a British musician before him, Billy Bragg, bard of Barking, singer songwriter, political activist, and musical historian has made no secret of his obsession with the songs and the mythology of the Americas, not least those of his artistic and philosophical forebear Woody Guthrie.  
Photo By James Bellorini

In 2015 William Rennie, 26, originally from Cardiff, and Darwin Prakash, 23, from Delhi in India, were participants of Glyndebourne Academy, based in Sussex, a talent development project for outstanding young singers who face barriers to following a standard path towards music college or a professional singing career.

Brighton-based tailor Gresham Blake's bold and inventive take on traditional suits has generated interested worldwide, with an impressive list of clientele including Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), Plan B, Steve Coogan and Ray Winstone among many others.

Being an iconic band is all about chemistry. Be they the Beatles, Small Faces, the Who, the Jam or the Stranglers. It's the mix of the individuals that makes the perfect whole.

A talented new filmmaker from Brighton has been making waves internationally with an award-winning short film that sheds light on Asperger's Syndrome.

Nina Conti whipped out her monkey early. It's a puppet and she used it to get to know that evening's Brighton Dome audience. It's a clever trick from a genius act as it's also a way for Nina to identify who,. later in the act, is going to be chosen to don one of her famous ventriloquist masks.

Described by the BBC as a 'spookily young Brighton trio with killer melodies and an Arctic Monkeys rasp', The RPMs have plenty to celebrate as they follow the release of their debut EP Digital Disobedience with a coveted support slot on the Buzzcocks 40th anniversary show in Brighton.

Bringing their spectral indie pop to The Green Door Store, this Autumn, Gengahr's Brighton date is just one of a slew of intimate UK shows.
Photo Credit: Alison Baskerville

All the profits from a new necklace designed by an award-winning Brighton based jewellery and gift company, will go to the Women for Women International (WFWI), a charity dedicated to raising awareness and funds to help restore the hope and future of women survivors of conflict.

Two thousand people rallied together to join the fight against dementia at Alzheimer's Society's Brighton Memory Walk, last Saturday (8th October 2016).

It can not be underestimated how much of a legend Jean-Michel Jarre is in the world ofelectronic music. 

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...

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd