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Stephanie Travers

BEng Chemical Engineering, 2016

  • Deputy Team Principal, TEAM X44
  • Senior Development Officer, Mission 44 
  • Petronas Trackside Fluid Engineer 
Alumna Stephanie Travers (BEng Chemical Engineering, 2016) portrait image on campus.

Journey to Bradford 

"I chose to come and study at the University of Bradford based on some of the facilities that they had. I had taken a trip up with my parents to view the University and it was one of my five choices for UCAS and then based on my grades I ended up here, it was the best experience of my life and I wish I could go back to those days now and have less stress than it is in the working world.

"My experience of studying at Bradford was absolutely amazing. The support I had from day one, from the lecturers, is something that I never experienced when I moved on to go do my Masters. The open door policy that lecturers have and the fact that if I was struggling with something I could go and knock on the door and the lecturers would sit and spend time explaining it so that I could understand, it meant a lot to me and helped me with that strong foundation in engineering for me to achieve what I’ve done so far."

"The careers department was just amazing. The first time I went there I had a lady called Roya Christian and she took a red pen to my CV and I felt like crying, but honestly, after that point and listening to her and her advice, I had so many more invites to interviews and I was getting rejections before that. I’m really thankful for her and the entire engineering department at Bradford."

Career journey 

"After completing my studies at Bradford, I went on to do an MSc in advanced chemical engineering at Imperial. From there, I came back towards Bradford and worked at BASF as a reliability engineer. I also worked there during my undergraduate degree on my placement year, it was great to go back there and be back on the same plant. During that time, within the first year of being there, Petronas launched a global talent search for a trackside fluid engineer and I decided to apply, as I’d always wanted to work within the Formula One environment.

"I went up against 7,000 applicants for that one role and it was a really tough application process, which taught me a lot of things about myself personally, and how introverted I was at certain stages. I was successful and worked with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team. From 2019 for three seasons and after that point I transitioned under Lewis Hamilton and worked for his racing team called X44 as a deputy team principal and his foundation Mission 44 as the development lead."

Biggest successes 

"The biggest successes in my career so far has got to be in 2020 at the Styrian Grand Prix in Austria. I got to stand on the F1 podium and receive the constructors trophy for the team when Lewis won his first race of that season and it was a really big moment for me personally, for Lewis and also for the entire sport as I was the first black female to ever step on a Formula One podium.

It’s something that I will remember for the rest of my life and just seeing the reaction of my nephews and my parents afterwards and how proud they were, it definitely has to be the best moment of my career.

If you’re a woman considering a career in STEM, I would just advise you to reach out for the stars and just believe in yourself and believe that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to and just be confident on your own journey. Know that you belong in this space and that there is a space for you wherever you decide that you want to take your career. Just be confident and try as hard as you can, and the most important thing that my parents always told me was to work hard in these foundational years during University as there’s so much time to play later and enjoy.

Career advice 

"I would advise people who are considering Bradford to come up and have a look at the University, look at the facilities and meet some of the lecturers. You definitely will be swayed to apply here and don’t be put off by what you hear about the city. It’s great, I had some of the best memories of my life here. Sometimes I wish I was still here, I made friends that are going to be with me for a lifetime, that’s for sure! It’s just an environment where I felt so supported and throughout my entire journey, I still feel supported afterwards. Lecturers still reach out to me and keep in touch with how I’m doing and how I’ve progressed in my career.

"I definitely recommend anyone to come to the University of Bradford especially to study chemical engineering. Well, that is what I studied, I loved it. I just thought that it would give me a real foot into engineering and it was a bit more diverse than just doing mechanical engineering as I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do if it wasn’t in Formula One. That’s why I chose chemical engineering.

"I would also advise any women that are wanting to enter the professional racing sector to just apply, apply, apply, and even if you get rejections, there is a yes that comes after all those rejections. Don’t be disheartened. Ensure that you showcase the best of your abilities on your application because it gets so many applications. You need to ensure that you take the time to fill out your application form properly, your CV is formatted. You’ve got such great advisors here at the University of Bradford, utilise them, because you really will succeed in your application process."