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The Head of Composite Design at Red Bull Racing, Andrew MacFarlan, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering on Thursday 13 July.

14th July 2023
EngineeringHomepage - News - Standard

Born in Portsmouth, Andrew spent his childhood in East Kent, where he developed a keen interest in dinghy and offshore yacht racing; yacht design was the next step and Southampton the only logical place to study.

He attended Solent University, then known as Southampton Institute of Higher Education, from 1990 to 1995, completing an Engineering Foundation year, an HND in Naval Architecture and finally a BEng (Hons) in Yacht & Powercraft Design. During his studies, Andrew also found time to work for Berthon Boat Company, Dubois Naval Architects and SP Technologies (now Gurit).

Headshot of Andrew MacFarlan

After graduating in 1995, Andrew returned to SP Technologies specifically to work on the structural design of a 50m wood epoxy sailing ship before moving on to work on the composite structural design of numerous composite cruising and racing yachts from a wide range of designers. In 1997, Andrew won a design competition in Yachting World Magazine for an Open40 style yacht.

Recognising there were many similarities in the design of Formula 1 cars to racing yachts, in 1999 he moved to Milton Keynes to work for the relatively new Stewart Grand Prix team as a Composite Designer. He has remained on the same site, through team ownership changes - to Jaguar Racing in 2001, then to Red Bull Racing in 2005 – for almost 25 years.

Since 2005, Andrew has headed up the Composite Design Department and is responsible for the design and delivery of all major composite components including monocoque, wings, bodywork, and impact structures.

He became became a Chartered Engineer with IMechE in 2013.

The high points of Andrew’s career to date are contributing towards winning the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, 2021, and 2022 F1 Constructor’s Championships.