F1 studies takes Matthew to Paris conference stage

Matthew receiving his scholarship cheque from Professor John Simmons, the Edinburgh Incorporation of Hammermen's Deacon
Matthew receiving his scholarship cheque from Professor John Simmons, the Edinburgh Incorporation of Hammermen's Deacon
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Research into brain activity which could help predict future Formula 1 champions has been presented to a leading conference by a local student.

Matthew Hislop, a mechanical engineering student at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, followed a leading figure from Microsoft in taking the stage at the Gaming and Learning Alliance conference in Paris.

Matthew was assisted by a scholarship from the Incorporation of Hammermen of Edinburgh, which offers a travel scholarship to an outstanding undergraduate mechanical engineer every year.

The 23-year-old from Ashkirk said it was ‘a bit daunting’ to be presenting his paper, ‘Beyond Simulators: Using F1 Games to Predict Driver Performance, Learning and Potential’, to leading industry figures.

Matthew’s project aims to find neurological patterns present in expert drivers which could be used as a blueprint for finding potential champion racing drivers.

The study, which involves a number of students and university departments, has attracted the interest of at least one F1 team, an industry Matthew dreams of working in.

“To be honest I’d sweep the floors if it got me in the door,” said Matthew.

However, he admitted that aerodynamics and design engineering was a key interest, with an ambition to be a F1 race engineer.

The final year Masters student is considering an offer to continue his work with a PhD scholarship at the university.