Local business supports engineering project at RGS Worcester

02 Feb 2012

A Worcestershire businessman who founded a leading high-tech company has backed an electric car project at a local school, due to his twin passions of engineering and sustainability. 

Franek Sodzawiczny, who has built Sentrum into one of the UK’s leading owners and operators of data centres over the past twenty years, has linked up with RGS Worcester to enable the school’s pupils to build and enter a car in the national Greenpower racing competition. 

“The project is all about promoting engineering as an exciting career choice and I am passionate about making sure that message is heard, “ said Mr Sodzawiczny, Co-Founder of Sentrum. “Did you know, for example, that the UK has the fewest female engineers in the whole of Europe? I was originally an engineer by trade, so it is an added bonus to me that this project encourages young people to get involved in something that will teach them about engineering expertise and excellence.” 

The school has previously been involved in two Greenpower campaigns, where over 200 teams race electric cars over 90 minutes, placing huge emphasis on excellent design, aerodynamics and reliability. “Each year a new group of sixth formers joins the project,” said Gus Wilkie who heads the pupils’ team. “Our old car did win some races in the regional rounds, but it was too heavy to make further progress. The sponsorship from Sentrum will allow us to design an even better car, reviewing all the components that we use. The whole team is incredibly grateful to Sentrum for its support.” 

Greenpower’s heavy emphasis on environmental awareness was another key factor in Sentrum getting involved with the project. “The pupils will gain a greater understanding and more detailed knowledge of green technology and sustainability which is invaluable,” continued Mr Sodzawiczny. “Being part of a project that encourages young people to get involved in something that will teach them about engineering expertise and excellence, in a dynamic way, whilst also keeping them in touch with British motoring heritage is really exciting.  Hopefully if we can encourage students towards engineering and green technology now it will help to make the UK a pioneer again.” 

Caption: left to right Mr David Cotterill (Head of DT at RGS), Gus Wilkie, Mr Franek Sodzawiczny, Matt Beale and Robbie Elliot. The car is currently a wooden prototype.