Navigating the Global Track: Dheer Varsani’s Journey in Motorsport Engineering

The development of the Formula Student car
(photo courtesy of Dheer Varsani)

Meet Dheer Varsani, Motorsport Engineer Ambassador

Welcome to our latest addition to the blog, where we speak with Dheer Varsani, Motorsport Engineer Student Ambassador. Dheer’s path from a childhood fascination with cars to pursuing motorsport engineering across continents is inspiring. Join us as we unpack Dheer’s experiences, from his early days in Kenya to his advanced studies in the UK and the USA, and how these experiences shaped his journey towards a career in motorsport engineering.


Thank you, Dheer, for your time today. We’re excited to learn about your journey in motorsport and your career. Let’s start by talking about the obvious: what sparked your interest in motorsport?

My interest began early on, during visits to shops with my dad where I’d be fascinated by toy cars. What truly ignited my passion for motorsport were the events I attended with family and friends, such as rally competitions and off-road 4×4 competitions in Kenya. Those experiences deeply influenced my interest.

What do you find most interesting about engineering in motorsport?

The most intriguing aspect is the interaction with people. Unlike typical engineering jobs where you’re bound to a computer, motorsport engineering is highly interactive and offers extensive learning opportunities. The turnaround in motorsport is rapid; projects can move from digital concepts to reality in a matter of weeks, which is much faster than in other industries. This immediacy is a significant benefit of working in motorsport and automotive engineering.

Let’s talk about your background: you grew up in Kenya, and have studied in the USA and the UK. You’ve experienced quite a global journey. Has your background influenced your path towards working in the motorsport industry? 

Absolutely, my multicultural experiences have deeply influenced my journey. I was initially uncertain about pursuing a job in the automotive industry, so joining the Formula SAE team during my undergraduate studies in the USA was a turning point. It solidified my interest in motorsport. My internships, particularly in the USA and Kenya, and my ongoing master’s studies in the UK, have immersed me in diverse environments, enriching my understanding and passion for the industry.

Considering your experience, do you feel more connected to the UK or the USA, or is it about equal?

It’s a balance for me. While Kenya will always remain my home, I adapt quickly and feel equally at ease in both the UK and the USA. My experiences have taught me to navigate and appreciate diverse cultural contexts effectively.

Participating in Formula SAE

Your involvement in Formula SAE at Drexel University was a significant milestone. How did this experience contribute to your professional and personal development?

Participating in Formula SAE was transformative, enhancing not only my professional skills but also my soft skills like communication and teamwork, crucial in a collaborative industry like motorsport. Working closely with my team taught me the importance of clear communication. Professionally, it was a hands-on learning experience where I acquired practical skills such as CAD and soldering, among others. This experience was not only educational but also immensely enjoyable. 

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With your journey involving collaboration with people from diverse backgrounds, do you find that these shared experiences in motorsport create a unique bond among participants?

Definitely. Everyone’s passionate about motorsport, which really helps us find common ground quickly.

Dheer Varsani’s miniature self-driving car model using LiDAR
(photo courtesy of Dheer Varsani)


You’re currently pursuing your MSc in the UK. How did you choose Cranfield University for your studies, and what motivated this decision?

It’s quite a story. Initially, I hadn’t planned on pursuing a master’s degree. While looking for internships in the USA, my applications were often overlooked. However, I persisted, networking extensively. One connection mentioned that companies tend to prioritize master’s students for internships, sparking my interest in further education. In my final year in the USA, I sought advice on pursuing a master’s and was recommended Cranfield University. I applied, was accepted, and it’s been an enriching experience thus far. It’s fascinating how opportunities sometimes present themselves, guiding us toward unexpected paths.

Check out our blog article: 5 Things Every Aspiring Formula 1 Engineer Should Know!

How have you continued networking as a Master’s student? 

My first significant interaction with industry professionals was through webinars hosted by Motorsport Engineer. This was a pivotal moment for me. Additionally, being part of the Accelerate 25 program, a collaboration with FBE and Mercedes F1, was incredibly insightful. I was paired with a mentor, which allowed for direct learning and interaction. Attending a workshop event at Red Bull was another highlight, offering a firsthand look at the day-to-day operations and challenges faced by professionals in the field. As a Cranfield student, I also have exposure to industry experts through the structure of the course as well as its extensive alumni network. 

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Can you tell us more about the Accelerate 25 program with Mercedes and GPetronas?

Discovering the Accelerate 25 program was somewhat serendipitous, largely through networking on LinkedIn. After applying, I didn’t harbour much hope, but was ecstatic to be accepted. Being mentored by an industry professional has been invaluable, allowing me to discuss industry insights, university challenges, and more. Initially, I was intimidated by the prospect of working closely with an F1 team—something I’ve dreamt of since childhood. The experience still feels surreal to me.

Dheer and the Senior Design team with their final project
(photo courtesy of Dheer Varsani)

How did you come across Motorsport Engineer?

My discovery of Motorsport Engineer also came through LinkedIn. I was exploring profiles of Mercedes employees and stumbled upon Gerard Torres’ profile. He introduced me to the website, which I found incredibly resourceful. Networking within the industry has been crucial, offering insights and knowledge beyond what’s available in academia. It’s challenging to penetrate such a closed industry, making these connections all the more valuable.

Considering that you are currently still studying, why did Motorsport Engineer appeal to you?

The structured curriculum of university education can only cover so much, necessitating self-driven exploration and learning. Courses like those offered by Motorsport Engineer provide in-depth knowledge and practical insights that complement academic studies, bridging gaps and enriching the educational experience.

Do you have a favourite aspect of the courses you’ve taken with Motorsport Engineer?

The flexibility of the courses was particularly appealing to me. Balancing classes and assignments without additional time constraints was essential. The hands-on assignments were especially valuable, allowing me to apply what I’ve learned in a practical context, which I find beneficial.

Explore Motorsport Engineer Self-Paced Courses and Career Accelerator Programs

How has being a Motorsport Engineer Student Ambassador helped you in your career goals? 

Participating in Motorsport Engineer’s courses significantly enhanced my master’s experience by connecting various concepts and giving me a competitive edge in my applications. My desire to become a student ambassador stems from wanting to give back and share the valuable insights I’ve gained. Additionally, representing Motorsport Engineer is not only an honour but also distinguishes my profile in career applications.

Next steps

It’s wonderful to hear that our courses have positively impacted your academic and professional journey. As you approach the end of your studies, what are your plans for the future?

My next step is to secure a job, which is both exciting and daunting. The transition from education to professional practice is where I can apply what I’ve learned. My passion lies in both the automotive and motorsport industries, and I’m eager to contribute to either field, leveraging my experiences so far.

What advice would you offer to young motorsport enthusiasts starting their educational journey?

Curiosity has been the cornerstone of my journey. It led me to pursue motorsport engineering, connect with professionals on LinkedIn, and discover opportunities like the one at Cranfield and the Mercedes program. My advice is to stay curious, reach out without fear, and persist through the inevitable rejections and failures. Embrace curiosity as a driving force.

What advice do you have moving forward – for yourself on this journey or for others looking to work in motorsport?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s the way to approach problem-solving. Sometimes the challenges can seem overwhelming and daunting, if not outright impossible. But it’s all about mindset. Breaking down these issues into manageable small steps and solving them bit by bit is the way to go. And never underestimate the power of creativity. If you have a goal in life, there will be multiple hurdles along the way, but my advice is that with hard work, commitment, determination and the right decisions during the path, you need to hope that everything will eventually work in the end. If there’s one thing I’ve got clear in my mind is that, until I reach my goal, I will not stop.

Thank you, Dheer, for sharing your insights and experiences with us!

Wrapping up

Our thanks to Dheer for sharing his insights with us. For those intrigued by Dheer’s experience and looking to carve their own path in motorsport engineering, we encourage you to explore Motorsport Engineer’s courses and webinars.

And if you’re driven to share your journey and insights as Dheer has, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to us for a chance to become a Motorsport Engineer Student Ambassador, too, and help inspire the next generation of motorsport engineers! 

Check out all of Motorsport Engineer’s courses here.

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