Arpita Saldana is in her final year of her Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Mechanical at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Arpita was awarded a FISITA Travel Bursary in to support her placement Daimler Trucks Asia, Japan.

The travel bursary enriched my experience of working in another country. It made it easier to sign up for new experiences without worrying about the cost. It supplemented my income and helped with accommodation and travel – which were the major costs during my stay. 

Read Arpita's full report 


Hannah Waters is in her fourth year of Mechanical Engineering and Italian at the University of Rhode Island, United States. Hannah was awarded a FISITA Travel Bursary in June of 2018 to support her placement ZF Padova, Italy.

During my placement at ZF Padova in Arco, Italy, I corresponded with clients from all over the world helping them place orders, advised availability on parts, and helped answer any questions they might have had. I also helped coworkers with their tasks and had to reach out to other sections of the company for help if a customer’s inquiry was beyond the scope of my department.

Read Hannah's full report



Ahmed Talbi is in his final year of Electrical and Computer Engineering: Automation and Robotics at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Ahmed was awarded a FISITA Travel Bursary in 2018 to support his placement Bosch Japan.

FISITA helped me concentrate more on what matters without feeling the constant stress a lack of money would generally cause. Besides enjoying travelling around the country, I also had the chance to attend networking events thus allowing me to enhance my portfolio. FISITA has enabled me to live this experience to the fullest.

Read Ahmed's full report



Santiago Martinez is in his final year of his master's in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Santiago was awarded a FISITA Travel Bursary to support his placement at Istituto Motori (IM) in Naples, Italy, between May - August 2018.

In this research stage, a four-stroke direct injection spark ignition engine with optical access was used. With a large quantity of measuring instruments installed in the engine, it is possible to carry out traditional thermodynamic studies and correlate it with real-time images of combustion. For this project, various liquid fuels (traditional and alternatives) were studied, focusing on  the fundamental study of combustion when the injection strategy is changed.

Read Santiago's full report


In an exclusive interview, we spoke to Friederike Philipsenburg, Vehicle Architecture Engineer at Ford Motor Company, a FISITA Corporate Member.

Tell us about your current role at Ford, what are you focusing on?
I started my career with Ford a year ago as a Vehicle Architecture Engineer, responsible for the driver´s visibility and new technologies regarding vision on B-cars and Commercial Vehicles. Today I am working in Innovation Management, where I am investigating new advanced vehicle concepts.

Did you always want to be an automotive engineer/what inspired you?
Ever since I was a little girl, I loved cars and I was sure that one day I would work in the field of automotive engineering. As a young girl, I had the chance to attend several family days at the Ford Product Development Center and I was offered a wider understanding of the automotive industry during the so-called Girls Days, which I loved participating in. The possibility to create, shape and define future vehicles is the most inspiring motivation I could dream of. Being able to work in a global team in different work fields makes your everyday life exciting and interesting. Nowadays young people have a great chance to develop as an automotive engineer - I highly recommend taking this path!

In 3 words how do you see the current automotive engineering industry? 

  • Exciting: there are a lot of major changes in the automotive industry like electrification, autonomous driving and vehicle connectivity.
  • Challenging: these major changes result in an increased number of variants and therefore in a growing engineering effort, which must be handled by highly-skilled engineers - male and female!
  • Motivating: the mobility of the future will be more flexible and more individual. We are sure that mobility of the future must focus strongly on the customer’s/user´s needs. Working on these themes is inspiring and encouraging.

Read the full interview with Friederike here.


David Silverstein is in his fourth year of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rhode Island, United States. David was awarded a FISITA Travel Bursary in June of 2018 to support his placement at Federal-Mogul in France.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I want to take this opportunity to once again express my gratitude to FISITA for their support and encouragement. I hope that they will be kind enough to continue supporting engineering students across the globe in their efforts to gain a global perspective on engineering.

Read David's full report here.


Victoria Ryan is in her fifth year of Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Victoria was awarded a FISITA Travel Bursary in 2016 to assist with some of the costs associated with her placement at AMOG Pty Ltd.

How did you find your international placement overall?
Overall I found my international work placement to be one of the best experiences I have had to date. The work itself was interesting, challenging, and I was able to experience Australia to its fullest.

What advice would you give to students who are keen to enter the automotive engineering industry?
I would tell any student who is keen to enter the automotive engineering industry that there are many opportunities available to them globally. I believe it is very important to not limit yourself to internship opportunities.

How do you think the automotive engineering sector is helping women to enter the industry?
The automotive engineering sector is helping women enter the industry by providing equal opportunities for both men and women. In today’s society, it is common for universities to have a ‘women in science’ group to encourage young women to consider career choices in science and engineering, as well as increase the participation of women in technology by growing awareness of such professions. I believe that groups like this are beneficial to youth and it is very important for companies in the automotive industry to show their presence.

Read the full interview with Victoria here.

Take a look at the video of Victoria discussing her recent placement here.


Adina Sorostinean was a finalist at the EuroBrake Student Innovation Competition 2016 in Milan, Italy. Adina has continued to study within the mobility engineering sector and has broadened her horizons by travelling to Paris to take up a Masters programme.

We caught up with Adina to talk all things mobility, EuroBrake and where she sees herself in a few years...

Tell us about your Master's programme, what are you focusing your studies on?
In September this year, I started a Masters in Mobility and Electric Vehicles as a student of the Group Renault Corporate Foundation. The courses take place at five Universities in Paris and Lille and they address all the problems related to electric vehicles and their infrastructure...

What advice would you give to students who are keen to enter the automotive engineering industry?
Automotive engineering is a very challenging field and it requires a lot of dedication but it is also very rewarding because as an automotive engineer you literally make things move...

In 3 words how do you see the current automotive engineering industry?
Revolutionary, innovative, challenging.

Read the full interview with Adina here.


Tips from leading industry figures

Chris Mason, CEO, FISITA

If you’re lucky enough to be considering your career options and you’re looking at the automotive sector, I’d highly recommend taking a closer look. The automotive sector is undergoing a transformation more exciting than its original inception as it becomes the mobility sector of tomorrow. Your skills could contribute to this evolution, in the same way, that Henry Ford’s did all those years ago. As technologies collide within this exciting space, you could become an innovation leader in any number of areas as cars become autonomous, connected platforms supporting the personal mobility of your generation and beyond. Here at FISITA, we ask one question of you ‘where will you take us next?’

Dan Nicholson, VP  Global Propulsion Systems, General Motors / FISITA President 2016-2018

The automotive industry offers some of the most dynamic and challenging careers and this is also one of the most competitive. To be successful my quick advice is to not look for shortcuts but instead, do the hard work. This alone will help set you apart from the many who try to get there the “easy way”, and it will show. In addition, aggressively build your network. Interconnectivity is everywhere and it certainly goes together with careers and making your personal brand known so that you are at the top of the list to be considered for opportunities.  Lastly,  go for the opportunities when they present themselves. When it comes to being hired, your extracurricular activities on your resume stand a good chance of giving you the edge over your competitor. Stay positive and good luck!

Paul Mascarenas, OBE, FISITA President 2014-2016

Since the pioneering days of our industry, there’s probably never been a more exciting time to be an automotive engineer.  There's so much happening; from sustainability to advanced safety systems, autonomy and next-generation mobility, engineers of all disciplines have the opportunity to contribute in a way that will have a significant impact on society and be personally rewarding.  FISITA offers a number of programmes to help students and young engineers get started in automotive engineering, so come and get involved and good luck in your future career!

Prof. Adrian Clenci, President SIAR, Romania / Director of the Department Automobiles and Transport University of Pitesti, Romania

Automotive Engineering is a wonderful profession. It is thought-provoking, very challenging, dynamic and complex. Its result is mobility which is the ultimate expression of freedom and I don’t think we can find something else more dear to us than freedom. Now, I believe that Automotive Engineering is at a turning point. Multi- and inter-disciplinary skills are needed in order to cope with the challenges of this profession. Students, you are expected to solve the future problems of the industry/society. So, get involved! Do not just wait for things to happen, be part of the change we need in the world. Sustainable mobility should not be just a slogan/line. As a professor, I expect my students to be self-aware, dynamic, open-minded, autonomous - in other words, to know what their role is and to take action. I urge my students to dream, think, explore, plan and work towards achieving their ideals. In the end, all that counts is what we really did with our life. So, make it count.

Dr. Luděk Hynčík, FISITA VP Education 2016-2018 / Director, New Technologies - Research Centre / Associate Professor, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic 

Working at a university research centre in relation to the automotive industry allows me to gain excellent experience from contacts with the automotive industry. This motivates me to open new challenges and joint projects in the automotive field. The automotive field is not just about cars, it is also the driver and passengers as well as the areas of biomechanics and safety, which makes the research life highly multidisciplinary and exciting.

Dr. Karl Siebertz, Head of External Alliances, Europe, Ford Research & Advanced Engineering 

Starting a new job is the result of a decision process, which goes in two directions. The company selects the candidate, but also the candidate selects the company. Now they need to get along.  

1. Motivation

  • Do I like this job? (task, people, environment)
  • Can I be the person, that I want to be?
  • Is there enough room to move, when I develop new skills and interests

2. Demand

  • What is the long-term demand for this type of work?
  • Does it pay for the rent?

3. Qualification

  • Do the job requirements fit my education?
  • Do I as a person fulfil the requirements of the job? (mentally, physically, work-life balance)

When the three aspects come together in the right way, there is a high chance of a good life in business. After being 22 years in the same company, I can retrospectively say, that it has been the right decision for me.“