Formula 1’s Rob Smedley to speak at Teesside University

Rob Smedley

Formula 1’s Rob Smedley to speak at Teesside University

Business leaders, and staff, at Teesside University are to get a unique chance to hear from a mainstay of Formula 1 – Middlesbrough native Rob Smedley.

The head of vehicle performance at the Williams F1 team will be the keynote speaker at a Business Exchange event on Thursday 4 May, taking place at the Centre for Professional and Executive Development at the University’s Darlington campus.

He will also address academics and staff at the University’s Working With Business staff conference.

Rob will be talking about his journey through the ranks in F1. He will also share his views on the value of strong business connections with education, as well as talking about innovation and entrepreneurship, raising aspirations and the importance of STEM subjects.

He is widely recognised as being one of the most respected engineers in Formula 1. A native of South Bank, Middlesbrough, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Professional Studies by Teesside University in 2009.

He is most famous for his race engineer partnership with Felipe Massa at Ferrari. The pair achieved cult status with some of their radio chatter, and were often interviewed together. Their close working relationship saw Smedley follow Massa from their long stint at Ferrari to a new role at Williams. Rob moved on from the race engineer role to become Head of Vehicle Performance for the team instead.

The Business Exchange is a network of senior leaders from businesses and organisations in the North East and North Yorkshire, with events held at Teesside University’s Darlington campus throughout the year.

Laura Woods, director of The Forge, Teesside University’s business hub, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rob back to his hometown University.

“He promises to give a fascinating insight into the world of professional motor-racing and the incredible levels of technological expertise which are needed for a successful racing team.”

For more information on the Business Exchange with Rob Smedley, visit