The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has announced that Renault F1 managing director Bob Bell will act as the newest ambassador for its Formula Student competition in 2010.

Formula Student is run by the IMechE to challenge the next generation of engineers to drive a single-seater racing car they have designed and built from scratch, and Bell is the latest senior motorsport figure to offer his expertise and support, bringing 30 years of experience to bear as he helps students develop academic, vocational and practical engineering skills, as well as receiving training that is considered essential by industry experts for anyone hoping to pursue a career in F1.

Prior to working for the Renault F1 team, Bell worked for F1 heavyweights including McLaren, Benetton and Jordan, but is best known for playing an integral role in the regie's back-to-back world championship successes in 2005 and 2006.

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"I feel very privileged to be become an FS ambassador, given its outstanding success in promoting competitive engineering at an international level," he said of his new role at Formula Student, "Few other forms of professional engineering offer such an opportunity to young engineers, and its educational benefits are of significance over a very wide engineering domain."

FS will once again run its low carbon category of Class 1A cars in 2010, allowing teams to develop new and novel powertrain technologies, resulting in race cars with low carbon emissions. The competition attracts entries from universities all over the world and, this year, will see teams from countries including Australia, Canada, India, Sweden and Croatia all taking on the British contingent in a five-day event at Silverstone where, between 14-18 July, they will undergo a series of dynamic tests such as acceleration, sprint, skid pad, endurance and fuel economy. Students are also tested on design, presentation and cost assessment elements. Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn is the competition's current patron.