Internship FAQ

Q. Can you tell me more about OptimumG?
In 1997, internationally acclaimed racecar engineer, Claude Rouelle began OptimumG…

A. In 1997, internationally acclaimed racecar engineer, Claude Rouelle began OptimumG in his home office with the notion to teach a new outlook on racecar engineering. The company began with seminars taught worldwide and catered to industry experts and students alike. Additional seminars were given to companies such as Ford, GM, Peugeot, Chrysler, Goodyear, and Michelin  among others. Just as the seminars evolved, OptimumG expanded and began offering consulting services to help race teams, car and tire manufacturers, and other companies enhance their performance. Gaining experience in training seminars and consulting, OptimumG broadened its services to include software solutions with its initial release of OptimumKinematics–a kinematics software for suspension design and analysis. Since developing OptimumKinematics, the company has produced additional software. OptimumTire is a tire modeling simulation software, OptimumLap provides users simplified lap time simulation, and OptimumG is currently working on OptimumDynamics–a computational vehicle dynamics software.

Q. Where are former interns now?

Many of our past interns have either become full-time OptimumG employees or…

A. Many of our past interns have either become full-time OptimumG employees or secured jobs with companies/series such as Lotus Formula 1, Aston Martin, Audi Sport, Nismo, Michelin Competition, and many more.

Q. What do former interns have to say about their experience at OptimumG?

My experience as an intern touched a lot of different subjects from…

A. “My experience as an intern touched a lot of different subjects from programming to mechanical engineering to business development. It was a great environment to test different skill sets and understand what I wanted to do with my career.”

– Emmanuel Hugon, R&D Engineer at OptimumG

A. “I participated in creating a product from A to Z. I also enjoyed the diversity of cultures and backgrounds, and I gained a lot of contacts in the automotive industry.”

– Matt Hawkins, Vehicle Safety Engineer at Aston Martin

A. “I was delighted to work for Claude Rouelle and learned a lot about vehicle dynamics, racecar design, hidden stories of motorsports, and of course Belgian jokes! The internship was fun and provided me with the motivation to pursue my dream of working in motorsports.”

– Pierre-Yves Riviere, Founder of PyCAE Eurl, Chassis Designer of the LMP1 winners of 24 hours of Le Mans in ’10, ’12 and ’13

A. “The experience I received as an intern at OptimumG was invaluable. The passion and knowledge of the people in the company greatly influenced me and inspired me to improve my knowledge and engineering skills. It is a great opportunity for young engineers to make connections and get experience in the motorsports/automotive industry.”

–  Chris Meissen, PhD Student, UC Berkeley

 

Q. How will my professional networking advance?

You will gain exposure to several race series…

A. You will gain exposure to several race series around the world including the American Le Mans Series, IndyCar, Australian V8 Supercars, World Endurance Challenge, European Blancpain Endurance Series, Argentinian TC 2000, and many more! With this exposure, your time at OptimumG will provide numerous opportunities for you to establish contacts in these racing series.

Q. What tasks will my work include?

If hired, you will be rewarded with challenging, relevant work and…

A. If hired, you will be rewarded with challenging, relevant work and jumpstart your engineering career in motorsports. Your tasks will involve an array of vehicle dynamics simulation projects and software coding work.

Q. Who would I be working with?

All engineers working at OptimumG have been an intern prior to…

A. All engineers working at OptimumG have been an intern prior to full-time employment.

Emmanuel Hugon has been with the company for eight years. After earning his masters degree in automotive engineering at ESTACA in Paris, he started as intern at OptimumG and is now traveling the world working with many types of racecars including Le Mans, touring cars, Brazilian stock cars, supercars, and more.

 

Kevin Marion spearheaded the development of OptimumKinematics 2.0, and has been with the company for three years. In addition to his software involvement, Kevin is also working with Marc VDS in the Blancpain and VLN GT series.

 

Henning Olsson came to us after working on the FSAE team at Dartmouth and then Ohlins in Sweden. Henning now leads our consulting projects with Rahal Letterman Lanigan in ALMS and IndyCar, and DTA in TC2000.

 

Gabriel Rodrigues completed his masters degrees in electrical engineering and motorsport engineering at the Technical University of Lisbon. His experience with the University of Lisbon SAE team provided him with the motorsports edge to obtain a position at OptimumG. Gabriel currently spends much of the year abroad working on consulting projects with our various clientele.

 

Sam Weinstock, from University of Colorado Denver, is our software support guru; chances are good that if you’ve purchased our software, you’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Sam. With a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering, Sam is a key developer of OptimumDynamics and OptimumLap.

 

Pete Ringwood joined us in 2012 coming from Sydney, Australia with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering at a diploma in engineering practices from the University of Technology Sydney  where he was an active member of the Formula Student team. Currently, Pete is working on the development of OptimumDynamics in addition to his consulting work with Ford Performance Racing in the V8 Supercar series.

Q. Why is the internship duration 12 months?

This time period is long enough for an intern to be properly trained and…

A. This time period is long enough for an intern to be properly trained and caught up to our speed. Our goal is to help you feel independent enough to take charge of interesting and challenging projects. We also would like to enhance your learning as much as possible during your time with us. Any frame of time less than 12 months proves insufficient in accomplishing these goals.

Q. Are applicants required to have a college degree?

They are not. While we prefer candidates with at least a bachelors…

A. They are not. While we prefer candidates with at least a bachelors degree, we are happy to consider any candidate pursuing an engineering or computer science degree. However, if still pursuing a degree, applicants must be enrolled in their last year of college.

Q. Why do we give an internship test?

We want to evaluate your skills and prepare you…

A. We want to evaluate your skills and prepare you for the OptimumG expectations. The goal of the test is to determine your knowledge of vehicle dynamics and Object Oriented Programming, but keep in mind, we do not expect you to know everything. We want you to demonstrate your skills to the best of your ability, not just get every question right.

Q. What does the internship test entail?

Applicants have the choice of taking a test made by OptimumG…

A. Applicants have the choice of taking a test made by OptimumG or approaching us with his/her own idea. The test must effectively illustrate the candidate’s skills in vehicle dynamics simulation and software programming.

Q. How long does the internship test take?

The internship test can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks…

A. The internship test can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the applicant’s schedule. We are looking for quality work rather than quick work. Our suggestion is to take enough time to do well on the test and not try to impress us by sending hasty work.

Q. Is there a good time to apply?

We are always looking for additions…

A. We are always looking for additions to our team. Our suggestion is to apply a few months before you would be free to start to allow enough time for completion of the internship test and hiring process.

We show preference to candidates with at least a bachelors degree, but have and will hire currently enrolled students. If still in school, we suggest you apply for an internship when you feel comfortable delaying your classes until after the completion of the 12-month internship period.

Q. Do you prefer a mechanical engineer?

No, we encourage software, electronic, mechatronic, industrial, and…

A. No, we encourage electronic, mechatronic, industrial, and mechanical engineers and computer science candidates to apply.

Q. Do you have any tips for a successful application?

Impress us. It’s no secret that applying for internships means competing…

 A. Impress us. It’s no secret that applying for internships means competing against many others, so make yourself stand out. Show us examples of your previous work and experience and highlight your strengths in your application.

Q. What kind of experience do you prefer an applicant to possess?

We prefer candidates with some software coding experience and…

A. We prefer candidates with some software coding experience and previous internship or work experience. It does not necessarily have to be in motorsports, but we prefer that our interns have at least some experience in the automotive industry. Experience in FSAE/FS is a plus.

Q. Can this internship be paired with my collegiate thesis?

Yes, your thesis may be completed in…

A. Yes, your these may be completed in the duration of your internship at OptimumG.

Q. What’s the process for international candidates?

Once hired, international candidates will have to apply for…

A. Once hired, international candidates will have to apply for a U.S. student visa. OptimumG will sponsor and pay for the visa and the process generally takes between six and eight weeks (one week for Canadians) to obtain the J1 student visa. Once approved, your visa will be valid for one year.

Q. Why are OptimumG internships different?

Unlike many other engineering internships…

A. Unlike many other engineering internships, OptimumG offers experience in high engineering and a fast-paced environment. Because our staff is so diverse, we are exposed to new thoughts, languages, foods, and backgrounds on a daily basis. In addition to growing professionally, we are exposed to different walks of life that contribute to our growth as individuals. We learn about different cultures and make friends and contacts with people located across the globe.

Q. What are the living arrangements for interns?

The interns are provided housing at a home…

A. The interns are provided housing at a home owned by OptimumG president, Claude Rouelle. This home is affectionately deemed “Le Chateau” and located in a safe neighborhood just minutes from the office for an easy commute. It has five bedrooms and two bathrooms.

 

Q. What else is there to do in the Denver area?

Outside of the office, we love spending time exploring what Colorado has…

A. Outside of the office, we love spending time exploring what Colorado has to offer including snowboarding, skiing, hiking, cycling, go-karting, and professional sporting events among many other exciting activities. We often take company outings to the go-kart track or the slopes. The mile-high city lies at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, allowing for many opportunities to take advantage of the outdoors and view the scenery.