The University of Trento bestowed an honorary degree in Materials Engineering on Bedfordview-born Rory Byrne, chief designer of Ferrari’s F1 team, this week.

The University of Trento bestowed an honorary degree in Materials Engineering on Bedfordview-born Rory Byrne, chief designer of Ferrari’s F1 team, this week.


“The new graduate Rory Byrne is one of the key figures at the Scuderia and has made a great contribution to the success of the Italian marque in the automobile world,” Davide Bassi, the chancellor of the university, said in his opening remarks at Rovereto in the Melotti Auditorium.


“This is one of the best days of my life,” said Byrne, “One I will never forget. In the meeting with the students this morning I appreciated how enthusiastically and passionately they support Ferrari and F1. I would encourage them to approach this world with professionalism and competence through gaining experience in the materials engineering sector.


Byrne added: “The collaboration between the teams, research institutes and universities is of vital importance for continued improvement in the automobile sector.


“In recent months, Ferrari and the University of Trento have begun a promising collaboration. I think that we should deepen this relationship as it is mutually beneficial”.


Ferrari managing director and team boss Jean Todt and other members of the Scuderia’s management team also attended the ceremony.


Byrne, now nearing retirement, has been designing F1 cars for 25 years. Cars penned by him have won 99 grands prix and have been driven, among others, by three world champions: Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet and Michael Schumacher.


He joined the Ferrari F1 team as chief designer in 1997, and between 1999 and last year, cars designed for the Scuderia by the South African won eleven world titles (six constructors' and five drivers').