Peter van ManenFormer Managing Director at McLaren Applied Technologies Limited
Peter Van Manen spent over 20 years at one of motorsport’s most famous names, McLaren. As MD of the company’s electronics, data and technology division, he led developments in both the F1 team as well as partnerships outside sport from aviation to healthcare.
Before joining McLaren Electonics (later to become McLaren Applied Technologies), Peter worked in areas from coal mining to transport and defence. A career engineer he has been involved in technological developments that have changed industries and been adopted as standards.
In Formula 1, Peter has been a part of huge advances, from the first introduction of active suspension to today, where each car produces over 750 million data points from 500 parameters in real time over the course of a race. McLaren were the first team to race using active suspension, a technology that adjusted the car’s height off the ground whilst moving. Since then, technology has become a huge factor in arguably the most cutting-edge sport, from engineering and design to in-race communications and car set-up.
Peter considers the power of innovation, not just to create new processes and products, but also to solve problems so that resources can be dedicated to other areas. He looks at how F1 teams work within changing rules and regulations governing technology alongside balancing safety, competitiveness and cost. Away from motorsport, he also looks at what working with data has taught McLaren in order to help other sports and industries. He examines the use of F1 methods of telemetry and data collection in applications like the intensive care baby unit at Birmingham Children's Hospital, where the use of real time analysis has seen a 25% decrease in life-threatening incidents. He also looks at how technology will be used in the smart city of the future, adopting data platforms and systems to monitor environment, transport, energy, utilities and infrastructure.