Bruce McLaren has been awarded a posthumous honorary Doctor of Engineering degree by the University of Auckland for his contributions to engineering.
The degree was accepted on his behalf by his daughter, Amanda McLaren, at the McLaren Technology Centre in England, 60 years after the Kiwi racing driver founded the motorsport and supercar company that bears his name.
“It’s a privilege to have my father’s achievements honoured with a doctorate from the University of Auckland, the place of study where he furthered his passion for engineering,” Amanda said.
“I know dad would be so impressed with the engineering advancements seen in the industry today, and especially in the supercars and racing cars that bear his name.”
Many will be familiar with the late engineer and racer’s name which appears on some of the world’s most technologically advanced road cars and is still present in the sport of Formula 1 today.
McLaren began his career after studying one year of engineering at the University of Auckland before becoming the first recipient of the New Zealand International Grand Prix Association’s Driver to Europe Scholarship.
From then on, the rest was history. In 1959, the Kiwi driver became the youngest winner of an F1 grand prix at the age of 22.
Four years later, Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd was born. McLaren then went on to compete in the Can-Am series alongside fellow countryman Denny Hulme from 1966, but sadly lost his life testing his new M8D at Goodwood Circuit in 1970.
Alongside his posthumous honorary degree, the University of Auckland plans to open an engineering research centre in McLaren’s honour, called ‘Bruce McLaren Centre for High Performance Engineering’.
“Bruce McLaren was a pioneer. We’re pleased to award him with an honorary doctorate to celebrate his achievements as an engineer, as well as his contributions to the motorsport and engineering community,” says Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland.