PEOPLE: LOIC BIGOIS
Name: Loic Bigois
From Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France, Bigois developed a passion for engineering during his school years and won a place to study engineering at the famous Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris. He specialized in aerodynamics and after graduating moved to Toulouse, the home of much of France's aerospace industry, to work for the Microturbo gas turbine company as an aerodynamics engineer. Like many engineers who end up in F1, he found industry to be rather frustrating.
At the end of 1990 he was approached by the Ligier F1 team, which was restructuring its technical department under Frank Dernie, and was hired to replace departing aerodynamics engineer Henri Durand. In addition to the aerodynamic work he did a lot of the team's CAD-CAM design work.
Guy Ligier's enthusiasm for F1 was beginning to wind down and at the end of 1992 Cyril de Rouvre bought the team. Dernie went to work at Benetton and Gerard Ducarouge was left in control. Bigois worked under the veteran F1 engineer until mid-1994 when Ducarouge was sidelined by new owner Flavio Briatore. Fed up with all the chopping and changing Bigois accepted a job at Sauber, replacing Mike Gascoyne, working under technical director Andre de Cortanze.
The musical chairs was to continue in mid-1995 when de Cortanze was hired to be technical director of Ligier - which was by then being run by Tom Walkinshaw. Bigois followed de Cortanze back to Magny-Cours and played a major role in the design of the 1996 car.
In March 1996 Walkinshaw and Briatore fell out and there was yet another reshuffle with Walkinshaw's engineers departing to join Arrows. Bigois decided to stay in France and was appointed head of research and development under de Cortanze, who would soon depart from the company leaving Bigois to become Ligier's last technical director.
When Alain Prost bought the team Bigois was named chief designer of Prost Grand Prix , and he remained in that role under technical director Alan Jenkins and his replacement Henri Durand until Prost closed down and he then moved to Minardi.He moved to Williams in the summer of 2003 and became chief aerodynamicist in 2004.