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Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Racing Tradition Returns

November 10, 2014

Indy 500 race driver Graham Rahal was a featured guest of IUPUI Motorsports Engineering and program director Pete Hylton, right, during last year’s Motorsports Day.

Indy 500 race driver Graham Rahal was a featured guest of IUPUI Motorsports Engineering and program director Pete Hylton, right, during last year’s Motorsports Day.

Motorsports Day, an autumn tradition at IUPUI for nearly a decade, returns Oct. 9 to turn Taylor Courtyard into a racing haven from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., connecting students and campus racing fans with drivers and other racing experts to discuss one of their shared passions: racing.

Through the years, the motorsports engineering program in the School of Engineering and Technology has attracted students from across the country and around the world. This year, for example, approximately 140 students are enrolled, representing more than a dozen states and such international homes as Venezuela, Hong Kong, Ukraine, India, Bolivia, Italy, Japan, Colombia, Taiwan, Greece, China, Canada and Mexico.

Motorsports Day displays will include Indy Cars and vehicles from the Indy Lights and Pro Mazda series. The Andretti Autosport hauler will be on hand, as will IUPUI’s Formula SAE car, part of a student design competition organized by SAE International (formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers).

The event also features two panel discussions. The first panel features motorsports engineering graduates currently working in various aspects of racing. The second panel includes race engineers, one from Chip Ganassi Racing and one from Andretti Autosport, both with operations in central Indiana. The panel discussions will be in UC 104.

The job opportunities enjoyed by motorsports engineering graduates in racing and/or automotive companies like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, Cummins, Toyota, Penske South, Schmidt Peterson and more are part of the legacy of the IUPUI-based program.

“The IUPUI motorsports engineering program has worked hard to develop synergy with the incredibly active Indiana motorsports industry,” said Pete Hylton of Engineering and Technology and the program’s director.

Motorsports Day gives students -- those in the program and those seeking their academic goal -- a first-hand glimpse of the world of racing. Drivers and team representatives from all forms of racing participate to show off the vehicles, uniforms, equipment and more that are part of the racing world.

Indiana’s rich racing heritage is a big part of the appeal of the event.

“Our location in Indy allows us to synergize with the many tracks and teams in the state to ensure that each new student realizes just how many potential career paths there are in motorsports,” Hylton noted.

“We connect our graduate degree student researchers with Indiana motorsports organizations such as Dallara Automobili and the Center for Advanced Product Enhancement on research projects that range from IndyCar to midgets,” Hylton said. “Nowhere in the world but Indiana could a program such as ours pull this off.”